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Findability in health information websites

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3 Author(s)
Samuel, H.W. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada ; Zaiane, O.R. ; Zaiane, J.R.

In this study, we investigate how health information consumers locate content on health information websites. Preliminary results show that there is room for improvement in terms of finding specific content on health websites, that is, findability. We focus on and identify usability issues with three key aspects of health websites: search box, navigation menu, and home page. Results are based on a population sample of users with varied backgrounds, familiarity with medical terms, and a diversified range of question types. Consumer trends in looking up information demonstrate that using the search box is the method of choice, while navigation menus and links on the home page are not effectively being utilized. Ultimately, we propose possible solutions aimed at improving the overall quality of health information websites, such as faceted search, metaphor exploration, multi-dimensional views, and trending topics.

Published in:

Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI), 2012 IEEE-EMBS International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-7 Jan. 2012