“Partnering with Andy on work for Seattle Children’s has been nothing short of a fantastic experience. He brings a perfect blend of analysis and design to his projects, along with great presentation skills in explaining concepts large and small to stakeholders. Andy is quite frankly the dream contractor you hope to have on a project. Not only by being on time and on budget, but also in finding the perfect balance for meshing business objectives with end-user needs and communicating with both developers and designers. I would definitely work with him again in a heartbeat.”Vanessa Casavant, Senior Digital Content Strategist, Seattle Children’s
- Assess user and business goals to ensure effective, scalable, long-lived project outcomes
- Redesign global navigation of the Seattle Children’s website to better align with current user and business needs
- Redesign the Seattle Children’s home page to support user journeys that increasingly start elsewhere on the site
- Redesign global share, print, and contact functionality to create a consistent, context appropriate experience
- Support a wide range of desktop and mobile use cases
In order to ensure that final design recommendations met both user and organizational requirements, I worked closely with the Seattle Children’s marketing and communications team and activley involved both site users and stakeholders throughout the discovery and design process. Project activities included:
Alignment Persona Workshop
In order to build support for the redesign effort and eventual recommendations early, it was essential to align project stakeholders around users, tasks, and goals from the start. To accomplish this I facilitated an “Alignment Personas” workshop that engaged stakeholders in a collaborative process of externalizing and articulating their deep knowledge about the organization, its customers, and their goals.
This exercise produced a prioritized list of primary and secondary user groups, including a detailed description of the “wants” and “needs” that bring each group to the Seattle Children’s website. This list provided a stakeholder-vetted user baseline for subsequent research efforts, including interviews, card sort exercises, and usabilty testing.
Card Sort Study
In order to better understand site users’ mental models of Seattle Children’s content, I conducted an online card sort study of 38 terms with representative sample of 342 Seattle Children’s website users across three Washington State counties.
Participants were asked to group “cards” representing concepts from key use and communication areas of the website, and then create labels for their groups. I analyzed the aggregated results to identify the groupings and labels users largely agreed on, those that highlighted several distinct models for coneptualizing content, and those on which there was no broad consensus across the sample set.
These insight, combined with alignment persona data, stakeholder interviews, and competitive and heuristic reviews provided the primary reseach inputs from which I then began to draft approaches to navigation and experience design.
Prototype Usability Testing
The primary design phase of this project used a series of concepts and prototypes at increasingly higher levels of fidelity. Once the project sponsor and collaborators were confident with a solution that met business and user needs, I refined these prototypes to support a series of eight usability tests across two locations. These tests provided direct end-user feedback on both desktop and mobile experiences.
Findings from the usability test were used to inform additional iterations and improvements on design recommendations. Improvements and the research insights that support them were presented to stakeholders in parallel to ensure transparency and inspire confidence in the user centered design process.
Experience Design Specification
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.
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 (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.