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JofH Ethics Logo This website
follows the HON Code of Conduct
Leaving Site, the AMA's
Guidelines for Medical & Health Information Sites
on the Internet
Leaving Site
and the eHealth Code of Ethics Leaving Site.

Site created with Zope. Zope Logo

. .

~ 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 Process
The resource for reorganizing the site, Zope, 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 site.

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.

The Changes
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:

  • 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 sites.
    • 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) information.
  • 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 Healing Place
    • 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.
  • Update Terms of Use, Privacy and Copyright Policies.
    • Include a policy for conducting future research on the site
  • 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:
    • Search Engine
    • E-mail "Tell a Friend"
    • Postcard site
    • Message Forum
    • Potential Surveys
  • Remove advertising banners.
    • Create our own Message Forum.
    • Create our own Postcard site.
  • Address Affiliate Status
    • Change Book Affiliate Status to 
    • Continute CDNow  as long as including links to old Journey of Hearts pages.
Comments on the Changes
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 at

Journey 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.......

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Information on this site is designed to support, not replace, an existing physician-patient, provider-patient relationship. We regret that we are unable to answer any specific medical, mental or health related emails. Please contact your health care provider if you need specific questions answered. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement.
All material, unless otherwise specified, is © 1997-2003 by Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS of Journey of Hearts. Information on this site may be shared with others, but not in for-profit ventures without permission.
For more information see our full Copyright.

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Last update July 20, 2002