At first glance, the HDI's website was aesthetically well-rounded. After a thorough look and with the UX principles and patterns in mind, some areas for improvement became evident:
With the collaboration of the institute's employees, I conducted online research on similar organizations' websites offering psychological support to people with cancer. We narrowed our search to three websites in the Netherlands; The Netherlands Cancer Institute, the Trimbos Institute, and the official guide/dummy website for healthcare providers in the Netherlands. These websites put the discoverability of information, services, and options first and had a well-thought-out IA.
The institute recruited current and previous clients as well as doctors interested in participating in usability tests. The tests validated my initial assumptions regarding their website and uncovered issues I hadn't considered too. You can watch some clips below.
I like to have less text and go to a menu so I can choose what I like. When I am upset, I don't want to read; I am a click person, give me something easy to click and I’ll do it!
— Ex-cancer patient
Downloading the referral letter is not logical; You have to print it, fill it in, give it to the patient, or send it by mail. Takes a lot of time.
A customer journey map allows us to see the product, the website in this case, through the clients' eyes. The feelings that were evoked while the usability tests participants were going through the pages, pinpointed the areas which needed improvement.
The research and analysis phases brought to light informational architecture issues on the website. To improve them, I proceeded to reorganize the information with an IA diagram. The new structure would be applied in the redesign.
After redesigning the IA of the website, I started sketching the new website's screens. I collected all the analysis findings and poured them into my sketches in an effort to solve the issues we uncovered.
The IA diagram, customer journey map, and sketches helped me define much of the solution to the problem. My next step was to create a high fidelity prototype and see how my ideas would work towards improving people's experience on the institute's website.
This project was challenging for me as the website needed targeted changes in its UX to offer a better experience to its visitors. At the same time, it was greatly rewarding work.
The usability tests I conducted with a cancer patient, an ex-cancer patient, a doctor, and a patient's loved one offered me invaluable insights. The redesign proposal I presented to the institute was based almost solely on their input and experience during the tests.
The results after testing the new prototype were fortunately positive as it now seems to offer more clarity and a frictionless flow to the institute's visitors.