(91) Visual displays of side effect risks

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This image shows the relative likelihood and severity of multiple side effects in non-tabular ways, using color, size, shape, etc to represent the attributes of the side effects so that consumers can quickly get the “gist” of what might happen to them if they took a medication. It is a hybrid of two earlier designs had both positive and negative attributes in our early rounds of testing. This table was subsequently tested against other visual approaches to communicating side effect risks.

What’s special about this image?

This 2 dimensional graphic is a hybrid of two original designs that each had positive and negative elements (per our testing). It uses multiple cues to represent both likelihood and severity.Severity is shown by vertical position, circle color and font size. Likelihood is shown by horizontal position, circle color and size, and risk number.

The strength and weakness of this graphic is its compactness. There is a lot of information in a small space, which may be helpful or confusing depending on context.

This type of X-Y display also performed less well than the alternate approach of using tables with embedded icons (e.g, LINK TO IR6/7 Table A (CHCR-Shuman)).
  • My goal
  • Classifying risks
  • Raise or lower concern
  • Details or gist?
  • Gist understanding
  • Data I have
  • Risk estimate
  • Health conditions
  • Treatment choice
  • Side effects
  • Graphic type
  • Color gradient
  • X-Y graph
  • Area graph