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Homepage improvements

The new look of the NHS Choices homepage

NHS Choices has been up and running for more than three years and, thanks to your support, it has become the biggest and most visited health information website in Europe, with more than 100m visits in the past 12 months alone.

The site exists to meet health information needs not for doctors or policymakers but for you, the 52m people of England. It is your site and we constantly strive to improve it on your behalf based on the feedback you give us.

As part of this listening process we have designed an improved site homepage, pictured above, which  takes on board your feedback. It aims to provide:

  • A cleaner, “less cluttered” page that is easier to find your way around
  • A page that is more “personal” and responsive to your individual needs
  • A page that can be reorganised the way you want it

Many of you have helped us design, refine and test versions over the past few months. We are extremely grateful for this help and hope all our users will be pleased with the results.

We have sought to retain the page’s upbeat brightness and colour, while at the same time simplifying things to provide a more modular page which is easier to find your way around. We think the new look also better reflects the NHS brand.

A more personal page

Our research showed that users wanted the NHS Choices homepage to surface information more relevant to them as individuals. We have done this by adding a new “Customise this page” button.

 

Close-up of 'Customise this page' button

 



This allows anyone to enter some basic facts about themselves, such as their age, sex and postcode.

The site then uses this information to display headlines and articles more appropriate to you. For example, if you tell us you are woman, aged 25 and expecting a baby, we will make sure all the information you need to keep fit and well during pregnancy is prominently displayed.

Also, if you tell us what area of the country you are in and a health issue arises that is specific to that area – for example, a regional outbreak of the winter vomiting bug – we will highlight that for you too.

Reorganising the page

The improved page also allows you to move and reorder the individual elements as you see fit. For instance, if it is videos you are most interested in you can simply drag and drop that module to the top of the page. 

 

View of Video module being dragged on homepage

 



You can also minimise modules you are less interested in so that your homepage becomes even simpler still.

If you want to remove a module or modules altogether, simply go to the main control panel and deselect them.

We’ve also added a feature that allows users to edit individual modules. For example, if you would like the Comments module to display only comments on services in your area, just hit “Edit” and adjust it using the menus.

All modules allow some editing, whether it be adding blogs you are especially interested in to the Communities module, or adding a fast link to our Common health questions service from the main Health A-Z module.

A new page footer

Last, we have redesigned the homepage footer to make it easier for you to find other elements of the NHS Choices site and other NHS services. From here you can also now sign up for NHS Choices' e-newsletters in just a few simple clicks.



Further suggestions

Already many of you have helped refine the new-look homepage with your comments and feedback. If you have more ideas and suggestions please click the "Contact" link at the top of any page on the site and send them through. We will try our utmost to act on your ideas.

Last reviewed: 27/10/2010

Next review due: 26/10/2012