Evaluating the Design of Two Government and Two Non-Government HIV/AIDS Websites

By Rupananda Misra and Barbara C. Wallace.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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HIV/AIDs infections continue at a high level with about 56,300 Americans becoming infected with HIV each year, while over a million people are living with HIV in the US. Of that number, about one in five people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is not aware of his or her infection. This poses a major problem not just in the prevention of the disease, but also for improving the health of PLWHA. Health websites increasingly serve as a significant platform for the delivery of public health information. The current research study investigated the design of health websites. This study involved the construction of a new online instrument for having participants’ (N=200) evaluate the design of two government and two nongovernment HIV/AIDS websites. The highest rated features across all four websites involve the websites’ level of health literacy. There were also significant differences in the design of the government and the non-government websites. In terms of multimodal features, the results show that the participants rated the two non-government websites higher than the two government websites.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Healthcare, Health, Health Communication, Global Health, Healthcare Websites, Design, User-centered Design, Human Factors, Web User Perception, User Expectations, User Evaluation

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.99-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 818.429KB).

Dr. Rupananda Misra

Adjunct Associate Professor, Interactive Media & Web Design, Art Institute of Philadelphia , Perley Isaac School of Journalism, West Virginia University, Department of Computing and Security Technology, Goodwin College, Drexel University, Perkasie, PA, USA

Dr. Misra is a professor in the department of Web Design and Interactive Media at The Art Institute of Philadelphia as well as an adjunct faculty in the department of Learning Technologies at Drexel University. Other than teaching media based and learning sciences related courses, he has also taught Healthcare Communication course for West Virginia University. His doctoral dissertation at Columbia University focused on health communication. His post doctoral work at Columbia University focused on exploring how design principles can contribute to the efficacy of health communication. His research interests are to explore possibilities of how design and presentation modalities can be effectively used in the domains of education, health, and communication - delivered in a variety of formats: websites, tablet computers, smart phones, interactive TV, gaming consoles, etc.

Barbara C. Wallace

Professor, Director, Research Group on Disparities in Health, Licensed Psychologist, and Professor of Health Education, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 114, 525 West 120th Street NY, NY 10027, Columbia University, New York CIty, New York, USA

Dr. Barbara Wallace is a Psychologist, tenured Professor of Health Education, Director of the Research Group on Disparities in Health, as well as Director of the Global HELP – Health and Education Leadership Program, within the Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a Fellow within Divisions 50 (Addictive Behaviors) and 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues) of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Wallace is also author of Making Mandated Addiction Treatment Work (2005, Rowman and Littlefield) and editor of Toward Equity in Health A New Global Approach to Health Disparities (2008, Springer)—as two of her more recent books. Dr. Wallace is interested in integrating evidence-based curricula with web-based multi-media educational technology as a new twenty-first century approach to health promotion and disease prevention.