How are you reading this right post now, dear reader? On a laptop? A smartphone? Your refrigerator, perhaps? Okay, probably not on your refrigerator, but you never know. Much in the way we can’t predict a person’s health literacy skills, it’s pretty much impossible to predict the device that users will be accessing health websites on these days.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to make sure your website will work well for all users on all their devices. Check out our tips.
- Test your site on a variety of devices. It seems like everything has a screen now (see above-referenced refrigerator) — and that means a lot of different screen sizes. Checking your site on a variety of screens can help troubleshoot problems before you get too far into site development.
- Content is king (and queen!). Remember that your content is the most important part of your site. So when you’re looking at your site on various screen sizes, pay special attention to how the content looks. Does anything important disappear on a small screen? Prioritize fixing that before fine-tuning the fancier design elements.
- Keep connection speed in mind. Internet speeds can vary a lot, so be sure to test your site with slower-than-ideal connection speeds. You don’t want someone to get frustrated and leave your site because the homepage is taking too long to load.
- Design for easy clicking. When designing buttons and links, remember that people might be clicking with lots of things — trackpads, mice (mouses?), tiny fingers, or giant thumbs. Will your elegant-yet-miniscule buttons be easy to tap on mobile screens? Probably not — so shoot for large, clearly-defined targets.
The bottom line: Design your website so people can read your content on a smart toaster in a remote mountain town. (We may get there sooner than you think.)
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