Seattle Children's Hospital, Research, Foundation

Seattle Children's Hospital

At a Glance

I helped Seattle Children's redesign their website's global navigation and home page to better meet the needs of their users, the requirements of their content, and the goals of their business. Now, their site more usable, more welcoming, and more clearly aligned with user and organizational priorities.

What I Did

  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Alignment persona workshop
  • Heuristic review
  • Competitive analysis
  • Card sort study
  • Prototype usability testing for desktop and mobile
  • Experience design specification
  • Close collaboration with visual design and IT partners

Project Goal

Align Navigation and Home Page with User and Business Needs

Seattle Children’s provides pediatric and adolescent care for patients across Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho and is recognized as one of the 10 best children’s hospitals in the country. The Seattle Children’s website navigation and home page, however, had not been systematically redesigned since their creation in 2009. As a result, the site's global navigation was no longer effective for users increasingly accessing the site on mobile, and the home page was meeting neither user nor business needs.

Screen capture of the Seattle Children's Hospital website before project work
The Seattle Children’s home page prior to project work

Project Approach

Needs-Based Design Supported by Research and Testing

In order to ensure that design recommendations met both user and organizational requirements, I worked closely with the Seattle Children’s marketing and communications team and actively involved both site users and stakeholders throughout the discovery and design process. This allowed us to understand user wants and needs, both on and beyond the website, and to tailor the presentation and access to content to align with user and organization goals.

Project activities included:

  • Facilitate an alignment personas workshop, which engaged stakeholders in a collaborative process of externalizing and articulating their deep knowledge about the organization, its customers, and their goals.
  • Perform a heuristic review and competitive analysis to help us reframe the site in terms of what's possible, as opposed to merely iterating on its current state.
  • Conduct a card sort study with over 300 participants across three counties, in order to better understand site users’ mental models of Seattle Children’s content
  • Develop a wireframe prototype and conduct a series of eight usability tests across two locations to gather direct end-user feedback on both desktop and mobile experiences.
  • Develop a comprehensive experience design specification for desktop and mobile, and closely collaborate with visual design partners and Seattle Childrens' IT team to support development and launch.

Project Outcome

A Dynamic Focus on Action and Impact

In order to best accommodate Seattle Childrens’ approval workflows and development process needs, final design specifications were delivered in the form of annotated wireframe decks. A revised interactive version of the test prototype was also provided to provide further clarity into key interaction, screen flow, and motion elements.

Wireframe design specifications for the Seattle Children's desktop website
An excerpt of Seattle Children's desktop experience design specification
Wireframe design specifications for the Seattle Children's mobile website
An excerpt of Seattle Children's mobile experience design specification

The new Seattle Children’s website represents a fundamental shift in the way Seattle Children’s communicates to site visitors. Where the old site focused on providing static information about the organization, the new site focuses on taking action (for example as a parent seeking care for a child or as a donor), and on demonstrating the impact Seattle Children’s has on the community.

This shift was accomplished by balancing user and organizational priorities for the website and by using a research-driven, user-centered design approach to align Seattle Childrens’ multiple interests around their shared organizational goal: to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.

Screen capture of the Seattle Children's Hospital website after project work
The Seattle Children’s home page after implementation of the design recommendations created in this project. Home page visual design created in collaboration with Joe Shoop of Studio Upleft.

Ready to use research and testing to align your site structure to user and business goals?

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