When Health-Hop came to me to talk about the redesign of their website I was intrigued. I had never worked on a medical orientated project before and was keen to immerse myself in another sector. The project itself was a learning curve and an education.

Health-Hop are a friendly group who offer services for the local community and the general public. Focused on educating the multi-cultral population of Australia with the ways to approach the medical system. The problem they had was that their existing website was too hard to maintain, make changes and update. The website design worked well however and we agreed that it was best if the overall simplistic theme of the website stayed the same.

The top priority was usability for administrators. This meant using a Content Management System (CMS) to display and organise all of the content that the website needed to house. CMS's are known for their ease of use but I wanted to ensure that support would be easy to find if any of the Health-Hop admins ran into any trouble. With this in mind WordPress was selected as the CMS to use as it has a great deal of support and troubleshooting documentation.

With the CMS decided on it was time to create a custom WordPress theme to display the website design. While this was quite straight forward it gave me the opportunity to build in some of the website's functionality. Specifically I wanted to remove the monotonous and complex tasks and display them in more user friendly and intuitive way.

An area of improvement came up in the early discussions about the website. The secondary navigation panel was notoriously hard to understand which often made it function poorly after an update. Giving it an easy to use Graphic User Interface with custom settings was the way to go. It removed the issues of complexity and also allowed the users to customize the secondary navigation panel as they wanted.

Health-Hop custom settings page

I integrated the Graphic User Interface right into WordPress to ensure that it was quick and easy to find. I segregated the complex icon system into parts. This allowed me to sepratley define the icon and the icon's size which was previously joint. I also imported the Spectrum library to handle the color selection aspect - removing the need to understand the hexidecimal colouring system that CSS uses.

With the complexity and customization aspects completed the last thing to do was to convert the website to a responsive design. The designs for desktop, iPad landscape, iPad portrait and mobile phones were created and implemented. Ensuring that Health-Hop's demographic could access the site no matter what device they used was paramount considering the large amount of users they were targetting.

The end result was a website that was first and foremost all about useability. Health-Hop has since taken ownership of the site, managing both the content and the media. The experience for me was one of much learning. I learnt a great deal about the medical sector, the people that work in it and how the sector operates. The project was a lot of fun and I look forward to working with Health-Hop in the future.