Last year, we began a strategic planning effort for the Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) website to further enhance the website features, with the goal of increasing usage among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. We considered four actions to pursue: 1) archiving RTIPs programs that are outdated based on criteria (e.g., usage statistics, age of the program, current clinical practice guidelines, age of the materials); 2) integrating additional resources to assist public health practitioners in adapting existing evidence-based intervention programs to their context; 3) posting case studies from program implementers to share their experiences in implementing any of the programs featured on the website; and 4) developing a communication plan to promote the RTIPs website to other federal or nonfederal organizations and to public health practitioners.
The archiving of outdated RTIPs programs performed on an annual basis was completed last year. Currently, we are redesigning the website based on multiple waves of feedback from public health practitioners. We first held informal “coffee talks” with invited public health practitioners for their thoughts on improving the usage of the website, which also helped to create a prototype for the user testing. We followed this with user testing, during which public health practitioners provided insights on how an individual goes through the decision-making process, from searching for a program to planning the implementation or adaptation of the program for their setting or targeted population. The user testing also allowed the ability to see first-hand how the user was navigating through the website through their mouse movements. Moreover, the user testing provided a way to test new changes or potential features by obtaining feedback from the users to determine if the changes or features should be integrated into the website.
We are also working to integrate a new resource tool — Implementation Science at a Glance — into the site to help guide public health practitioners in adopting evidence-based cancer control intervention programs. Case studies will also be posted for RTIPs programs, in which implementers share their experiences to help other public health practitioners or program planners considering the RTIPs program for their setting or targeted population.
Other new enhancements to the website involve creating a synopsis for each RTIPs program to provide quicker identification of the study content and fit for the implementer’s needs, as well as modifying the homepage to display 13 program areas as visible clickable icons instead of a pop-up menu listing. We will also add a feature to the program summary pages to enable program information to be shared through email or social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), as well as generate a printed document.
In order to expand awareness for the website, we are launching several promotional efforts, including videos on how to use the redesigned website, an email marketing campaign, and social media announcing the relaunch of the website and new features.
As I reflect back on the process of redesigning and making enhancements to the website, it was very useful to hold informal “coffee talks” to obtain feedback from the public health practitioners who would be using the website. We learned about their needs, which further helped to create a prototype for the user testing. It was also important to involve the website developer in the usability testing sessions and discussions, which enabled us to benefit from additional expertise. The website developer team provided their technical expertise on the feasibility of implementing the enhancements, as well as changes that could be made to the prototype as it was being tested if the testing participants were confused by an enhancement or change to be made.
The relaunch of the website is planned for early summer. We are excited and hope that the new changes will enhance your experience in using the website!
Please visit the website and feel free to share your feedback or suggestions with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annabelle Uy, M.S., is a program analyst for the Implementation Science Team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute. She is also the manager of Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) and oversees the evidence-based resource tool on the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. portal.
Dispatches from the Implementation Science Team, is an episodic collection of short form updates, authored by members and friends of the IS team representing a sample of the work being done and topics that our staff are considering for future projects. Topics address some of the advances in implementation science, ongoing issues that affect the conduct of research studies, reflections on fellowships and meetings, as well as new directions for activity from our research and practice communities.