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New Media Newsletter


August Newsletter

Moving Mobile: HealthCare.gov leads the way

Today, 91 percent of American adults own a cell phone, more than half own a smartphone and approximately one-third own a tablet, according to a 2013 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.  One estimate from Cisco shows mobile Internet access surpassing land-line access by three times over the next five years.  

Americans are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access the Internet—and more specifically, to find answers to questions they have about their health.  According to Pew, 17 percent of cellphone owners have used their phones to look up health or medical information.

This summer, HealthCare.gov, the government site designed to guide Americans through new health care coverage options, relaunched to provide users with a seamless experience across seamless experience across all devices, such as phones, tablets and desktops.  When a user visits HealthCare.gov on their smartphone or tablet, the content is sized to fit their screen, showcasing only the information considered to be most important.

Healthcare.gov

On the smartphone-optimized homepage, users can immediately switch the language, click to learn more about health options, scroll through frequently asked questions or pull out a side bar to access more detailed and audience-specific information.  When a user switches to access the site through a tablet or desktop, the page design adjusts to feature additional information and a sign up functionality for users interested in joining the site listserv.

While mobile optimization can be an extensive process, organizations are beginning to recognize the value of being able to optimize their sites on the fly.  Today there are services, such as bMobilized, that allow organizations to convert their existing sites into mobile-optimized sites for free in just 30 seconds. To learn more, check out this recent article in The Entrepreneur.

TIPS OF THE MONTH

As Americans begin to search for health information on-the-go—43.5 percent of time spent on the Internet is from a mobile device—it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to optimize their websites for access from a smartphone or tablet.  There are steps organizations should take to ensure visitors have a seamless experience across all devices, such as phones, tablets and desktops. Below, you will find a few tips on important elements in any mobile optimization process.  For more information, read the full article on Social Media Examiner.

  1. Simplify. Determine the primary reasons people will visit your site and make those pages or resources the most prominent, so they are easy to find on even the smallest screen size. 

  2. Match branding elements. Ensure that the transition from desktop to mobile is as seamless as possible by keeping the color, design and branding the same across devices.

  3. Use white space. While it may be tempting to include as much information as possible on a small screen, refrain from overwhelming users.  White space can make a mobile site look cleaner and feel more inviting.

  4. Allow people to visit the full site.  As mobile content is simplified so readers can more easily digest it, it is important to provide links back to the website for those who want more information.

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