Redesigning the Health-E Research Group Website

Problem Context

The Health-E Research Group is a research team is at the University of Washington that focuses on studying how to use technologies to keep older adults living at home independently longer. While the group had a website for many years, it was cluttered, difficult to use on non-desktop browsers, and lagged in current information due to its difficulty of updating.

Stakeholders found it difficult to keep the site updated, while first-time users to the site found it difficult to skim various pages to efficiently find the information they sought. The site had also not been optimized for users on smaller screens, leading to an a less than optimal experience while browsing the site. Although the site had been satisfactory upon its initial completion, I was tasked to redesign the site to better meet the needs of the various stakeholders that the present time.

Analyzing the current site

Analysis of Current Design & Other Research Group Websites

Tak­ing into account the client’s stated aims, I mapped the cur­rent site’s hier­ar­chy and nav­i­ga­tion and where the client thought it was lack­ing. Tak­ing this under con­sid­er­a­tion, I also iden­ti­fied com­mon­al­i­ties across other research group web­sites and where they dif­fered from the exist­ing site, and identified exist­ing pat­terns and solu­tions to a sim­i­lar problem.

Figuring out what people need

Interviews with Stakeholders & Task Identification

In order to better understand the needs of users and stakeholders, I inter­viewed var­i­ous stake­hold­ers to see what their var­i­ous needs were, includ­ing cur­rent stu­dents, poten­tial stu­dents, fac­ulty, and those respon­si­ble for updat­ing the web­site. After the inter­views, I iden­ti­fied com­mon tasks/questions that each stake­holder group would want to achieve/answered when vis­it­ing a research group’s website.

Organizing Wanted Information

Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture & Lay­out sketches

Once the tasks and infor­ma­tion needs of var­i­ous stake­hold­ers were iden­ti­fied, com­mon needs were grouped together and then cat­e­go­rized to cre­ate the struc­tural frame­work of the site so as to facilitate quick access for the various stakeholders. Next, sev­eral ini­tial lay­out sketches were done to explore the var­i­ous ways stake­hold­ers could nav­i­gate the site.

Putting it all together

Wireframes, Prototypes & Iteration

Based off stakeholder feedback and iteration, I selected a sketch and then con­verted sketch into wire­frames. Feed­back was solicited from stake­hold­ers on place­ment, nav­i­ga­tion and gen­eral con­tent and then incorporated into the design. After several iterations, an inter­ac­tive pro­to­type was cre­ated based off the wire­frames. This prototype was then iter­a­tively improved with feed­back from the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers and client.

Health-E Group Site Redesign Completion

The redesign alleviated many of the frustrations and concerns of the original site. The site now utilizes a graphical backend to facilitate ease of updates, leading to more frequent and current news and updates to the site. Much of the visual clutter was removed, leading to a less frustrating experience, and the site is responsive, leading to a better experience on small and big screens.

More Selected Work

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Jonathan Joe

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Department of Biomedical Informatics & Medical Education
School of Medicine
University of Washington
UW Box BIME-SLU 358047
Seattle, WA 98195