CUTGroup #3: Chicago Health Atlas

The Chicago Health Atlas was the subject of our third Civic User Testing session. The test took place at the Erie Family Health Center; a Smart Health Center in Humboldt Park.

CUTGroup 3: Chicago Health Atlas

The Chicago Health Atlas a place where you can view citywide information about health trends and take action near you to improve your own health.

The Chicago Health Atlas displays large amounts of data from sources like the City of Chicago and local hospitals so you can get big-picture views of health outcomes in Chicago.

We wanted to see how everyday residents were using the it and make sure that people could find what they were looking for on the site.

CUTGroup 3: Chicago Health Atlas


In July, we sent out an email to 447 residents asking them if they’d be willing to test a health information site and see if it met their information needs. For this test, we didn’t have any requirements other than their availability for the test.

CUTGroup 3: Chicago Health Atlas


For this test, we held one session with 19 testers hailing from neighborhoods across the city including Rodgers Park, West Garfield Park, Portage Park, Pilsen, and West Town. We had two testers that worked in the medical field and several testers who did not currently have health insurance.



There were several things that the test revealed. Many of these items were that the Health Atlas’ user interface design was optimal for users who were looking for health resources.

  • In the above screenshot, we’ve pointed out the link where you can look at local health resources with a red arrow.  Many of our testers could not find this link on the site. In future versions of the health atlas, we should bring this page into a more prominent place.
  • Another thing that we noticed is that several testers who did not have health insurance coverage were looking to see where they could get health care. Originally, this was not one of the use cases that the Health Atlas was designed to cover. Once gets fully implemented, it would be interesting to do another test to see if people are still using the Chicago Health Atlas for this purpose.
  • When we asked testers about their relationship to health data on the web, most respondents indicated that they used the web to look up information their own health conditions.
  • The most common first click was to view their neighborhood. Many of the testers were expecting a “google maps’ type interface to find their neighborhood rather than a list.
  • The most common criticism was the site didn’t meet the needs of users who were trying to find health care resources.

The raw test data can be found below.

Here’s some select video snippets:

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