Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS)
Overcoming MS (OMS), a charity registered in the UK, USA and Australia, promotes an evidence-based 7-step lifestyle recovery program that benefits people living with MS.
Their goal is to be a globally recognised digital charity that is capable of reaching each and every single person with MS online, providing them with a wealth of useful, easy-to-understand information about MS and the 7-Step OMS Recovery Program, and enabling them to make informed choices about their health.
Their challenge is to achieve this highly ambitious goal whilst maintaining the personalised level of support and sense of community that OMS has become known for.
The challenge of the project was to support and develop furthermore the mission of OMS:
To inform people with MS of evidence-based research that can inspire them to improve their lives and potentially overcome the disease
To educate people with MS and health professionals, caregivers and other members of the MS community about the benefits of a preventive medicine approach to MS management
To empower people with MS by providing them with tools and resources to make a sustainable diet and lifestyle changes that improve health and enable recovery
Inform, Educate, Empower
The challenge was to define an online platform that can:
– Improve site structure and architecture.
– Create a clear user journey through the site.
– Make key, high-value Recovery Program information more visible.
– Optimise the site for mobile.
– Implement more reliable and efficient systems for donations
– Drive users to take a specific action: join a Circle, sign up to the newsletter, donate, etc.
I led the design of the OMS website since the beginning of the project.
Then I supervise the efforts to address customer pain‐points related to the complexity of the community.
Oversight, Coordination & Leadership
I worked as UX designer and also led, on a daily basis, two different off-shore Drupal developers. To check the progress of the developers each task we also use Jenkins – Git Hub, an open-source automation server. The use of this tool helped us to implement functionalities to the development site first and then, once approved, to the live website. Other project management tools where Basecamp, Trello and Skype for the communication.
Optimised OMS website’ 30% traffic from mobile after the launch of the website, and increased overall donation by 15%, 10% respectively of traffic after launching for OMS Website.
Life cycle emails
We developed a series of life cycle emails that would engage the user at different key moments of their journey. Emails were triggered at particular times and events to motivate, retain user in a different stage of MS.
I used part of my allocated time to research which Drupal module to use and in which functionality. Useful was the integrated use of Paragraphs and CK Editor to allow the Admin and Editors of the website to create and edit by themself landing pages and other types of content pages.
The possibility to add custom option fields and do conditional code in CSS, JS and preprocess functions allow the Editors and Admin to have more control over the look and feel of each layer of the page.
Consistency in Design
Alongside the finished interface designs, I produced a Design System documenting all elements to keep the designs as consistent and re-usable as possible. This was an important tool for the development team to use and build an understanding of.
For preparation and corroboration, focus group and qualitative research were provided to the members of OMS wide community.
The reparatory research was run into OMS’ activities online and offline with the aim to learn more about the organization, comparable experiences and other charities with similar scope.
The research included internal interviews in the organization, reading industry-specific AND general- interest magazines articles. As a team, we include a quick co-creative session to learn which different perspectives we needed to consider in our research and potential leads for our further preparation.
Useful was also all the material created by OMS during the past years, its recovery programme, recommended books, own podcast, material create during conferences and events and FAQs.
At the end of the Preparatory research, I have created a summary, as a mind map, including conclusions and hypotheses, for further developments and how to conduct the qualitative research.
Looking for a contextual understanding of user behaviors and experiences over time, I have choosen to analyse individual user experience through the diary studies method.
Given access to an online diary to record and describe aspects of their lives that were relevant to the website, data was self-reported by participants over a period of a few days.
Their diaries were useful for understanding long-term behaviors such as:
Habits: What time of day do users engage with the website? If and how users choose to share content with others?
Usage scenarios — In what capacity do users engage with a product? What are their primary tasks? What are their workflows for completing tasks?
Attitudes and motivations — What motivates people to perform specific tasks? How are users feeling and thinking?
Changes in behaviors and perceptions — How learnable is a system? How loyal – referring to the 7 steps of the OMS Program- are users over time?
Customer journeys — What is the typical customer journey and cross-channel user experience as the users interact with Overcoming MS using different channels such as websites, email, off-line communities and social media?
Qualitative user research was a powerful method of studying the audience of OMS Overcoming website. It focused on personal perceptions of the world and the experiences in it.
After a first development of the staging site, we decide to run a focus group to understand the perceptions, opinions, ideas, or attitudes toward a given topic. Focus groups were carried out in an informal setting, trough a questionnaire at the end of the assigned tasks.
The aim is that participants feel free to discuss the given tasks from their own perspective.
Focus group was also a way to validate the interpretation of data of diary studies by presenting my findings translated into core screens of the website.
This methodology led to informative value regarding specific changes on sign up pages, my account pages and account activities.
The Homepage layout is composed of:
A slider with a preview of the content as above.
An Events Layer, whit the lead event on the left: and an Upcoming events widget on the right where the next events are in chronologic order
A Resources Layer, a mix of resources based on Recipes, Exercises, Meditations and Podcasts.
The Community Layer: divided into 4 columns. this layer can be edit by the Admin/Site manager, especially defining images & call to Actions based on the needs of the moment.
The Latest Layer grid offers, in chronological order, a recap of the news and other topics
– Event bookings/ticket purchase
– Increased website registrations
– Online donations
– Medical Professional Enquiries
– Access to exercises/meditation zone
– Resources downloaded
– Recipe usage
– Engagement with 7 Step Program overview
– More user comments/ratings on recipes, blogs, etc.
– Sharing of key content via social media channels.
Drupal custom module
We define a custom module that can manage all the fields needed for a recipe:
– Short intro
– Categories – the type of food, skill levels, time, etc.
– Tags: Vegetarian, Vegan, etc.
– Text field instructions.
– Text field ingredients
– Option to display quantities of ingredients based on the number of people
– Option to choose preferred measurements – imperial or metric, with the conversion.
– Allow recipes to be organised into sections
– Show nutritional labels
– Have filters on Recipes landing page based on categories and tags
The websites needed several different content-type based on the sections of the websites. The creation of the content is based on a specific Admin Drupal page integrated with CKeditor and Paragraph to better align and define content
Content templates were defined for: Article, Recipes, Exercises, Meditation and Podcast (the landing page and details page), Faqs, MyOMS when the user is logged in.
We have defined the appropriate solutions to integrate MailChimp to develop three different activity: general newsletter, fundraising & circle activity.
The online payment for donation was defined to track each of the transactions. To allow Site Admin to manage refunds and integrate the possibility of regular giving.