The Women's Parkinson's Project was co-founded by three women who share a life-changing diagnosis: Young Onset Parkinson's Disease. Through the WPP website, the organization is on a mission to raise their voices for better treatment and research for women with Parkinson's. As a UX research consultant, I evaluated the website and made recommendations to ensure that the online home of WPP best serves its audience.
Methods ◦ Deliverables ◦ Tools ◦ Team ◦ Duration
Heuristic evaluation ◦ Tree testing ◦ Usability testing ◦ User interviews
Heuristic evaluation report
Google Sheets ◦ Figma FigJam ◦ Optimal Workshop Treejack
Independent project ◦ Main stakeholder: Sree Sripathy, WPP Co-Founder
Summer 2021 ◦ Currently ongoing
As a new organization, the Women's Parkinson's Project's recently launched website serves as it main communication platform. WPP's goals are to support women with Parkinson's through advocacy, community, and self-care. In order to best serve its audience and achieve these goals, the website needs to have an optimal user experience on every device with special consideration for the needs of women with Parkinson's.
The Women's Parkinson's Project aims to serve women with Parkinson's, as well as sister diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Lewy Body Dementia.
According to the Parkinson's Foundation, more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's. Incidents of Parkinson's increases with age, though 4% of people with the disease are diagnosed before the age of 50. One of the goals of WPP's co-founders — who have ties to the US, Ireland, and India — is to reach an international audience and eventually support multiple languages.
One of the early signs of Parkinson's are tremors. About 70% of people with Parkinson's experience a tremor at some point in the disease. This can make scrolling through a web page difficult, particularly on a mobile device.
As an independent researcher, I worked closely with WPP co-founder Sree Sripathy to identify her overall goals for the website, which she designed and developed. We then developed the research goals to ensure the website can serve its purpose. The research was conducted in phases that allowed for immediate recommendations from a heuristic evaluation, followed by recommendations informed by users to allow time for thoughtful recruitment.
I conducted a heuristic evaluation of the website on desktop and mobile shortly after it launched. I started by outlining custom heuristics that take into account usability, accessibility, and Parkinson's disease. They were informed by Jakob Nielsen's 10 usability heuristics, Berkley Web Access's accessibility tips, and Axess Lab's design guidance for hand tremors. Links to these resources and many more are included at the end of this case study. I rated each issue by severity and ease of fix, which helped Sree prioritize the recommendations.
Allow users to easily back out of a process or undo an action to foster a sense of freedom and confidence.
Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing.
Minimize the user's memory load by making elements, actions, and options visible.
Touch targets on mobile should have at least 60px of unclickable space between them to make scrolling easier for people with hand tremors.
Use headings correctly and strategically to structure the website content to be well-organized and easily interpreted by screen readers.
Provide alt text for all images, so that screen readers can understand the message conveyed by the use of images.
When using links, use unique text that properly describes where the link will go. Avoid "Click here".
In addition to using color, include visual indicators, such as an asterisk or question mark. Blocks of content should be distinguishable from one another using visual separation. Evaluate color contrast.
This project is currently ongoing, and will continue to be updated!