If you want patients to adopt your online portal, then focus on simple design.

This is the main conclusion of an in-depth study by researchers from four American Universities.

They asked patients to evaluate patient portals on four criteria: simplicity, diversity, colorfulness and craftsmanship.

They then asked the patients to judge how useful they thought the portal was and how likely they were to use it.

The findings, posted in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, showed “perceived simplicity” was the factor mostly closely correlated with an intention to use the portal.

The authors say their work provides clear guidance for portal creators.

They conclude that the surest way of increasing adoption is a design that is “well-structured, cohesive, and easy to understand.”