Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Web design


User-centred design (UCD) is a type of user interface design in which the needs and desires of users are taken into account at each stage of the design process for a service or product; often for software applications and websites. Its goal is to facilitate the design of software that is both useful and easy to use. To achieve this, you must characterise users' requirements, design suitable interactions to meet their needs, and test your designs using prototypes and real life scenarios.For bioinformatics, there is little practical information available regarding how to carry out UCD in practice. To address this we describe a complete, multi-stage UCD process used for creating a new bioinformatics resource for integrating enzyme information, called the Enzyme Portal ( This freely-available service mines and displays data about proteins with enzymatic activity from public repositories via a single search, and includes biochemical reactions, biological pathways, small molecule chemistry, disease information, 3D protein structures and relevant scientific literature.We employed several UCD techniques, including: persona development, interviews, ‘canvas sort’ card sorting, user workflows, usability testing and others. Our hope is that this case study will motivate the reader to apply similar UCD approaches to their own software design for bioinformatics. Indeed, we found the benefits included more effective decision-making for design ideas and technologies; enhanced team-working and communication; cost effectiveness; and ultimately a service that more closely meets the needs of our target audience.

Concepts: Protein, Design, Graphic design, User interface, Usability, Experience design, Software design, Web design


This study was designed to assess the awareness and utilization of resources to improve patients' treatment experiences among endocrinologists who currently treat patients with acromegaly.

Concepts: Cellular manufacturing, Visual communication, Web design


Bluetooth earphones can facilitate communications among workers engaged in manual(e.g., professional driver)or visual tasks (e.g., security guard). If workers remove their Bluetooth earphones due to poor fit, then communication effectiveness will decline, especially during manual or visual tasks.

Concepts: Information, Communication, Security, Visual communication, Web design, Ergonomics, Security guard, Light ergonomics


Physicians have a major influence on parental vaccine decisions. We tested a physician-targeted communication intervention designed to (1) reduce vaccine hesitancy in mothers of infants seen by trained physicians and (2) increase physician confidence in communicating about vaccines.

Concepts: Profession, Pediatrics, Visual communication, Web design


Children’s hospitals are faced with the rising need for technological innovation. Their prospective health care consumers, who increasingly depend on the Web and social media for communication and consumer engagement, drive this need. As patients and family members navigate the Web presence of hospitals, it is important for these specialized organizations to present themselves and their services efficiently.

Concepts: Health care, Health insurance, Hospital, United States, World Wide Web, Children's hospital, MySpace, Web design


Poster sessions are an important forum for getting feedback on your results and engaging with the scientific community. In this instalment of the Words of Advice series, we provide you with a guide to designing an outstanding poster and offer tips on how to effectively communicate your results using your poster.

Concepts: Scientific method, Engineering, Typography, Design, Graphic design, Design management, Visual communication, Web design


Diabetes requires extensive self-care and comprehensive knowledge, making patient education central to diabetes self-management. Web 2.0 systems have great potential to enhance health information and open new ways for patients and practitioners to communicate.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Illness, Web 2.0, Web design


BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is one of the leading modifiable causes of death and disease in Australia. National surveys indicate less than half of the Australian adult population are sufficiently active to obtain health benefits. The Internet is a potentially important medium for successfully communicating health messages to the general population and enabling individual behaviour change. Internet-based interventions have proven efficacy; however, intervention studies describing website usage objectively have reported a strong decline in usage, and high attrition rate, over the course of the interventions. Web 2.0 applications give users control over web content generated and present innovative possibilities to improve user engagement. There is, however, a need to assess the effectiveness of these applications in the general population. The Walk 2.0 project is a 3-arm randomised controlled trial investigating the effects of “next generation” web-based applications on engagement, retention, and subsequent physical activity behaviour change.Methods/design: 504 individuals will be recruited from two sites in Australia, randomly allocated to one of two web-based interventions (Web 1.0 or Web 2.0) or a control group, and provided with a pedometer to monitor physical activity. The Web 1.0 intervention will provide participants with access to an existing physical activity website with limited interactivity. The Web 2.0 intervention will provide access to a website featuring Web 2.0 content, including social networking, blogs, and virtual walking groups. Control participants will receive a logbook to record their steps. All groups will receive similar educational material on setting goals and increasing physical activity. The primary outcomes are objectively measured physical activity and website engagement and retention. Other outcomes measured include quality of life, psychosocial correlates, and anthropometric measurements. Outcomes will be measured at baseline, 3, 12 and 18 months. DISCUSSION: The findings of this study will provide increased understanding of the benefit of new web-based technologies and applications in engaging and retaining participants on web-based intervention sites, with the aim of improved health behaviour change outcomes.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000157976.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, World Wide Web, Website, Web 2.0, Internet, Web application, Web design, Web 1.0


Health information is increasingly presented on the Internet. Several Web design guidelines for older Web users have been proposed; however, these guidelines are often not applied in website development. Furthermore, although we know that older individuals use the Internet to search for health information, we lack knowledge on how they use and evaluate Web-based health information.

Concepts: World Wide Web, Website, Internet, Web application, MySpace, Hypertext, Web design, Hyperlink


The NGL Viewer ( is a web application for the visualization of macromolecular structures. By fully adopting capabilities of modern web browsers, such as WebGL, for molecular graphics, the viewer can interactively display large molecular complexes and is also unaffected by the retirement of third-party plug-ins like Flash and Java Applets. Generally, the web application offers comprehensive molecular visualization through a graphical user interface so that life scientists can easily access and profit from available structural data. It supports common structural file-formats (e.g. PDB, mmCIF) and a variety of molecular representations (e.g. ‘cartoon, spacefill, licorice’). Moreover, the viewer can be embedded in other web sites to provide specialized visualizations of entries in structural databases or results of structure-related calculations.

Concepts: Java, World Wide Web, Graphic design, Internet, User interface, Web browser, Graphical user interface, Web design