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Health Care Design Conference - 2013 Boston


About Me

Sandy Williams Hilfiker is a Principal at CommunicateHealth Inc., a health education and communication firm specializing in improving health literacy through user-centered design, audience research, and content development. She is a leading expert in the design and development of consumer health websites and e-health tools for users with limited health literacy skills and limited experience with the web. Sandy is a passionate advocate for user-centered design with over a decade of experience in health communication and usability research.

Q&A with Sandy

HxD asked speakers to tell us what inspires and drives them in healthcare and design. Check out our Q&A with Sandy Hilfiker!

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  • Q1: What is your burning mission in health?

    To provide people with access to understandable health information that can be used in their daily lives.

  • Q3: Why it inspires you?

    Health websites don’t have to be hard to use or just for people who are web-savvy!

  • Q4: What is your patient story?

    My current experience as a patient is as a mom of two young children (Mia—3 years old and Becket—14 months). Now that I have to navigate all of the child-hood illnesses (pink eye, hand-foot-and mouth disease, ear infections, etc.), immunizations, and wellness recommendations on their behalf, I am extremely aware of how overwhelming health information and the healthcare system can be. I have the tools and resources I need to find more information and get the care my children need, but many don’t have that luxury.

  • Q5: Why HxD?

    A great place to share and network with like-minded folks.

  • Q6: Why come to your session?

    It will be fun and interactive!

Sandy at the Conference

CONFERENCE | Monday, March 25

Reader-Centered Design for Health Communication

Both public and private institutions are using the Internet and other Web based tools to streamline the delivery of health information and connect people and services in exciting new ways. Yet the transition to online health information and services poses a unique set of challenges for web users with limited health literacy skills or limited experience on the Internet. For many of these users, the web is stressful and overwhelming — even inaccessible. Much of this stress is the result of complex health content and poorly designed web sites.

The presenters have designed and tested health Web sites and interactive tools using the strategies outlined in Health Literacy Online (edited by CommunicateHealth co-founders). The presentation will include examples and case studies, with a focus on content developed for audiences with limited health literacy skills. Key topics will include:

  • Writing clear and actionable content
  • Displaying content clearly on a web page
  • Simplifying navigation
  • Creating a strong visual hierarchy with typography
  • Choosing readable fonts

"Last year's HxD conference was so amazingly inspiring, and has definitely caused me to strive harder and become more passionate about improving our healthcare system." - 2012 HxD Attendee

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Watch the 2012 HXD Conference Recap