Web Audit Usability Testing of CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis Website

Geographic Scope: Nationwide

Client(s): IQ Solutions

Services: Health Communication, Health Systems Transformation

Technical Expertise: Population Health


Viral hepatitis remains an important public health threat in the United States and around the globe. The World Health Organization reported that viral hepatitis was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2013 and estimates 19 million hepatitis-related deaths from 2015 to 2030. Although treatment is available to reduce symptoms and prevent deaths, prevention of new infections is essential to reducing the burden of this disease.

John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and IQ Solutions (IQS) are helping DVH to create a website that is accurate, consistent, updated, user-friendly, and targeted. Specifically, the IQS/JSI team will provide an expert heuristic review and report outlining at least five areas in which the DVH website could be improved, develop an evaluation plan listing the metrics used to evaluate usability and the methods used gather and evaluate the metrics, perform usability on the DVH website with different users, and provide recommendations, based upon the usability testing, in which the website could be improved.

To support this effort, JSI will conduct usability testing to observe users’ experience with the DVH website to ensure that the website functions as intended and meets the needs and goals of its consumer and stakeholder audiences. Usability testing offers an opportunity to collect useful, actionable recommendations for improving the site’s user interface and user experience. Tests will focus on the quality of the users’ interactions with the website, their satisfaction with the interface and navigation, and the ease with which they find the information they seek.

Recognizing that an increasing number of people use their mobile phones or tablets to access websites, JSI will employ a mobile-first approach to create testing environments for both laptop and mobile users. For each problem identified through observation and qualitative and quantitative data captured during the usability testing, the IQS/JSI team will provide a recommended correction along with the problem’s priority ranking based on the severity rating. The recommendations will focus on ensuring that the DVH website is accurate, consistent, updated, user-friendly, and targeted.