• Case study

    Childhood Disability LINK

    Empowering clinicians and families of children with disabilities by crafting a user-centered experience

    Childhood Disability LINK is a non-profit research group within Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The group's mission is to improve the health and well-being of children with disabilities as well as their families. They aim to do so through providing information for caregivers, practitioners, and families of children with disabilities. Visit website

Childhood Disability LINK

Goals

A modern and engaging website that focuses on its users by connecting them to the information they seek.

  • improve site's engagement metrics
  • create visually compelling design for text-heavy content
  • combine content from three websites and organize it in an easy-to-navigate way
  • ensure that site features align with audience and organizational goals

Results

  • 20% reduction in bounce rate
  • 87.20% increase in session duration
  • 36.80% increase in pageviews per session

What we did

  • Information architecture
  • Content Strategy
  • User research
  • User Interface Design
  • Usability testing
  • Front-end web development
  • Wordpress web development

Project team

  • Sasha Endoh

Our strategy

Let users guide our work

Whenever faced with the challenge of making a website more engaging it always makes the most sense to base our work on data gathered directly from real users in the site’s target audience. For our engagement with Childhood Disability LINK, we were able to not only conduct preliminary user research but also go through a number of rounds of user testing our designs before going through to coding the final site. This project’s results speak to the impressive impact of these activities have on the overall success of any digital project.

User research

Audience-driven features & content optimization

First and foremost, we conducted an ethnography study with the site’s audience of clinicians and parents of children with disabilities. Our newfound understanding of the obstacles they face, the technology they’re using, as well as their mental modes and their goals allowed us to optimize how information is categorized on the new Childhood Disability LINK website while combining content from two micro-sites; determine the essential site features to develop and the most pertinent information to include for the audience to achieve their goals and have a positive experience using the site; as well as to develop a number of guiding principles to keep in mind through the design and development process.

Content strategy

Easy-to-digest clinical information

To optimize the content for busy parents of children with disabilities, we focused on succinct summaries for all content displayed on the website with a link for further, more in-depth information for those visitors to want to, or are able to, delve deeper. We also included engaging video content that allows parents to quickly grasp more complex therapeutic practices and concepts.

To give clinicians the ability to print or send simple PDF documents when sharing information with parents of children with disabilities we included a summary PDF document for each article that’s shared through the Childhood Disability LINK website.

Usability

Focused filtering for improved content discoverability

In the interest of quickly serving up relevant information, we offered two basic methods for locating information: by diagnosis and through a prominent search feature. We’d found in our research that the site’s audience prefers to search for content based on a specific diagnosis so, we developed a filtering system that allows them to do just that. Content type archives, as well as search results, offer site visitors a way to filter by diagnosis and/or another pertinent taxonomy.

Third-party integration

Connecting users to what matters most

We leveraged MailChimp’s RSS-based campaign feature to offer diagnosis-specific newsletters. A valuable tool that keeps site users informed with minimal effort required from the Childhood Disability LINK team to continue engaging with their audience directly in their mailboxes.

We also created a section for connecting parents to online communities where they can find support and feel connected to a community of folks with similar experiences.

Digital strategy

Crowdsourcing information upkeep

We created a convenient way for visitors to suggest interesting content for inclusion in this directory of links, a feature that essentially crowdsources the content of the website. We also included a simple way to report any broken links which will save the organization time on upkeep and maintenance.

User testing

Optimizing usability through user testing

We conducted user testing sessions throughout the design of this website to confirm that we properly applied our findings from the ethnography study and continually improve the site’s usability. We testing both the actual design as well as information architecture of the site.

The final website was rated 4.33/5 by our usability testing participants (5 being extremely easy to use and 0 being extremely difficult to use). We were also able to decrease the average task completion time by 64% when compared with the first round of usability testing.

WordPress web development

Modern content management and presentation across a variety of devices

We used industry best practices to develop our designs into a fully functional, bilingual, and responsive website that’s a pleasure to use on a wide range of devices.

As with all of our website, we build the new Childhood Disability LINK website to use WordPress as it Content Management System (CMS). We applied our user-focused design process to the creation of a simple to use content organization for ease of maintenance and update.

Maintenance & Support

CMS training for easy maintenance

With the final website fully tested to ensure the site performs consistently well across a wide range of representative devices and browsers, we conducted a CMS training session for current site authors. As is our regular experience, they were able to start using the CMS system to craft content after just the one training session that took about an hour.