Usability Testing and how it can be of benefit to NHS Trusts and digital providers

Posted 19 Oct, 2016
by Rueben

When commissioning a website, it’s not always easy to know if you’re going to get the right message across to the right sections of your target audience.

In an ideal world, deadline permitting, we would help the client facilitate user research and/or focus groups prior to the site their launch. This is an efficient way to gain invaluable feedback and raise stakeholder engagement.

UX (User Experience) encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the organisation, its services and its products.

UX (User Experience) encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the organisation, its services and its products.

To put it into context, it’s about how your users feel when they’re using your website. Whether it’s to gain information, make enquiries via web forms or to access periodical publications. This type of testing helps to mitigate the risk of introducing end user frustration when they are delivered a must-use product that they don’t like to use. It’s simple.

Your website must be user friendly

Prior to the launch of the Our Health Our Care Lancashire website, Frank Health took part in a focus group designed to help us gauge whether the site was going to be well received by the target audience. This was done in three stages:


1. Focus group members between the ages of 18-30
2. Focus group members over the age of 30
3. Members of the NHS organisation


Frank Health were fortunate enough to attend stages two and three of the process, with our Operations Manager and the project's Lead Developer. This took part after a client training session, where members of the OHOC staff could get hands on experience using our CMS - allowing them to have a better foundation for dealing with any comments or requests during the session.

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During the session, attended by the full complement of group members, we gave a brief presentation of each page allowing for questions, comments and suggestions on each point of functionality. This included comments on aspects such as the duration between carousel slide transitions, the type of message being delivered and the calls to action for each message.


With a developer on hand, we were able to quickly action these changes, in real time, to give the users a visual representation of their suggestions, which in turn led to getting on the spot feedback as to whether the idea was one that would be implemented in future phases of development.


The main aspects covered within this group can be measured using factors on the User Experience HoneyComb (https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-experience.html):


• The site's branding looked appealing to the end user (Desirable)
• The content had purpose and was easy to access (Findable, Usable)
• The content was legible for people with disabilities or other impairments (Accessible)
• The site's content was accurate and users could trust the information being delivered (Credible)


We provided demonstrations on our high contrast mode and text size controls, both of which were well received by a group member with sight impairments. We also gave each user access to iPad tablets and Samsung mobile devices to provide an accurate representation of how OHOC would deliver their web content to IOS or Android users.

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The overwhelming success of this event allowed for us to be completely hands-on with regards to delivering a robust solution to the client. From browser support to user acceptance, the afternoon provided as much information to us as a digital agency as it did to OHOC as an NHS Trust.


One of the main benefits moving forward is that we have an even better idea of the types of things that improve user engagement, and we can use this to help you deliver the right message to the right people.

 

If you would like to know more about how your NHS or health and care organisation can benefit from our technical expertise, get in touch today for a no obligation chat. We'd love to hear from you!