Creating Usable, Useful Health Websites for Readers as All Levels

Health Literacy Out Loud

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, (HLOL #34), host Helen Osborne interviews health literacy consultant Stacy Robinson about (1) how people with limited literacy skills, health literacy skills, or limited time use online health information, (2) what is different when communicating about wellness and prevention (health promotion) versus communicating about diagnosis and treatment (health care), and (3) ways to design health content so that Web users can, and will, take action.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs

A one-stop source for user experience best practices and strategies. Learn the basics of the user experience by reading overviews and understanding the benefits. Create useful and usable content by planning the creation, delivery, and governance models behind it. Develop project management skills focusing on planning and organizing a project and its resources. Also learn how to use images, coloring, fonts, and other elements to create the look and feel. Templates, downloadable documents, multimedia trainings, as well as guidance and government-specific resources are also available.

Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Sites

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)



A researched-based “how-to” guide for creating health websites and web content for the millions of Americans with limited literacy skills and limited experience using the Web. The strategies in this guide complement accepted principles of good web design and thus have the potential to improve the online experience for all users, regardless of literacy skills. This guide is written for Web designers, Web content specialists, and other public health communication professionals. It offers an overview of how to (1) deliver online health information that is actionable and engaging, (2) create a health Website that’s easy to use, particularly for people with limited literacy skills and limited experience using the Web, (3) evaluate and improve your health Website with user-centered design.

Five Guidelines for Developing Customer-Friendly Websites

The Maximus Center for Health Literacy

Hard-to-find or hard-to-use web pages are missed opportunities for sharing information. This manual includes guidelines on, how to make your site easy to find, how to create a clean and uncluttered design, how to write for your clients, how to provide clear pathways for user tasks, and how to conduct usability testing throughout development. Use this resource to improve your chances of creating a site that is visible, useful, and pleasing to read. Each guideline is accompanied with examples and pictures.