Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Information Science

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 144 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Erika G Martin

Committee Members

Luis F Luna-Reyes, Xiaojun Yuan, Rachel Hart-Malloy


Data Dashboard, Data visualization, Public Health, Usability, User-centered design, Dashboards (Management information systems), Information visualization, User-centered system design, Public health, Government information, Sexually transmitted diseases

Subject Categories

Library and Information Science | Public Health


In recent years, the increased availability of public data dashboards provided opportunities to democratize data access by summarizing large amounts of data into accessible snapshots to facilitate educational efforts and encourage evidence-based decision-making. However, many current practices have not reached their full potential because the dashboard design has not accounted for users’ needs and preferences. This dissertation employed the user-centered design framework with three studies. Study 1 investigated the usability problems of existing public health data dashboards through an expert review of existing dashboards on government websites. Study 2 established the requirements of a usable design for public health data dashboards through a user study with domain experts evaluating a public health data dashboard. Study 3 built and evaluated a prototype dashboard that is usable and provides useful information on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in New York State. The focus on STIs was a useful case for public health practice because they had a notable rise in the United States in recent years. Presenting STI data in a dashboard format could provide an opportunity to monitor the trends and evaluate programs to achieve the intended goals. The case study (Study 3) collaborated with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute Office of Sexual Health and Epidemiology to ensure the dashboard is relevant to users' needs. Contributions of this dissertation to the literature included developing a usability checklist for public data dashboards (Study 1), identifying new requirements for developing public data dashboards (Study 2), and assessment of the usefulness of integrating imputed values to visualize missing data on public data dashboards (Study 3). The immediate impact of this dissertation on public health practice was to build and test an effective prototype tool to communicate the surveillance data on STIs in New York State. More generally, the user-centered design approach of this study and the final architecture could serve as a template for designing such systems elsewhere.