From the beginning, Doc Ready has run a series of engagement workshops, collaborating with young people from all over Brighton and Hove to develop its functionality, look and feel. We began with user insight workshops and followed this with paper prototyping to come up with a functional spec for a first technical development sprint. For this sprint, we were working with what we’d heard in these workshops, but wanted to make sure that what we were building was still correct.
This is where user testing comes in. The Doc Ready team took the first iteration of the actual digital tool back to the young people we have worked with. And this time we even invited a few extra people who have never heard of Doc Ready to get a fresh pair of eyes on what we were building.
We showed the group the first iteration of the app, so they could test its usability and functionality across a range of different devices – from mobile to laptops and iPads. We also ran a questionnaire to find out what the group thought about the design and how they would like it to look and feel.
To test usability and functionality, we gave the group a fictional character and scenario, asking them to use the product to satisfy certain user goals. For example, they had to imagine it was their first experience going to a GP alone and they wanted to build a checklist of things to remember to say, such as ”I’m not sleeping well”.
The group facilitators observed how each person worked through these scenarios to see how they used it. But we also gave each person a capture sheet so they could note down the good, the bad and the ugly as they worked through the scenarios.
For the survey on the design of Doc Ready, we asked the group what kinds of apps and websites they liked, which apps and sites they liked the look of, what they thought of the original Doc Ready branding and what they would like to change. We also sent the survey out through Twitter, email and the Doc Ready blog, so people outside of the workshops could feedback on our approach.
Through the user testing process, one of our biggest assumptions was challenged. We thought that people would print out their checklist to take with them to their GP appointment. But over 70% of the group said that they would take the checklist just on their phone or handwritten, rather than print it out. We’ve since changed the design of Doc Ready to reflect this.
The group of young people were very savvy about digital design, what they like and how it makes them feel. The original Doc Ready layout used lots of boxes, but they felt that this was like putting everything in its place, so that they were being pigeon holed into certain categories. If you are already stressed out or depressed and people are putting you into boxes around that, you don’t want to be put in a box when using a website as well.
The language of Doc Ready has also changed. The group described the language as very “Big Brother” and they weren’t sure who was talking to them on the site. They felt like the language should be softer, more straightforward and sound like something they would say to each other in everyday life.
We’ve now changed things around so that the language the app uses prompts young people to use their own voice, rather than being an authority figure telling them what might be wrong with them. We’d like the Doc Ready app to be used and taken by young people to their GP visits, putting the young person in control of what they want to talk to the doctor about.
The next steps for us are to take the feedback gained through the user testing workshop and integrate these notes into the second development sprint of Doc Ready. We’ve reworked the brand and language the app uses too, based on the young people’s feedback. After this sprint, we’ll take the digital prototype back to the group to make sure that we’re still on track before making Doc Ready available to use in September.
All this feedback has been fantastic and we’re getting ever closer to launch. Exciting times!