Summer is coming and it’s the time we hit the beach and the pool. Despite, or perhaps among, the yelling, giggling, and running children, swimming has been a favorite pastime for many, although not without risks. The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention is one among numerous organizations with websites dedicated to promoting awareness of safe swimming practices. The website encourages its visitors to take preventive measures against drowning. These include teaching your child to swim, watching children even when lifeguards are present, and not using floatation devices (e.g. noodles or arm wings) in place of lifejackets. Public Health professionals and health activists seeking to build awareness must establish an online presence in order to reach the majority of the population. According to the California Healthcare Foundation (2011), “80% of Internet users look online for health information”. If you decide to create a website for your health cause, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Consider using wireframe software
Wireframe software is a tool used by professionals to create wireframes. Wireframes are usually low-fidelity visualizations of a user interface, such as the user interface of a website or mobile app. Designers use wireframe software to initially decide how different components should be laid out in a user interface. Every house starts with a blueprint, and you can start your wireframe blueprint by using wireframe software. This blueprint will act as the basis for the other elements your website will have. Thus a wireframe’s foundations must be set before the wireframe “walls” or “siding” can come up. Using wireframe software can speed up the design process and reduce miscommunication between the designing party and the web developers. Some types of wireframe software offer simulation capabilities which allow users to “click-through” the wireframe as if it were functional.
2. Remember usability
If users cannot find information on your website, your attempt to bring awareness has not been effective. Therefore, knowing how your users will search on your website is just as important as the website content itself. You can find out user search patterns in a number of ways. One way is through usability testing. Usability testing can involve asking users to interact with a website prototype and then monitor and record their actions. Some types of wireframe software have usability testing incorporated into the tool itself which you can use to record user mouse clicks. With this information, you can then edit the wireframe to make it easier for future users to find information. It often helps to use a larger group of test users to ensure that your results are accurate for your target group.
By following these two simple tips, you can avoid numerous and sometimes costly changes in the development process. Wireframe software gives you a medium through which you can design and edit your wireframes. You can also carry out usability testing on your wireframes, sometimes through the wireframe software itself. With feedback from potential users, you will be able to optimize your website for better usability. As the summer rolls by and your website gets up and running, let us hope it becomes a resource for numerous children and parents and helps show them the precautions they should take for their own safety.
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