André is Member of the Month on the Patient Information Forum website

(This post appeared originally on the Patient Information Forum website)

I am Managing Director of Minervation and many of you will know me through my work on the PiF website.

My interests include evidence-based health care, web design, information science, usability testing, social media and blogging.

I live in Bristol and work from home and from the Minervation office, which is based in central Oxford.

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Welcome to the Lida Blog

The Lida tool helps you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of health information on the web.

This section of the Minervation blog is dedicated to the Lida instrument, Minervation’s validation tool for health websites.

What is Lida?

Lida is an appraisal instrument that allows you to measure the quality of a health web site.

It is free, and is available as an online tool that generates a “scorecard” for a website, and as an annotated PDF document containing detailed instructions and explanations of each item,

What does Lida measure?

Here’s what we mean when we talk about the quality of a health website:

  1. Accessibility
    Is the information accessible to those who need it?
  2. Usability
    Can users make sense of it once they’ve got it?
  3. Reliability
    Is the information the website contains likely to be accurate?

Each of these domains is evaluated using a set of criteria, set out in the  accompanying PDF.

A note on Accessibility

We measure accessibility using an automated check. Our online tool looks at the HTML and metadata on a web page and scans for common errors that may affect accessibility.

This approach can only provide guidance as to the likely accessibility of a website and should not be considered definitive. A full accessibility audit, to the standards set out by the Web Accessibility Initiative, can only be correctly performed using human judgment and user involvement.

How can Lida be used?

You can use Lida as:

  1. qualitative guide to the strengths and weaknesses of a source
  2. a quantitative measure of quality to rank or compare many different sources
  3. a tool to assess individual pages or to assess a website as a whole.

What does “Lida” mean?

When we originally developed the tool, we thought about calling it “Minervalidation”. Fortunately we came to our senses in time. We couldn’t think of anything else so used the string “Lida”, because it conjoins Minervation and validation to make “Minervalidation”.

Where can I find out more?

Check back in the coming weeks to find out more about how people are using Lida to guide the development of good quality health information, and how we validated the instrument.

We want to hear from you about:

  • What makes good quality health information?
  • Does the Lida instrument address these issues properly?
  • What were your experiences of using Lida?