For our final project at General Assembly we provided a pro-bono consult to the Epilepsy Foundation for their Purple Day microsite. Within a 2.5 week timeframe they asked us to focus on two key areas;
improving the usability and functionality of the existing site and also
look at the Purple Day awareness message.
Purple Day, 26th of March, is a global initiative that aims to spread the word about epilepsy and give support to sufferers. The Epilepsy Foundation use purpleday.com.au to promote the initiative, give information on how people can get involved and importantly, raise awareness of epilepsy.
STIGMA & PERCEPTION
We started by learning about epilepsy as a condition and conducted research about the epilepsy stigma and perceptions of Purple Day. It was fascinating to learn that 70% of sufferers only have mild, manageable forms of epilepsy and choose not associate themselves with the condition.
USER INTERVIEWS & TASK ANALYSIS
Through user interviews and task analysis we found that the initial perception of the Purple Day site is that only people with epilepsy are involved with the initiative. Users didn’t have a clear idea of what Purple Day is based on the site content, and couldn’t easily find information on creating events and getting involved.
We dug some more and did some comparative analysis between some well known charity campaign sites.
Promotion of Purple Day
A small group of committed ambassadors were driving current activities and organising their own events in local communities.
Purple Day had a low profile - i.e. few people knew what it was.
People thought that supporting Purple Day was all about buying and selling merchandise.
People were unsure what actually happens on Purple Day.
Purple Day website
Website content lacked structure.
Initial perception of the Purple Day site was that only people with epilepsy are involved.
Users didn’t like having an inconsistent experience when visiting third party sites such as everydayhero
People did not have a clear idea of what Purple Day is based on the site information.
People were dropping off the site because it was not engaging enough.
People couldn’t easily find information on creating events and getting involved.
Perceptions of epilepsy
People with mild epilepsy chose to hide it because they anticipate being stigmatized, thus perpetuating the perception that epilepsy is a condition that only manifests in severe seizures.
People were not aware of how common epilepsy is because of the invisibility of mild cases.
People weren't aware about mild forms of epilepsy.
How might we make Purple Day more of a thing, so that everyone wants to get involved.
* by ”A Thing” we mean it has a critical mass of popular appeal through the community. Like “Mo-vember” and “Red Nose Day” - these have become cultural phenomenon.
Our approach started by broadly considering our focusing statement. It was clear there were some quick wins to be made with the current purpleday.com.au site, however initially we wanted to think about how we could get more people involved and increase momentum throughout the year using Purple Day as a springboard.
Ideate Design Test Iterate
Firstly we addressed our MVP with the current Purple Day site.
Given our user's feedback, we suggested the ideal solution would be to build a donation and fundraising functionality on the purpleday site, however this was blue sky thinking with a budget the client didn't have. Instead, we created more structure around the content and tested solutions for links going to third party sites. Interestingly, users didn't mind the jump to Everydayhero once we created less confusion around the multiple calls to action to register, fundraise & donate.
Through our research, we concluded that Purple Day needed to keep the flame alive throughout the year by embracing the likes of social media which would reach out to Purple Day’s other two personas and not just people touched by epilepsy. As part of this, we also felt there needed to be some brand & content shifts that would speak to these personas.
To keep this flame alive, our solution encompassed an outline for a 3-phase website strategy. The website needs to deliver relevant information at targeted times of the year;
In the 10 months of the year when Purple Day is not on, the website needs to give users options to spread the word about epilepsy and be informed closer to the time about how they can get involved.
In the month before, excitement needs to be built to get people sharing on social media and creating events to participate in.
In the month after, the website should host news bulletins and personal stories highlightling involvement in Purple Day.
To address the issue of brand perception we conducted some A/B tests to establish ways the brand would be more engaging for the user. Our key findings were that not everyone engaging with the site is an epilepsy sufferer and those that are felt misrepresented by the brand imagery.
Therefore we tested gentler use of imagery and a fun tone of voice and found this to be much more effective.
Through a few rounds of rapid prototyping, testing and hi-fidelity prototyping our SUS testing results showed we were heading in the right direction, with results ranging from 73 to 90 on Mobile and 77 to 85 on Desktop!
This was a group project at General Assembly with Sharif Labban & Ken Mok
My tasks - Project Management, User Research, IA, Sketching, prototyping, user testing.