Focus: Communications - Site Visit www.arthritiscare.org.uk

Arthritis Care works to support and represent people with arthritis and lobby decision-makers on their behalf. After undertaking a period of research into the needs of people with arthritis, the charity used last month's Arthritis Awareness Week to launch its new website.

MAIN PAGES

This is a site that bears the hallmarks of others created after consultation with those they are aimed at - common sense mixed with an occasional tendency to try to do too much.

The former characteristic, thankfully, is in the ascendancy. The homepage looks fine and offers a well-chosen selection of main areas along with useful quick links to, for example, a page dedicated to the first-time user. Sections including 'about arthritis' and 'living with arthritis' provide visitors with methodical and informative journeys through all the relevant topics - the only potential problem is that each page offers so many cross-referenced links it is possible to lose your thread.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The emphasis of this website is very much on the service user, and this is reflected in the sheer volume of resources available. Almost every page carries an associated link to one of the charity's impressive booklets, and sections such as 'real lives' and the discussion forum give arthritis sufferers a genuine opportunity to drive the direction of what appears on the site. It's a truly interactive experience.

ARTHRITIS CARE SAYS:

"Our website is relevant, informative and interactive. It provides the information that people with arthritis have told us they want, in a way that they want it. The feedback has been fantastic - it seems it really hits the spot."

Site Visit is by Tony Hodson

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