ODPHP Project Reading Room
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.
- Spring: In partnership with the White House
Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the Office of Minority
Health (HHS), and the American Public Health Association's Asian Pacific
Islander Caucus, ODPHP improved access to health information for Asian
Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. A revised
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander section was
May 13, 2003, by HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. The user-friendly Web
site brings together multilingual information in Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Korean,
Laotian, Samoan, Thai, Tongan, and Vietnamese. Lessons learned from
extensive interviews and usability tests with community leaders from around
the Nation are available in a report entitled Understanding Our Users: How to
Better Deliver Online Health Information to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians,
and Other Pacific Islanders.
- Fall: In partnership with Indian Health
Service (HHS), Office of Minority Health (HHS), the American Public Health
Associations American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Caucus, and
the National Museum of American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, ODPHP improved
access to health information for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The
American Indian and Alaska Native section was
announced November 7, 2002, by HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.
Lessons learned from extensive interviews and usability tests in Alaska,
Arizona, and Colorado with American Indian and Alaska Native community
leaders, patients, and students are available in a report entitled
Understanding Our Users: How to Better Deliver Online Health Information to
American Indians and Alaska Natives.
online survey based on the
American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) was conducted on the site.
- December: Usability testing
with general audiences of the anthrax and bioterrorism pages of the current
healthfinder site and the Surgeon Generals 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
Marys 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
español 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
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
- 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
- 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.
May 16, 2007