ODPHP - Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)
Office of Public Health and Science
Office of the Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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healthfinder.gov Evaluation Summary

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has conducted frequent evaluation activities on www.healthfinder.gov and other Web sites that ODPHP supports. 




  • December: Usability testing with general audiences of the anthrax and bioterrorism pages of the current healthfinder site and the Surgeon General’s site was conducted.
  • Summer:  To enhance the usefulness of the Spanish language section of healthfinder, ODPHP conducted focus groups (one with staff, another with Hispanic teens) and mini-usability tests with patients done in the waiting room of Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Health.  Patients had an opportunity to take part in our design process while we taught them how to use the Internet and healthfinder.  Most patients were first time users of the Internet but quickly learned how to use the site and thought it was easy to follow, clear and user-friendly.  The expanded espaƱol sub-site was released in September 2001.
  • June:  ODPHP released the current version of www.healthfinder.gov; the new design, which was based on the evaluation completed in 2000, included a new site and database architecture, interactive features, a hierarchical thesaurus, and advanced searching and filtering tools for users.


  • December:  A new sub-site called healthfinder KIDS, targeted to ages 8-12, was released after focus groups and mini-usability tests at local elementary schools and after school programs.
  • Summer:  The beta version of the main healthfinder.gov site was tested through mall intercepts, expert reviews (Molly Holzschlag, Robert Bailey, and Bud Kraus), usability tests (with the assistance of the Communication Technologies Branch of the National Cancer Institute), online comments, and card sorting. 
  • Spring:  The alpha version of the main healthfinder.gov site was made available to selected consumer users, health professionals, and design professionals.  This version incorporated an online comment application that allowed testers to enter comments at any point within the site and associate them with specific pages and functions. 


Methods used in the complete evaluation of www.healthfinder.gov conducted during 1999 included:

  • An online survey of actual users of the live Web site (12,000 responses; user satisfaction >95%),
  • Focus groups:
    • One online, representing visually impaired users,
    • Four face-to-face on the English site, representing persons older than 65, high school graduates, college graduates, and African Americans, and
    • Four face-to-face on the Spanish section of the site, representing Hispanic high school graduates, senior citizens, adults without high school diploma, and youth.
  • Questions on an omnibus survey,
  • Expert reviews on the English site (Keith Instone, Molly Holzschlag, Nancy Lorenzi, Barbara Holt) and the Spanish section (Julia Puebla Fortier and Isabel Goldenberg).
  • An assessment of backward compatibility with older Web browsers. 


Web site accessibility


Updated May 16, 2007