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Web

Web Design Services

There ARE a lot of health related sites on the Internet. But if one compares the number of health care professionals and organizations that exist to the number that have web sites, the discrepancy is staggering. There are many practical reasons why a health professional should invest in a quality web site.

User Empowerment

When comprehensive client information is available, users can access information readily, anytime of the day. They can also find out exactly what services and treatments are available from a particular organization and initiate initial contact, at their own convenience.

Service Access

A website allows users to directly access services (e.g. repeat prescriptions, make online appointments, online registration and so on).

Meet Regulations

New government policies mandate that users are given access to information about services in order to increase client choice.

Save Money

Offering information online reduces the amount of time spent by office staff in answering questions, giving information, clarifying services since users have the information at their fingertips. Users can also refer back to the web site instead of trying to remember what was said to them.

Consistent Information

Often clients are given different or even conflicting information if they request guidance from more than one office staff member. Accessing consistent information presented in visual and written form can help reduce the confusion and provide consistency.

Clear Policies and Procedures

A web site can help professionals and service organizations articulate their internal guidelines in a viable way for both internal and external clarity and guidance.

Enhance the Voice of E-Health

Add your expertise to the burgeoning field of E-health. Consumers need your expert view on keeping healthy, accessing reputable health care, making critical health decisions and sound care choices.

We will present your services in a professional, unique way that helps you shine on the web! Our approach to web design adheres to the criteria outlined by the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) of MLA who evaluate web sites based on the following criteria: credibility, sponsorship/authorship, content, audience, currency, disclosure, purpose, links, design, interactivity, and disclaimers.

We offer complete web design services for health practitioners, products, services, education, and portals. We work with you to achieve the web site that will showcase your services in the best light, using an aesthetic, pleasing, and functional approach.

Whether you need a basic introduction to your services; a interfacing portal to communicate with your existing patients and clients; a health related online storefront; an E-health portal; or an online Course Management system to provide health related courses, we can meet your needs.

Each website package includes complete graphics and layout design; contact forms; content copywriting; and search engiine optimization and basic registration. Specialized packages can include complete hosting and management services; online patient education services; online communication including blogs, discussion boards and mailing lists.

USABILITY

Every site we design is optimized for usability and user friendliness. It's a given fact. More and more people are turning to the web for information about a multitude of health topics, including researching health conditions, finding health services, and ordering health products. There is a lot of money to be made by designers who know how to attract health care professionals and health organizations to their services. Designing a health site is much like designing any other professional site - on the surface. But particular care is necessary to ensure that content is totally reliable and carefully referenced, not to mention 100% accurate. Ethics are a big issue with health care sites: extensive care needs to be taken to ensure accuracy, credibility, user confidentiality, respect for privacy and freedom from plagiarism.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an excellent Usability Guide for helping designers and health organizations plan and design usable, useful and accessibile web sites and user interfaces. The authors define usability as "Usability is the measure of the quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system ? whether a Web site, a software application, mobile technology, or any user-operated device." They also point out key factors that ensure usability.

  • Ease of Learning - can users intuitively learn how to navigate the site without much effort?

  • Efficiency of Use - once they have grasp the layout, can a user accomplish tasks quickly on the site. For instance, do they know where to click to contact you?

  • Memorability - on a second or subsequent visit, will a user remember how to navigate the site easily?

  • Error frequency and severity - how many errors do users make as they attempt to use the site? How serious are these errors? Is error recovery easy or difficult?

  • Subjective Satistfaction - how much does the user like using the site? Is it appealing and user-friendly?

The Real Criteria from a Consumer Perspective

Although experts tell designers that adherence to privacy issues, reliable content, expert referencing and such is THE criteria used by the general public, Stanford University found out differently. In their study, How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? they found that 46.1% of study participants actually based their judgement of a site's credibility not on standards but on "the overall visual design of a site, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes." So, designers not only need to assure that they meet the breadth, depth, and quality of a site's information guidelines of evaluatory health bodies, but also need to ensure that health sites have eye candy that is both pleasing and easy to access and download. We will help you meet both professional and consumer criteria for a superb, high quality site!

Professional Criteria

Experts agree that certain aspects of good site design and content development are crucial, especially for health related sites. Since people come to a health site expecting to find valid, useful information from a reliable source, content development must be more carefully and specifically planned and executed than content on other kinds of sites. Main considerations to meet professional expectations include:




Privacy

Governed by the Data Protection Act in the U.S. and other acts in international countries, the use and gathering of personal data is an important consideration when designing forms, subscription areas, patient information components, and so on. Any kind of personal data that identifies a living person must be securely managed and stored. It is important that safeguards are in place to avoid pirating of information. As well, the specific intent must be spelled out - you need to specifically say why you need their personal data and what you intend to do with it. If the data is sensitive, such as ethnicity, gender, health, disabilities, or personal medical numbers, you must collect informed consent approval before even gathering the data. Once gathered, data must be kept confidential and secure, and be deleted once it is no longer needed. This responsibility rests with the designer you hire, since they are the one who develops the database structure and ensures that these considerations are taken into account.

Appearance

Sites should be attractive and use graphics only when necessary according to experts, and you should avoid moving images. We agree with this in theory, however, on sites that are teaching about health conditions and the like, graphics and even multimedia can be very useful tools for helping users fully grasp a concept or description.

Accessibility

- As one might expect, clients who use health sites often suffer from a disability or condition that makes viewing a website more complicated. Visual or skeletal problems can make viewing or sitting to view a web site very difficult. Recommendations to help with this are to make a site easy to access no matter what kind of computer or browser is used; be quick to download and intuitive to navigate; and use easy to read colors and text.

Ongoing Content Management Plan

- While not every website will have reams of content with continual updates, most large health organizational ones will. It is important to plan the information architecture framework well right from the beginning with a well-defined metadata structure, classification systems using a common controlled vocabulary. This must be constructed within an intuitive and specific user interface with considerations for GUI, visual design, navigation and information design specifics. Content indexing is ongoing for many sites and must be well managed to be user friendly and robust enough to handle considerable growth.

Sterling Content

- Content should be written by experts in the field, fully supported with documented references. Users rely on the authenticity of the content on health sites - it is important that the designer ensures that the site is set up in such a way that users can find out the source of the content easily.

Copyright © 2007 - 2016 Hygeia Design | Design for the Health Community by June Kaminski, MSN PhD(c) - All rights reserved.