Behind The Curtain

Shots Blog Redesign Proves To Be Successful

NPR currently presents health stories in a blog called "Shots." Presenting the information in a different, non-news story way, Shots provides current and breaking news on personal health, public health, and health policy.

Recently Shots underwent a redesign to provide the news and information in a clearer and more conversational way. Not long after the re-launching, we conducted a survey to find out readers' reactions to the site and if there were issues in navigating the site or its content. The results were not shocking...not in the least bit.

Just about 87 percent of readers who responded to the survey claimed that they were satisfied with the blog. Digging deeper into the results we found that the content of the stories and the organization of the page were the primary drivers of that satisfaction. In other words, the redesign worked!

We asked some follow-up questions to see if survey respondents were telling us one thing but then doing something else. Did the site mislead anyone? Did it offer bad story content? Were they just bored out of their minds and they didn't have the heart to tell us? Nope! Almost every comment centered on very minor details such as font size, color, and slight adjustment to paragraph placement.

In terms of navigation, Shots scored well with 82% saying that it was "easy" to locate what they needed to find. Readers found what they needed and located the important details. We also asked specific questions about individual pieces of the site, to find out if the menu navigation was understood as we intended. Nearly everyone understood the individual pieces of the site and clicked through them without any trouble.

Overall the blog is riding high. Comments such as "[Shots] puts everything in layman's terms without dumbing down," and "It achieves objectivity and relevance that is typical of NPR, which other health blogs lack," permeated the blog evaluation comments. Nearly 40 percent felt that Shots was one of the best health blogs.

Congrats on the successful redesign and here's to many more years of success.

Scott Vanderbilt is the research manager for Digital Media and Emerging Platforms.

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