Printer-Friendly Online Health Information


We ❤ how easy it’s become to access health information online. Just enter a symptom or disease into your favorite search engine and you’ll have the answers you want in no time.

But how do people without internet access get the information they need to take care of their health? The answer may warm your ❤.

In 2013, a study by Pew Research found that half of online health research is done on behalf of someone else. That means 1 in 2 online health searches are meant to help a family member or friend stay healthy and informed. And how do people searching on behalf of their loved ones get the information they’ve located to the person who needs it? Enter the printer.

That’s right — even if it feels a bit old school, don’t forget about people who may be printing out your online health content.

Here are a few options for ensuring printer-friendliness:

  • Follow all the basics of good web design. Use lots of white space, good color contrast, a clear content hierarchy, and images that enhance content.
  • Specify a print stylesheet — a unique stylesheet that will only be used when the browser requests to print the page.
  • Design your site with fluid, percentage-based widths. Since you don’t know if the user will be printing from a phone, tablet, or computer, you can’t count on a certain width for printing.
  • Make the print option obvious. Include a print button on every page to make printing quick and simple for the user.
  • If your site uses pagination, make sure that printing will override that — or give users a “view all pages” option.

The bottom line: Make your online health information printer-friendly. It’ll reach a lot more people that way.


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