Women's Parkinson's Project

EvALUATIVE ux research

Women's
Parkinson's
Project

EvALUATIVE ux research

Project
Summary

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.

More Information

Methods ◦ Deliverables ◦ Tools ◦ Team ◦ Duration

Methods

Heuristic evaluation ◦ Tree testing ◦ Usability testing ◦ User interviews

Deliverables

Heuristic evaluation report

Tools

Google Sheets ◦ Figma FigJam ◦  Optimal Workshop Treejack

Team

Independent project ◦ Main stakeholder: Sree Sripathy, WPP Co-Founder

Duration

Summer 2021 ◦ Currently ongoing

The Problem

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.

Users + Audience

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.

Research Plan

Phase One

  • Usability & Accessibility Heuristic Evaluation

Phase Two

  • Information Architecture Tree Testing

Phase Three

  • User Interviews
  • Usability Testing

Phase Four

  • Report & Recommendations

Role & Responsibilities

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.

Research Goals

  • Understand users’ impressions and expectations of the website’s navigation
  • Test the usability of the website on desktop and mobile
  • Uncover opportunities to improve the user experience of the website on desktop and mobile

Heuristic Evaluation

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.

Custom Heuristics

🗽

User control and freedom

Allow users to easily back out of a process or undo an action to foster a sense of freedom and confidence.

📖

Consistency and standards

Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing.

👀

Recognition rather than recall

Minimize the user's memory load by making elements, actions, and options visible.

📱

Space between touch targets

Touch targets on mobile should have at least 60px of unclickable space between them to make scrolling easier for people with hand tremors.

🪆

Correct use of headings

Use headings correctly and strategically to structure the website content to be well-organized and easily interpreted by screen readers.

🖼

Alt text for images

Provide alt text for all images, so that screen readers can understand the message conveyed by the use of images.

🔗

Links with descriptive names

When using links, use unique text that properly describes where the link will go. Avoid "Click here".

🎨

Use color with care

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.


Severity Rating

🤩

Positive

Not an issue at all! A great example of the principle in practice.

🙄

Cosmetic

A superficial usability issue that may be easily overcome by the user or occurs infrequently.

😬

Minor

A minor usability issue that may be more difficult to overcome or occur more frequently.

😫

Major

A major usability issue that users may be unable to overcome or occurs frequently and persistently.

🤬

Catastrophic

A catastrophic usability issue that seriously impairs the use of the product and cannot be overcome by users.

Ease of Fix Rating


All Good

Not an issue — no fix needed!

🩹

Super Duper Easy Fix

Extremely simple and quick to fix.

🔧

Easy to Fix

Easy fix to a specific interface element with a clear solution.

💪

Effort to Fix

Requires some effort to fix across multiple interface elements.

🔎

Investigate Further

Will need to investigate further to better understand the problem and solution.

Reflection

This project is currently ongoing, and will continue to be updated!

Summary
Problem
Research
Heuristic
Reflection
Resources