OMA (Ontario Medical Association) works for medical professionals across Ontario representing their political, clinical and economic interests. Advocating for the wellbeing and success of its members is part of their core business.
The project was initiated by OMA to refresh their website, improve member impressions of the Association and improve usability. Akendi worked with OMA to redesign the website’s information architecture, interaction design, and visual design. Use of the website among OMA members was lower than desired and members reported that a large portion of the content on the site was outdated and/or hard to find. Members felt that the website could provide more value and better support them in their work.
Akendi’s research team started this project by conducting an inventory of the existing content to determine what content should be moved to the new site as well as undertaking card sorting research to guide the information structure for the new site.
Once the site’s architecture was complete, Akendi conducted a series of stakeholder workshops to identify key users, and to capture the usage scenarios that would be translated to wireframes. A brief survey was sent to OMA members to identify pain points and primary uses of the existing website. With the information gathered from the stakeholder workshops and survey, initial prototypes were designed and tested with real users.
Three visual concepts were created for OMA. These concepts explored different aspects of the Association but also different aspects of what is like to be a doctor. Areas explored in creating the visual concepts were: resources and tools for members, showcasing doctors’ stories and the pride in being a member and a doctor. The following three concepts were presented to OMA: “SHOWCASING OUR PRIDE” focusing on member stories, “A DOCTOR’S PASSION”, a grass roots approach focusing on why doctors become doctors, and “THERE’S MORE TO THE OMA” focusing on highlighting the wealth of information and resources the OMA offers its members. After presenting these options, the OMA outlined their favourite aspects of each concept, which were then captured in the final design. After the visual concept was established, adaptive templates and custom icons were created for desktop, tablet, and mobile breakpoints. This gave OMA a foundation from which to build their complete website.
Accessibility – OMA is mandated to be accessible to all people. Akendi had to very closely consider all elements of the design and ensure that they met web accessibility standards WCAG 2.0 level AA.
Imagery – OMA members wanted to see actual OMA doctors in the visuals but a custom photo shoot was out of scope for the Akendi team. To resolve this issue, Akendi used images selectively and used overlays to unify the images and create texture, bringing visual interest to the website.
Information Architecture – Content on the website was organized by departments, but members were not aware of the organizational structure when looking for information. A challenge was having the client understand and accept an information architecture based on user needs, rather than organizational hierarchy.
Locked/Hidden Content – The client wanted to demonstrate the value of membership by showcasing all the resources available, but had to ensure that a good portion of the information was restricted only to members. The final information architecture was a balancing act between the public and private sides of the site. This was addressed by providing visibility and a sample to a portion of the content, but signing in as a member was the only way to gain full access.
OMA has been able to update their brand and begin to change member perceptions of the Association. Redesigning the information architecture and interaction design has allowed OMA to make their site easier to navigate allowing users to move through it more efficiently to complete their tasks. The visual design of the site creates a welcoming and meaningful place for users to visit and explore.
Creative Direction by: Athena Herrmann
Visual Design by: Jessica Murray
Interaction Design/Research by: Cindy Beggs, Daniel Iaboni, Lisa Min, Foong Ling Chen
Jessica Murray is a Visual Designer at Akendi, a firm dedicated to creating intentional experiences through end-to-end experience design. To learn more about Akendi or user experience design, visit www.akendi.com.
Akendi is a product strategy, user experience design and usability research firm. We are passionate about the creation of intentional experiences – whether those involve digital products, physical products, mobile, service or bricks-and-mortar interactions. We work shoulder-to-shoulder to optimize the experiences you deliver. Akendi Corporate Overview (PDF).
Experience Thinking innovation firm in Product UX Strategy, User Experience Design & Usability Testing for Companies: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Canada.
T: +44 (0)20 35982601
22 Highbury Grove
London, N5 2EF