New Look and Feel for Redesigned AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web Sites
December 1, 2011
On December 1, AIDSinfo joins people and organizations worldwide in observing World AIDS Day. In keeping with this year’s theme—Leading with Science, Uniting for Action—AIDSinfo is pleased to release the redesigned AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web sites. These sister sites offer health care providers, researchers, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and others joined in the fight against HIV/AIDS science-based, federally approved information on HIV treatment and research, including medical practice guidelines and treatment and prevention research studies.
The amount of HIV/AIDS information on the AIDSinfo Web sites and the ways it is made available have grown greatly over the years. That growth prompted redesign of the sites to give them a harmonious look and feel and help users find information quickly and easily.
Redesign of the AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web sites began with research to better understand the needs of the sites’ users. User research for both sites included a Web-based survey and direct observation of volunteers using the sites (usability testing). The research identified three goals:
- Reorganization of content to make information on the sites easier to find
- Improvement and standardization of navigation to make the sites easier to use
- Tailoring of infoSIDA to reflect the needs of its primary audience—Spanish-speaking HIV-infected individuals, their family members and friends, and HIV case managers and outreach workers
AIDSinfo also considered Web design best practices before redesigning the sites. Design choices such as use of coloring, spacing, and photos are intended to make information more visible and improve the user experience.
The following sections detail the changes made to improve the organization and navigation of the AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web sites and to tailor infoSIDA to meet the needs of its primary audience.
Reorganized Content Makes it Easy to Find Information
A major goal of the redesign of AIDSinfo and infoSIDA was logical reorganization of content to make information easier to find. Changes to both sites include:
- Adding two new categories: Education Materials and Mobile Resources & Tools. Under these headings on the home page are links that give users one-click access to consumer resources such as the popular AIDSinfo HIV/AIDS Glossary and mobile applications.
- Providing links to popular AIDSinfo fact sheets throughout the sites. Multiple links make it easy to navigate to this information from more than one location rather than from just one page.
- More prominently displaying the HIV/AIDS news feed and AIDSinfo announcements on the home page.
- Providing links to mobile resources and social media tools (including Facebook and Twitter) throughout the Web sites to make these resources accessible from any page.
Improved Navigation Makes Sites Easy to Use
A second major goal of the redesign was to improve navigation to make the sites easier to use. Changes to both sites include:
- Creating a home page design that gives users a snapshot of the entire Web site and direct access to all of the content.
- Reducing the number of clicks necessary to access information anywhere on the site.
- Shortening category headers and descriptions to make it easier to locate and navigate to information.
- Adding roll-over menus to each of the six category tabs at the top of the page. When a user rolls the mouse over one of the tabs, the user sees a list or menu of all of the content within that category.
- Including search functionality within the roll-over menus to allow users to search for information without navigating away from the home page.
infoSIDA Tailored for Its Primary Audience
User research confirmed that AIDSinfo and infoSIDA have distinct audiences. The primary audience for AIDSinfo is health care providers accessing medical practice guidelines. The principal users of infoSIDA are Spanish-speaking HIV-infected individuals, their family members and friends, and HIV case managers and outreach workers. Therefore, an important goal of the infoSIDA redesign was to tailor the site to better meet the needs of that audience. Changes specific to infoSIDA include:
- Featuring Spanish-language Education Materials more prominently on the infoSIDA home page. User research indicated that the fact sheets and the HIV/AIDS Glossary are of greatest interest to the primary users of infoSIDA.
- Making medical practice guidelines less prominent on the infoSIDA home page because they are available only in English and health care providers are a secondary audience for infoSIDA.
- Creating a distinct Web address for infoSIDA—http://infoSIDA.nih.gov. Having a Web address separate from AIDSinfo will make it easier for Google and other search engines to index infoSIDA and provide reliable search results for people looking for Spanish-language HIV/AIDS treatment and research information.