Loyal readers of Yale Medicine Magazine and Medicine@Yale may have noticed that the online versions are now in a format that more closely resembles the news section of Yale School of Medicine.
There are many factors that drove the decision to make this change. First, and most importantly, the old sites were essentially incompatible with modern search browsers. The old sites were designed to be destinations, places where people arrived and spent time, much in the same way that people pick up a magazine and look through it. While some people still use the internet this way, the internet itself—and search engines in particular—prize maneuverability and flexibility. The old sites, though aesthetically pleasing, were not conducive to external searching. We felt that we were thwarting our own ability to share the accomplishments of YSM students, faculty, and alumni with the broadest possible audience. At the same time, the internal engine used to search for stories on the old sites made it difficult to find articles on relevant topics; the new search engine is much more agile and effective.
The old sites were designed before the advent of widespread smartphone use, and another impediment to the sites' usability lay in the fact that they did not display stories correctly on mobile phones. According to tracking information on Google Analytics and social media, over 50 percent of the sites' users view them on smart phones. First-time visitors who arrived to the sites via mobile devices rarely spent much time there, and fewer returned. The new site automatically adjusts articles and photos to fit into a mobile phone’s screen, meaning more readers will finish articles, and more will stay to read other pieces.
While navigation and the aesthetics of the magazine and Medicine@Yale's sites have changed, the high standard of quality that we apply to finding and reporting stories remains the same. As readers learn to use devices that change how they interact with information, Yale Medicine Magazine and Medicine@Yale will continue to evolve and adapt to remain accessible, relevant, and useful to the broader community they serve.