The SOARING project is a research study focusing on understanding how older adults use and manage their health information. The team is based at the University of Washington and has been working continuously to understand older adults and how other stakeholders are involved in health information management. While the project had a website, it was a single page placed under a larger organization's site, was not optimized for non-desktop browsers, and lagged in current information due to its difficulty of updating.
Stakeholders found it difficult to get the site updated, while first-time users to the site found the page to provide a high level overview but lacked further information. 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 was satisfactory when first created, I was tasked to redesign the site to better meet the needs of the various stakeholders.
Analysis of Current Design & Other Research Project Sites
The current site was broken down into its components and where the client felt was missing. I then examined other research project websites, and established the components that were prevalent across research project websites, as well as how these websites contrasted to the current website.
Interviews with Stakeholders & Task Identification
In order to better understand the needs of users, I interviewed various stakeholders to better understand their wants and needs including faculty, research scientists, students and those responsible for updating the website. After interviews, I identified tasks and questions each stakeholder group wanted done or answered when visiting a research project's website.
Information Architecture & Layout sketches
Once the tasks various stakeholders wanted were established, common needs were grouped together and classified to create the framework for the site and allow quick access to complete their tasks. Next, initial layout sketches and ideas were created to explore the various ways the site could be organized to encourage easy navigation for stakeholders.
Wireframes, Prototypes & Iteration
After stakeholder feedback and design iteration, I chose a sketch that and converted it into wireframes. Feedback was solicited on the wireframes for general content, placement, and navigation and assimilated into the design for improvement over several iterations. I then created an interactive prototype based on the iterated wireframes, which was then improved with feedback from various stakeholders. After several iterations of the prototype, the site was completed.
The redesign alleviated many of the concerns of the original site. The site now uses a graphical backend to promote update ease, leading to more frequent updates. Additional information on the the project, the problem context, and results is now available on the site, so that users who want additional information about the project can get it. Finally, the site is responsive, leading to a better experience on small and big screens.
Department of Biomedical Informatics & Medical Education
School of Medicine
University of Washington
UW Box BIME-SLU 358047
Seattle, WA 98195