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Health Literacy Online: Writing and Designing Easy-To-Use Health Web sites Sandra Williams Hilfiker, MA Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, HHS

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Health Literacy Online: Writing and Designing Easy-To-Use Health Web sites Sandra Williams Hilfiker, MA Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, HHS. healthfinder.gov: Before. Literature Review. Mental Models Study How do users think about prevention?. In-depth Interviews

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Health Literacy Online: Writing and Designing Easy-To-Use Health Web sitesSandra Williams Hilfiker, MAOffice of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, HHS

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Literature

Review

Mental Models Study

How do users think

about prevention?

In-depth Interviews

Motives for seeking

prevention info.—

audience segmentation

Prototype Study:

paper and clickable

Usability Test 1

Card Sort

How to organize

information

within a topic

Usability Test 3

Card Sort

How should topics be

categorized?

Usability Test 2

Next Step:

Repeat portion of

Process for Spanish

In-depth Interviews

How can intermediaries

use healthfinder?

Usability Test 4

7 lessons learned from limited literacy web users
7 Lessons Learned from Limited Literacy Web Users
  • Willing and Able!
  • Skipping instead of scanning
  • Difficulty searching
  • Narrow field of view
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Limited working memory
  • Prefer simple navigation
skipping instead of scanning
Skipping Instead of Scanning

Read every word on the page

Skip over entire chunks of dense text

< 3 lines of text triggered skipping

Numbers, %, big words triggered skipping

Start clicking on links instead of reading the content

May land in the middle of the page

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Users did read this

Users didn’t read this

Example

difficulty searching
Difficulty Searching

Avoid searching

Prefer to browse topics using an alphabetical or topic list (even if the list is long)

Provide multiple ways to browse (by A-Z and by topic)

List topics under multiple categories

Struggle with spelling when using the search function

narrow field of view easily overwhelmed
Narrow Field of View & Easily Overwhelmed

Focus on the center of the screen

Content in right hand margin mistaken for ads and/or ignored

Rarely scroll

Even content written in plain language can look overwhelming

limited working memory
Limited Working Memory

Information Overload – takes concentration and effort to read the text on the page

Less likely to remember content from previous pages and are rarely looking ahead or back on a page

Difficulty making the connection between the results page and the data they entered on the previous screen

prefer simple navigation
Prefer Simple Navigation

Unfamiliar with – and often ignore – common navigational elements like drop-down menus and breadcrumbs

Success with simple tabbed navigation with linear (numbered) pages

Need to be able to use the back button

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Coming Soon: “Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web sites” Thank [email protected]
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