Marion Tan

Joint Centre for Disaster Research
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Usability of disaster apps: Understanding the perspectives of the public as end-users

Research Description
Mobile applications can improve the public's disaster resilience by providing relevant and time-critical information. Multiple mobile apps already exist for public alerting. However, these applications may also pose risks if they are not designed properly in the context of their users; the citizens. Poor usability may render apps harmful rather than helpful. Disaster mobile apps, therefore, must be citizen-centric. In times of disasters, these apps must be intuitive at first usage. However, minimal research has gone to the extent of assuring the usability of these tools from the public's perspective. The doctoral project will address this research gap. The project seeks to understand the usability considerations that facilitates applications to be usable during disasters.

Personal Description
I chose to do my PhD with the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University because the centre leads in taking a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding disasters and its impacts on society. Multi-disciplinarity is crucial to my research which looks into technology, society, and disasters. I am originally from the Philippines. My primary background is in Management. I have a BSc in Management from Ateneo de Manila University and an MSc in Programme and Project Management from the University of Warwick.

Dr Raj Prasanna
Dr Graham Leonard
Professor David Johnston
Dr Emma Hudson-Doyle
Dr Kristin Stock


Tan, M. L., Prasanna, R., Stock, K., Hudson-Doyle, E., Leonard, G., & Johnston, D. (2019). Enhancing the usability of a disaster app: exploring the perspectives of the public as users. In Z. Franco, J. J. Gonzalez, & J. H. Canos (Eds.), 16th ISCRAM Conference (pp. 876–886). Valencia.

Tan, M. L., Prasanna, R., Hudson-Doyle, E., Stock, K., Johnston, D., & Leonard, G. (2018). Usability factors affecting the continuance intention of disaster apps. In K. Stock & D. Bunker (Eds.), ISCRAM Asia Pacific 2018 Proceedings - 1st International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Asia Pacific. (pp. 326–338). Wellington.

Tan, M. L., Prasanna, R., Stock, K., Hudson-Doyle, E., Leonard, G., & Johnston, D. (2017). Mobile applications in crisis informatics literature: A systematic review. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 24, 297–311.

Tan, M. L., Prasanna, R., Hudson-Doyle, E., Stock, K., Leonard, G., & Johnston, D. M. (2016). A review: Crisis informatics and mobile applications in building resilience. In 6th International Conference on Building Resilience (pp. 504–516). Auckland. Retrieved from

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey