NIH MedlinePlus Magazine

NIH MedlinePlus, the magazine is a free quarterly publication that serves to provide consumers with trusted up-to-date health and medical information, including highlights on the latest medical research and healthcare information from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Through featured stories, the magazine provides a window into how real people handle their health challenges. The personal viewpoint offered by the magazine makes it a worthy companion to MedlinePlus, a NIH website for patients and their families and friends to learn more about diseases, conditions and wellness issues. The magazine is produced by NIH, National Library of Medicine and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM).

The Challenge

One of the main challenges users experienced before redesign was navigating to specific articles. The site also lacked the feel and experience of reading a magazine. Utilizing our experience in design and expertise in usability a Astriata created a new way to organize the publications for a better user experience.

Before redesign, it was difficult for the user to find articles in the long list of issues where users had to hover over each cover to see article names. Our team developed an index that allowed for both an alphabetical listing by topic and a visual listing accompanied by the magazine covers and direct links to featured articles and a downloadable PDF .

The Results

To better support the visitors to the website Astriata and the staff of NLM-APDB worked together to design and develop a prototype that would enhance the user’s overall experience through an engaging and user-friendly interface. Taking the print magazine beyond just text and leveraging different types of media such as video, interactives and animation enhanced the engagement for users. Usability testing was an important part of the redesign process that provided measurable results to make better informed decisions resulting in an improved the user . experience.

Task Completion Rate - Before (30%)
Task Completion Rate - After (100%)
Time to Complete Task - Before (77 seconds)
Time to Complete Task - After (45 seconds)


No. of Errors Reduced From 5.5 to 0


Usability Rating Points Increase AFTER


No. of Negative Word Associations AFTER (reduced from 10)


No. of Positive Word Associations Gained AFTER

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