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Nowadays healthcare is essential for all people to be healthy and majority of people search the information regarding the healthcare from the websites. The healthcare websites can support the people to get the knowledge and information regarding the healthcare. The reason why people find the healthcare information from the websites is they can be available all healthcare information easily and quickly by virtue of the websites. To justify the usability issues, www.healthline.com is referenced and my studies on this paper is the impact of information architecture-what are user needs, what cognitive framework are needed, how users interact with the system and how interface of the site should be designed to appropriate with mental model.
Information Architecture (IA) is the skill of description a model or concept of information used in actions that need to definite the details of the complex systems. Rosenfeld describes the IA makeup as the linking of three main components: users (who they are, what their information seeking behaviors and needs are), content (formats, metadata, structure) and context (culture, resources constraints).
As a matter of fact, the important role of information architecture is usability because majority of people search the information from the websites as a useful source. So, the usability is becoming the significant success aspect of the websites. Usability of the system can provide the users to reach their specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction. To achieve the usability in the web, we need to know and consider about the user mental/ cognitive aspects (abstract) that includes attention (structure of information and using colors) and memory (short-term memory, long-term memory and iconic memory including sensory stores-visual and auditory). Good information architecture depends on the necessary groundwork for an information system that can provide the sense to users. To achieve the well-design interaction of the website, we need to structure the effectiveness and simple navigation design, content categorization and searching system.
The healthcare domain is chosen for my study as main focusing source and www.healthline.com is studied for understanding the usability of information architecture. This paper is represented to know about that how the users and system interact to get the desired information and how healthcare website navigates the interaction design by viewing the healthcare website ( www.healthline.com ).
Related Studies based on Healthcare Website (www.healthline.com)
The healthcare website (www.healthline.com) is chosen for my study to achieve the clear understanding of usability of information architecture because it is based on the healthcare services and the users can get the great satisfaction due to the usability of the site. According to my assumption, this healthcare website is justified depending on the usability.
Figure1: Home Page
Focusing on Users
In this website, the main users are people who want to know about the healthcare information, patients who are not suffer the disease seriously, patient family, nurses, doctors and medical students.
1.2. Usersâ€™ mental/cognitive aspects
There is the flash file in the top-left and right panel of the home page to give the users about the new healthcare information, new disease symptoms, and prevention in this website. Font, page layout and color are very comfortable for users.
In this website, diseases, treatments, supplements, drugs and symptoms are categorized according to the alphabetic so this categorization can provide to improve the usersâ€™ short term memory. For usersâ€™ long term memory, there is search system in the top of the healthcare website can make users recall their memory. In addition, in the healthcare website, there are videos and images as for the usersâ€™ iconic memory.
1.3. Interaction Design
1.3.1. Navigation System
There is the global navigation, local navigation and contextual navigation but no network navigation in this healthcare website. The global navigation in this website is the top of the site and it indicates the users that where they are in the website and how they can go somewhere else for example: home, health A to Z, healthy living, check your symptoms, find doctor and so on. The local navigation is a type of navigation where choices guide to subtopic of the main menu topic for instance: featured, family health, healthy lifestyle and living with etc. There is also contextual navigation in this site such as breast cancer awareness, guide to better sleep, healthy sex, heart health and eyes and vision problems. Furthermore, this healthcare website provides the breadcrumb navigation that shows the path users go through the site and the place where the users reach now in the site for example- home: healthy living: featured healthy living content.
Figure2: Healthy Living Page
There is good categorization in this site based on the healthcare information for example diseases, symptoms, treatments and so on.
This healthcare website provides the search system for users to search the information easily and quickly. The search system is provided in two positions of the site. The search system of the site is rather clear so users can easy to use and easy to learn how to search the desired information. The site provides the search interface by box as well as sub-search titles is located under the box.
1.4. Suggestion on Improvement
Although the design of the site is really well-structured, some things are needed in this website. The network navigation is not available in this site. In fact, there should be network navigation for users because sometimes users want to know about hospitals and the services of hospital. If there is network navigation, users can search this all information by linking with other sites. There is no left panel in this site as well as all information is located in the home page of this site that can make the users confuse to search information. The global navigation of this site is consistent and so clear as well as categorization is comfortable and easy to use for users. The font size and color used in this site is convenient for all users.
This paper is concluded that the site should care to locate the information in the site and there should be left panel in the home page. According to my related study of www.healthline.com based on the usability issues, the global navigation of site is consistent and it can support the users to be comfortable and to reach their desire goal. Moreover, the categorization of the site is so clear and convenient for all users to search the healthcare information. The main dissatisfaction of this site is that the home page is so complex and cluster with content as well as home page is so long and users need to use scroll bar to read all content of the site that can made the users be disappointed. My suggestion for www.healthline.com development is that they need to more emphasize on the usability of the site based on the information architecture.