I created a website for care partners of patients with Alzheimer's Disease. These care partners are typically untrained family members who may by overwhelmed with the process. My goal for the website was to create a resource for those individuals where they can learn what to expect from the patient and for themselves in this role.
Date: Spring 2017 Skills: User Research, UX Design, UI Design, Content Strategy, HTML, CSS
Before I started designing the site, my first step was to gather research about the lives of care partners. I needed to learn what are the major causes for stress in a care partners life and how they cope. I spent weeks gathering the research and you can read my complete findings here, but ultimately I learned that care partners spend so much time caring for others that they forget to care for themselves. If they compromise their physical or mental health, that can affect their ability to be an effective care partner.
My next step was learning who was the target audience for the website. I did research for that target audience and developed a persona. Most care partners are not trained physicians but instead are family members or close friends. They are typically 50 years of age or older, need to learn how to be a care partner, and need a support system to be able to vent about their situation.
Next up was laying out the structure of the site. I knew from the user research that the website needed to be as simple as possible. The users could have different levels of technical skills; but ultimately, their lives are already complex enough without having to navigate a complicated website. First, I created a site map to help me understand how many pages the site needed. Then, I did a content inventory to understand what information would be on each page.
After I knew what content needed to be on the pages, I then had to sketch the placement of the content on the pages. I made a few low fidelity wireframes so I could get a grasp of how the site would look visually.
I needed to decide the look of the site. I knew that purple would be a part of the color palette, because purple is the national color for Alzheimer's Disease. For the other colors, I wanted the site to have a calm, cool feeling. I chose cool greens and muted yellows and blues. I wanted large, bold buttons to be easily seen by the target audience. Lato is the font I chose. This font is easy to read in different variations. I also came up with an idea for side navigation that would represent each of the stages of Alzheimer's.
I created graphics such as logos, icons, and illustrations that would be seen throughout the site. The tone of the text would be very relaxed and friendly; I wanted the artwork to be the same.
Now that I had an idea of what each page would look like, I needed to test out the site. I created a high-fidelity prototype using Illustrator and then I made it interactive with Invision. I then used the prototype to conduct user testing to make sure my target audience understood the functionality of the site. I found five users who fell in the 50-70 age range. Each person had experiences being a care partner. I asked them to perform multiple tasks to gage the usability of the site. The participants of the user testing were able to accomplish most of the tasks however there were two major takeaways that influenced my final design.
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