University Health Care goes mobile

Todd Vandenbark

If you visit the University of Utah’s Health Care website via a mobile device (iPhone, iPod touch, Android, etc.), you are automatically redirected to their mobile site. The home page of this site fits neatly on a single screen, and offers information about the hospital and links to several helpful features:

  • Need to find a physician? With a few taps you can by physician name, specialty, disease or treatment, or browse by department or specialty.
  • Need to locate the nearest clinic? Just tap to search by clinic name, city, or specialty. Nearby pharmacies can be located in a similar manner.
  • Have a general health information question? Tap to enter their “Adult Health Library” or “Pediatric Health Library” and browse from several dozen general topic areas – from allergies and asthma to surgery and more.

This site is integrated with smartphone features like one-touch dialing and location mapping tools, and sports the familiar icons for Twitter and Facebook, inviting visitors to become fans of this top-notch healthcare system.

While this site is concise, clean, easy to read and navigate, it faces the same challenges that libraries and other organizations struggle with in this small-screen medium, such as presenting complex information, and labeling and organization.

While it is best for headings to be as concise as possible, being too terse can lead to humorous results. If one taps on the “Health Information” link, the next page is titled “Diseases and Conditions.” The options on this page lead one to observe (tongue-in-cheek) that “Adult Health Library” and “Pediatric Health Library” are each either a disease or a condition.

Browse to the health information topic on bleaching your teeth (Health Information -> Adult Health Library -> Oral Health -> Bleaching), and a table of useful information on who may or may not benefit from this procedure breaks. The headings appear presented in a vertical list while the table’s contents appear in a very narrow, three-column bulleted list.

With the proliferation of mobile devices capable of browsing the web, any organization that wants to stay relevant needs to create user-friendly sites for these visitors.

What do you think? Is this a site you would use? Add your comments and tell us!