~ Redesign ~
The Idea - Redesigning
After over four years on the Internet, the Journey
of Hearts™ website has been
in need of updating, expanding and renovating. This has been a concern
expressed by many of the visitors to the site, especially the desire to
see more new information. Fortunately, much of the information on grief
and loss is timeless so the main content on grief and loss created for
the original version of the site is still accurate, informative and relevant.
The Scope of the Project
Revising Journey of Hearts,™
a website that was created, designed, hosted, maintained and funded by
a few very committed individuals has been no small undertaking. With over
600 pages on the site, 300+ links to outside resources, 8 major sections
and an estimation of 3,000 + voluntary hours to complete the initial version,
we have spent nearly two years carefully considering the options, looking
for the best (free) resource to re-organize the site, and waiting for the
available free time and the opportunity to implement the changes.
The resource for reorganizing the site,
was discovered in the Fall of 1999. At this time the free open source program
was still in it's infancy stages. With the passage of time this resource has gotten more
reliable and user friendly, so it became a tool we could use to re-organize
The opportunity for starting the process presented
itself in the Consumer Healthcare Informatics course, Comsumer Health Informatics
MINF 520, that I took in the Spring 2001 as part of the OHSU Distant Learning
Medical Informatics Graduate Program. I am grateful to Dr. Zoë Stavri
for approving the redesign of this web resource as my class project. I
was able to spend some time, researching webdesign, the changes that had
occurred over the years, and critically evaluating Journey of Hearts™
for what should be changed. I am indebted to my fellow graduate students and several trusted friends
who were the first reviewers helping to take with the usability study in
the critical early period of the redesign phase. Their input was invaluable
for determining the usability of the initial redesign and making changes
early on in the process.
The majority of the initial redesign of the site,
including site layout, color schemes, changes in types of content to be
included was completed by early Summer 2001. The redesign process was put
on hold as the Summer 2001 was spent preparing lectures, course materials
and syllabus for the August "Somatic Aspects of Grief and Loss" course
with the U.C. Berkeley Extension.
Plans for beginning the major conversion of materials
phase were scheduled for September, then September 11, 2001 occurred. Instead
of revising the site, we opted for to create new materials for the existing
site, "9-11: United in Courage & Grief"
being in a position to aid in the nation's healing process by helping explain
the emotional response to loss. The site saw a large increase in users
in the months immediately following the tragedy.
Knowing that actually implementing the proposed
changes to the site would take hundreds of hours of focused time,
I opted not to take Graduate courses this past fall and winter, to have
the available time for writing, revising, designing and recreating Journey
of Hearts.™ The major incentive
for completing the redesign by the end of March 2002 has been the anticipated
arrival of my second child. It is anticipated that the redesign process itself
will take between 1,000 - 2,000 volunteered hours.
After researching the changes in website design,
privacy issues and copyright laws, guidelines developed for medical and
healthcare sites on the Internet, emergence of Medical Internet ethics
that have occurred over the last several years combined with input of the
site for the MINF 520 course, we determined there were several major changes
and many minor ones that needed to be implemented in the new version of
Journey of Hearts.™
The following changes have been or are in the
process of being implemented:
Comments on the Changes
Redesign the overall "template."
Create a new non-framed version that is easier to
maintain and still provides the organizational benefits of frames.
Remove confusion for visitors created with the framed
version not realizing that some of the links lead to information on other
Without frames pages are now bookmarkable.
Develop a usability survey to assess changes to the
site early in the planning stages.
Utilize Zope Hosting,
web applications to organize the "back end." This system has enable better
management and improved on the sustainability of the site.
Emphasize our own original content developed and
wrtten in the four years of writing and presenting papers or lectures about
Journey of Hearts,™ the Medical
Internet as well as the topics of grief and loss.
Provide "Printer Friendly" versions of pertainate
articles and/or information.
Provide access to papers, lectures, and articles
about Journey of Hearts™
Convert or remove many of the date specific (past)
Focus on providing education to help site visitors
and users understand the grief response.
- Define Grief AIDEs
information, techniques for coping, resources, and links to other
websites to increase Awareness, Identify signs and symptoms
of the grief response, Diagnose the grief response, and Educate
patients, the public and colleagues in healthcare field to help normalize
the grief response.
Aim for creating shorter initial pages with links
to others for more information.
Develop an overall Sitemap
that details all of the sections, subsections and pages.
Devise Navigation suggestions
for specific types of visitors to the site: grieving users, friends, family
members & co-workers, general users, and professionals.
Develop a rating system and way of classifing external
resources for Resource Section.
Create a new section - A
This section contains a selection of quotes and calming
or uplifting images images to be used as a place for remembering, reflecting,
healing and stress reduction.
Created to pull together much of the images and color
components so important in the healing process of grief and utilized in
the original design of the site.
Way of utilizing quotes, and portions of lyrics,
poems without having as much concerns about copyright issues.
Include a policy for conducting future research on
Indicate external links with arrow graphic ,
Anticipate this will help to minimize the confusion
seen with the framed version regarding what is Journey of Hearts™
and what is something else.
Utilize free scripts to create our own:
E-mail "Tell a Friend"
Remove advertising banners.
Create our own Message Forum.
Create our own Postcard site.
Address Affiliate Status
Change Book Affiliate Status to Amazon.com
as long as including links to old Journey of Hearts™
We would like to thank the visitors for their
continued support of the Journey of Hearts site. Visitors to the site are
encouraged to let us know what they feel about the changes. Comments about
the changes to the site are welcome and can be sent to the Domain Designer
of Hearts has been a wonderful help in my ministry. It is touching and
meaningful. These words of comfort will bring a peace to those who need
it most. You can't possibly know all the peace that your site had brought
to those are so desperately searching for an answer that eludes us all...temporarily
Thank you for your wonderful
mission. In peace and hope.......
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
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