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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2016 MARCH–APRIL No. 409


Redesigned Genetics Home Reference Web Site Offers New Look and Feel, Improved Navigation

Redesigned Genetics Home Reference Web Site Offers New Look and Feel, Improved Navigation. NLM Tech Bull. 2016 Mar-Apr;(409):b9.

2016 April 27 [posted]

[Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an announcement published on the NLM Web site on April 25, 2016. To be notified of announcements like this subscribe to the NLM-Announces email list.]

Launched by the National Library of Medicine in 2003, Genetics Home Reference, the Web site for consumer-friendly information about the effects of genetic variation on human health, has undergone a major makeover. The new site will officially launch on April 25, which is, appropriately, DNA Day and the 13th anniversary of Genetics Home Reference (see Figure 1).

Designed for patients, their families, and others with an interest in human genetics, Genetics Home Reference currently offers Web pages about more than 1,100 health conditions and diseases, more than 1,300 genes, all of the human chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). It also includes a richly illustrated genetics primer, Help Me Understand Genetics, which offers a basic explanation of how genes work and how mutations cause disorders. In addition, the site includes current information about genetic testing, gene therapy, genetics research, and precision medicine.

Genetics Home Reference has proved to be a trusted and widely searched source of information, seeing, on average, about 1.5 million visitors and 3.6 million page views each month.

However, the redesigned version of the site may result in even more visitors. The Genetics Home Reference redesign is based on feedback from an online customer satisfaction survey, with comments collected since November 2014. The most frequent suggestions for improvement include adding more images, updating the site’s look and feel, and changing the font.

These and other comments have been addressed, and features of the redesigned site include:

  • A redesigned home page for enhanced usability
  • Colors and icons that help distinguish the Web site’s different content areas
  • A dynamic list of new and updated content on the Web site
  • Streamlined navigation of health condition, gene, and chromosome pages, to make it easier to find information of interest
  • In-text links that improve navigation between related topics on Genetics Home Reference
  • Educational images from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources integrated into health condition summaries
  • Improved browser printing
  • Acknowledgment of more than 200 support and advocacy groups for their feedback on Web site content
  • Improved usability on mobile devices (mobile-responsive design)

screen shot of Redesigned Genetics Home Reference homepage
Figure 1: Redesigned Genetics Home Reference homepage.
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