Structure Sunday: The Structure of a Website and ….YOU

Just last week Google lowered the boom and decreed that sites that are not mobile friendly will suffer in search rankings. At first I felt a little threatened, but after a little research, I have discovered that it is all about….YOU! Yes you. As they say in TRON, “I fight for the users.”. 

I love nothing better than to come into a patient’s room and see her on a smartphone. Do you realize any garden variety smart phone of the present day is literally powerful enough to have run the entire Apollo space program that landed a man on the moon? A smartphone is a very powerful computer and almost every girl and woman I know has one, even the ones of modest means. It is fantastic. Not only do I remember the Apollo missions, but I remember the days when women did not touch technology, not even stereo components. 

Technology is empowering. Information is empowering and the whole world of information is at your fingertips. Patients read about diagnoses, medications, and communicate with others who share their experience. So it is with great satisfaction as I watch my patients as they not only use technology, but make it. I have in my practice graphic designers, filmmakers, website designers, software engineers and IT administrators. I do believe it is technology combined with the goodwill of people, that will solve many of the world’s problems and inequities. As a force in neutralizing gender inequalities, technology is formidable. 

In blogging, and in making this website, I have wanted to provide easy access to what I would like my patients to know. My education has made me  familiar with the best sources of medical knowledge, i.e. institutions like the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It has enabled me to tell the legitimate from the bogus. So I feel obliged and enthusiastic to give you all key to all the doors that lead to the best paths to all this valuable information. I want to make it easy, and I want to make it fun. Additionally, I want to make it beautiful. Perhaps this last goal is a universal desire for website designers of all genders, but I think a beautiful website is more welcoming to women. 

And that user experience, in short, is what Google’s directives have been all about. I see from my website analytics that over 50% of you view the site on mobile devices. Had I looked to author my site looked on mobile? Not enough! The main page was cluttered, the font was too small, links were too small to push and you had to scroll way too much. All this gave me a very bad mobile rating on Google. Plus, page loading times were a bit long, and I admit, that is because of the higher definition photos that I chose to upload. This was all a very unpleasant but useful revelation. I felt bad but grateful for all of you devoted readers on mobile who slogged through all of that. 

I read a great deal in Google’s website design and mobile responsive design guidelines. At their heart, the recommendations are meant to enable you, the user, to see the site clearly, and to get the information you want as conveniently as possible. It is all about enhancing the user experience. I spent this weekend changing things around, using fewer main pages, and tucking more within them, so now you will do more clicking and less scrolling. And I promise, if you have a little wait for a photo, it will be a good one. More mobile friendly changes are coming next week. I fight for the users! Those of you who really want to get your geek on can learn the origin of the phrase in this clip from the movie TRON Legacy.