K4Health.org: Tending the Garden

Simone Parrish

CCP | Global Repository Director

If you're a regular visitor to K4Health.org, you'll notice we're in the process of revising the website. I like to think of knowledge products (including websites) as gardens: They need constant tending to adjust to changes in the environment and the needs of the people they serve. This set of changes is like making new paths and building new raised beds—it's more substantial than just planting something new or pruning back old growth.

Then and Now

Screenshot from analytics: K4Health.org Mobile Traffic

From a tiny wedge to half of the pie: The proportion of mobile sessions (shown in green) on K4Health.org has increased tenfold since 2012.

When we launched the previous iteration of K4Health.org in April 2012, the Internet was a very different place. We have made incremental changes over the years, based on user feedback and insights from analytics—but some major trends have emerged that drove this design refresh. 

Navigation: In 2012, about 15% of K4Health's main website visitors came in through the homepage and clicked their way through the navigation to find what they wanted. Today, less than 3% of our visitors come in through the homepage.

Search: For the first year after we launched the 2012 version, 8.4% of visitors came in from organic searches—that is, they put a word or phrase into a search engine (like Google), saw a K4Health.org link in the search results, and clicked it. Five years later, 77.7% of our website visitors come from organic search.

Mobile: I'll admit it: I'm a late hardware adopter. (I don't get new hardware until there is software I want that won't run on my existing equipment.) In 2012, I had two mobile devices: A flip-phone and a Blackberry. In those days, 4.8% of user sessions on K4Health.org were conducted on mobile devices. Now, mobile devices account for 47.0%—nearly half—of K4Health.org traffic.

Where Did the Global Navigation Bar Go?

The previous design had a bar across the top of the screen that linked to K4Health ToolkitsPhotosharePOPLINE, the Global Health: Science and Practice journal, the Global Health eLearning Center, and the website for Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers. The trouble with that bar? Hardly anyone used it to get to the other web-based K4Health products. It also didn't have space to add new products (like the K4Health-managed websites for the Global Digital Health Network and the Family Planning Training Resource Package). You can still find links to all of those items and more on our Products page. (And if you really miss that top bar, let us know.)

What's Next

Today's launch rolls out the new design, but that doesn't mean the website is finished (the way a garden is never finished). There are more changes to come, including better resource filtering options and a clarified structure for K4Health's services and partnerships. We hope you're pleased with the changes, and we would love to hear your feedback (I receive the "Website feedback" category of messages from our Contact page).