“Fully 71% of online Americans use video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, up from 66% a year earlier. The use of video-sharing sites on any given day also jumped five percentage points, from 23% of online Americans in May 2010 to 28% in May 2011.”

Pew Internet (2011)

This is a trend I’ve also noticed amongst my friends over the past year, largely driven by more of them using smartphones and iPads, which make sharing and watching video a whole lot easier.

In the past, I’ve been rather frustrated with Pharmaland and their resolutely horrid web 1.0 branded and unbranded websites that have tiny text, are heavy on flash or not mobile optimised, making sharing or even reading challenging, especially on mobile gadgets. Watching a useful video online, but not being able to share it on Twitter or Facebook with others, is one of those typical desk bang moments – why not if you can share the link to the website?  The world has moved on in terms of how we interact with websites and people online.

Thus I usually end up clicking out and forgetting about them altogether, unless I really need the Prescribing Information (PI) and have to spend a few minutes scrolling and hunting down a miniscule small link that is almost impossible to click without hitting the adjacent link next to it.

Then every once in while something beautiful comes along…

Yesterday, someone outside the US emailed me asking about access to abiraterone (Zytiga) outside the US, so I went on my iPad and to my delight and surprise found this on the Healthcare Professionals page:

zytiga1 1024x569 Pharma and Social Media: Update on abiraterone in advanced prostate cancer

Several key points to note here:

  1. You can share information with others by email and Twitter
  2. The PI was easy to find and click on
  3. The mechanism of action (MOA) video on Vimeo was high quality, interesting and sharable
  4. You can sign up for updates or view press releases easily
  5. The reimbursement support information was also easy to access
  6. The UI is uncluttered, has nice large text and is easy to navigate at a glance

In fact, the whole site was nicely laid out and easy to see things, click where you need to go and navigate with the well-thought out UI.  I didn’t have to pinch the screen once, which made a nice change.

Now, there are some glitches such as the patient information was a bit sparse and clicking the Contact Us section took me to the main Janssen website rather than a contact page, forcing me to scroll around looking for it there (hidden at the bottom in pale grey).  There’s no international number or email address when you finally find it, leaving me wondering what to advise my reader who contacted me for help.  This is where providing global Expanded Access Programs or local country contact details can be helpful – they will inevitably reach out, so not providing any help online is a tad antisocial.  There is more than just USA patients with advanced prostate cancer out there, after all.

If anyone from Janssen or Ortho Biotech Global is reading this and could point me in the right direction for helping patients and caregiver outside the US that would be great, as several enquiries a month come in on this topic.  There’s nothing worse than no information or not being able to help.  Companies ultimately live or die on seamless customer service and helping people with their needs.

The experience was pretty positive and I really liked the abiraterone website – it’s a good example of how nice UI design can make a huge difference to the UX for those visiting.  Whichever digital agency was responsible for this site did a very nice job so far and it breaks the cluttered, awkward to navigate with uncomfortably tiny font product website one normally comes across in this field – well done!

I’m hoping the Patient section will soon have some useful information to rival the HCP portal.  Putting in country contact details will be a good start in the right direction, as will information about ongoing clinical trials and a well designed, easy to read patient brochure about the disease, treatment and reimbursement information.  Yes – they do ask about the price and how they can save money – we get emails on that very topic every month too.

An excellent start overall – looking forward to seeing more developments in the near future!