Chicago, IL, July 20, 2009 – After 9 years and more than 200 million pageviews, AACC formally unveiled a redesigned Lab Tests Online at its 61st Annual Meeting for clinical laboratory scientists being held in Chicago this week. The new design, which will be rolled out to other Lab Tests Online versions around the globe, retains the same ease of navigation that earned the site accolades as “a masterfully simple page” when it launched in 2001. The update introduces several important changes to the award-winning website, which provides patients with details on a wide range of laboratory tests.
Most importantly, Lab Tests Online is now more compliant with accessibility standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium and the Americans for Disabilities Act. According to Ithaca College student, Ryan Silveira, blind since birth and a beta tester for Lab Tests Online, the new version eliminated the problems he had encountered in using the original site. Silveira uses JAWS® Screen Reading software from Freedom Scientific, to surf the web, and had found numerous instances on the old version of the site that confused JAWS. Now, Silveira is able to navigate the new site flawlessly.
Visually impaired users are not the only ones who will find the site easier to use. AACC has made several improvements to the site’s navigation and visual design to enhance the user experience. Users who prefer not to scroll through the site’s ever-lengthening menus of test and condition descriptions can now select the first option in each menu to view an easily-navigated index listing the articles. The new Test Index even includes alternate names for the items listed in the menu – an especially important feature given that laboratory tests may be referred to differently in different labs and regions of the country. For example, A1c, a frequently used test for monitoring diabetes, may also be called Hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, and glycohemoblin, among other names.
A new font and increased line spacing reduce the text density of the old site and makes reading the site less taxing, and a new “expand table” option does exactly that for the bigger, more information-packed tables on the site. The expanded table view allows the table to display using the full width of the computer screen, which reduces the need for scrolling and makes it easier to read across each row.
Lab Tests Online’s redesign reflects AACC’s commitment to sustaining this highly regarded patient resource for information on all kinds of blood, urine, and other tests. Traffic to the site continues to increase and now hovers around 1.4 million users each month, and AACC and its partner associations continue to add new material to the site. In addition, Lab Tests Online has been translated into seven languages by partners in nine countries around the globe. AACC expects that another three sites in three more languages will launch before the end of the year.
Lab Tests Online has been designed to help the patient or family caregiver better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases. For medical professionals, the site can serve as a quick reference tool or as a resource for keeping up with advances in laboratory science.