Adults caring for children with developmental disabilities don't have time to waste when searching for a provider they can trust.
User Research | Concepting | Redesign
Yours Truly | Lilac City Staff
Lilac City Behavioral Services is a growing ABA therapy organization in Spokane that offers in-home, community-based clinic, and school-based services. As their organization grew it was time for a redesign of their home-cooked website.
I was hired by LCBS to redesign lcbehavioral.com with the goal of improving the experience for parents/guardians and school personnel when they are searching for therapy services.
The site is hosted on Wix.com and for budget reasons we decided to keep it that way.
Adults who care for children with developmental disabilities
Need a way to connect to ABA Therapy at home, school and in the community
They have very little free time, are often scared and/or confused and want the very best for this child.
We will know this to be true by a reduced bounce rate and increase of intake form submissions.
Orientation with LCBS
After conducting a competitor analysis I met with the LCBS team to complete a user centered design canvas (UCDC) to help me better understand the LCBS mission and competitive advantages as well as to introduce the LCBS leadership team to the design thinking roadmap.
The UCDC helped us prioritize the websites target audiences.
Parents/guardians of children with developmental disabilities
School personnel seeking student services
Other providers who may refer to LCBS
Potential talent to hire at LCBS
User Centered Design Canvas made with LCBS Staff
User Survey of priority audiences
Parents/guardians represent the bulk of LCBS clients but that aspect of their business is currently operating beyond capacity with a large waitlist. School personnel is the population LCBS hopes to grow in the near future.
With our priorities established I conducted a user survey with school administration and parents of children with developmental disabilities. To find participants we utilized my personal social services/education contacts as well as LCBS Facebook Ads.
Facebook Ad for User Survey
What? Parents of kids with autism don't have a lot of free time?
After a few ad boosts and a lot of unreturned messages, emails, and phone calls, I reassessed my research strategy. Even though it's obvious in hindsight, I realized then that I had failed to adjust my strategy for finding research participants to fit with my target population.
Oh, and May isn't exactly a great time to get a hold of school personnel either.
Making downtime productive
There were responses coming in—but rather slowly. In the meantime I conducted a site audit 👈 and heuristic evaluation 👉 of the site.
Affinity mapping survey responses
Affinity mapping is helpful to sort through the survey findings and test the hypothesis I developed after the UCDC about client needs and frustrations.
Website clarity and staff trustworthiness & effectiveness stood out as top demands from target audiences. There were also several indications that clients were unsure about the process of connecting with services.
A change in plans
The user survey had taken longer than expected and user interviews were also proving to be slow. With this in mind and several approaching recruiting events, LCBS requested that I create a interim refreshed design of the site.
I made some mid-fidelity mockups for tablet, desktop, & mobile screens (see below) and was given the greenlight.
Aiming for a clear and trust-building design I chose to anchor the homepage around an mother/child illustration from Undraw.co.
Designing a refresh that won’t have to be completely redone later
Simplifying the homepage
As clarity and trustworthiness were client priorities in the survey data, simplifying the homepage was a major focus of this refresh because of the high likelihood that it would still be an apt solution for the full redesign.
Making major changes to the site copy did not make sense at this point but I did increase readability by breaking large blocks up into smaller sections. I also added pull out quotes to help skimmers quickly orient themselves to relevant content.
Typographic & color system
One of the ways I helped to increase clarity and trustworthiness was to develop a consistent typographic system and color palette.
Trajan Pro was already used in their logo and so I paired it with Avenir Light for body text for it's readability and familiarity.
Trajan Pro 25px
Trajan Pro 28px
Avenir Light 18px
Avenir Light 15px
Trajan Pro 22px
Trajan Pro 16px
Shoring up the existing Calls-to-Action was another focus of mine. LCBS currently has two forms, one for potential clients who have a referral for ABA therapy and the other for more general questions.
After talking with the office manager we set a goal to reduce the number of phone calls he received that could have been answered on the website or and increase the percentage of intake form submissions.
Contact Us Page
What I would do differently
Finding research participants was a major challenge as caregivers for children with developmental disabilities don’t have a lot of free time. What had previously worked well for recruiting teachers wasn’t as successful with busy parents.
Parent/guardian research & testing
If we are to proceed with more comprehensive content redesign I would focus on helping illuminate the service connection process, I would like to see if there are HIPAA compliant ways to incorporate feedback gathering techniques from clients while they are already interacting with LCBS services.
I would also stack my research interactions with parents to save time. For example, I would like to do a quick user test with the current refresh on the same day that I conduct my user interviews with them. Then hopefully if we have an adequate compensation model I can then return to test the full redesign with those same parents.
It's unclear yet if we will proceed with the full redesign. I most recently aggregated research into a User Journey Map which highlights some of the ambiguity and stress for parents/guardians who are in search of services.
There are still some questions about what school personnel need from a website when are looking for student services. Indications in the data to suggest that much of the information about the process, expense and other details about connecting to services is held by “those in the industry” and isn’t very accessible online.
I would also want to increase website transparency about things like insurance and testing/diagnosis. Such information would be not only useful but assuaging to the the uncomfortable feelings that come from ambiguity and confusion.
Current refreshed desktop and mobile site.