Kanker.nl is a novel platform for Dutch cancer patients to collaboratively access medical information and discuss experiences. I met the team as they began setting up the project and worked with them for three years. My role changed as the product developed. Throughout, I managed junior researchers and worked closely with the product owner and the UI and graphic designers.
Background Research: Interviews, Participatory Design and Surveys
In the early stages of product development, I was tasked with conducting the design research needed to define the site’s functionality. We began by sketching ideas and conducting interviews. I oversaw the work of two junior researchers and trained the UI designer in research methods.
In order to design with our users, rather than for them, we ran a series of participatory design sessions. In them, I drew from a variety of methods to engage users. We sketched together, did card sorts, and brainstormed new ideas for the site.
- To gather feedback from a larger group of users, I developed a survey for cancer patients that prioritized goals for the platform.
Design Phase: Personas, Prototyping
Based on interviews and surveys, I developed a set of personas used to validate our design choices. See samples here.
In collaboration with the UI designer, we developed a clickable prototype for the proposed system. Testing with users helped avoid usability issues in the live product.
Usability Testing and Analytics
To improve the live product, we carried out regular user tests. Once the product was live, I defined and tracked metrics. We used Site Catalyst to track usage. Based on observed patterns, we improved the site.
To learn more about our design process see our paper, Meeting cancer patient need: Designing a patient platform, presented at CHI.