Anatomy of the Best Website Designs for Disseminating Public Health Messages

I have used many websites for my day-to-day practice as a pharmacist, a diabetes educator, and a public health student practitioner. Due to my area of interest, I visit diabetes-related websites the most. Among all of the diabetes websites, I use the site created by American Diabetes Association the most. As a result, I would like to use this website as an example to show and tell the best website design practices for nonprofits.

Heather Mansfield recommends some website design strategies/best practices in her book A How-To Guide for Nonprofits Social Media for Social Good.

  1. Have a simple, visually powerful web home page design: The key is to have large, powerful images with minimal text.

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  1. Have a consistent design throughout all secondary navigation and content pages: Layout and color scheme should be consistent in all content pages.

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  1. Format text for easy reading: Keep bullet point content short and avoid long pages.

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  1. Set two-column layout as the limit: One column will take 2/3 of the page layout for content stories, and the other 1/3 is for secondary navigation and graphics for campaigns.

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  1. Use page titles that would increase search engine optimization: Every page of the website should have a unique title.

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  1. Include subscribe to e-newsletter and group text messaging functionality: These functionalities should be featured on every page.
  1. Include social media icons or graphics: Social media fans and followers will come directly from clicks on social media icons placed on the website along with “Follow Us” pitches.
  1. Have a “Donate Now” button on every page: This button should be in close proximity to social media icons and “Subscribe” buttons.

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Of course, there are many paths leading to an attractive website that will retain your audience. When in doubt, it might be a good idea to consider the tips provided by Heather Mansfield to enhance your website in order to reach out to your target population.

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4 thoughts on “Anatomy of the Best Website Designs for Disseminating Public Health Messages

  1. Clipper,

    I found this blog very useful with easy steps to follow. Great use of picture as an example to further showcase the content. I agree with you that the look of the website is crucial to engage audiences. I personally get so frustrated when go on a webpage and constantly have to look for things, and hidden content. My only suggestion is to add a catchy pictures at the very top of your page.

  2. Hi Clipper,
    Well done on this post. The title was catchy and I really like the approach you took to discuss best practices for a website design in public health. The list of points you chose were great, it was clear, succinct and I think would be really helpful to someone who is thinking of designing a website. I liked your use of the images to illustrate your points. I recently found our you can select an image option that open it in a new tab rather than navigating away from your post. You might find that helpful.
    The numbered list was good but I would also like to see keywords highlighted for someone scanning the post for advice and material to catch their eye. Adding some hyperlinks to other useful resources for those wishing to learn more would be a useful. You could include a link or video to one of the web design resources from the week’s materials, again for anyone wishing to take the next steps.
    I agree with Sarah that an eye catching feature image would also look good.
    Well done on your post.

  3. Hi Clipper,
    Your post presents useful information on web design. I share the same interest as you in regards to Diabetes education and find myself going to the The American Diabetes Association page constantly in oder to get helpful information that I can pass along to the participants of our program. I have not promoted the web page to them but I think I will start doing so as it is a great source of information and as you point out the page has a user friendly design. I don’t know if you noticed it but the website was redesigned, I remember last year the page had some sections that had a lot of writing and minimal images. One thing I would like more about the ADA page is that they have access to PDF educational documents that can be downloaded and shared.

  4. VERY useful tips! The ones that are extremely important to me are simplicity and consistency. I hate complicated websites with too much text. I also hate having buttons in different areas each time I navigate to a different page. I automatically think: PASS! The navigation buttons on ANY website should always have the same placement on every page. Overall, this is a great how-to!

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