Alzheimer Society Canada
Supporting a federated
charity to satisfy many complex user needs.
How do you understand the needs of many complex stakeholders and users, then satisfy them all within a single website?
Alzheimer Society Canada is a federation of 11 legally independent partners and more than 40 individual societies. Each delivers support services, raises funds, provides public awareness, advocates health policies, and promotes research into new treatments. All are committed to a common mission, shared brand, and program model.
The federation is built on collaboration. When they embarked on a new website project, they quickly realised that to work effectively, the site needed to satisfy the needs of a diverse range of people.
Alzheimer’s Society could use internal capabilities to build the site, but they recognised they would need specialists to guide them to the solution. They asked us to be their digital partner for their website redevelopment project, to help them understand specific stakeholder needs and user problems. Then help to satisfy them all, in the new site.
It was important that we took the time to understand the whole picture. To do this we embarked on a research and discovery phase, with a series of interviews, workshops, technical reviews, and analysis. This was then used to create a plan, and to provide ongoing support for their internal team.
The goal was to fully understand the needs of each user group and create a solution that would satisfy these needs, along with a workable plan that would allow the internal development team to create an effective and user-friendly website.
INTERNAL ALIGNMENT WAS KEY TO SUCCESS
Getting stakeholders across Canada on the same page.
The first phase of work was a detailed internal discovery process, to align all the different stakeholders on the project. Working closely with the different Alzheimer Society offices, we worked to align teams on the objectives and outcomes. Stakeholders from all areas of the organisation were given a voice through workshops and focus groups. We supplemented this work with a complete digital audit of the organisation, technical reviews, analytics, and donation system analysis.
GETTING CLOSER TO THE AUDIENCE NEEDS
Gaining a deep understanding of the audience from the start.
When a website offers so much content of interest, for so many different audiences, intuitive and clear user experience (UX) design is paramount. Gaining a deep knowledge of the user problems was central to this work. Our considered UX design research and support was designed to understand how we could efficiently guide the audience to achieve their goals. This, combined with our knowledge of the organisational objectives, allowed us to create a plan for the work they needed to do.
SUPPORTING THE CLIENT TEAM
Filling the gaps and providing expertise where it’s needed.
Once the discovery phase was complete, and we had a plan for the site, we moved into a support role. Throughout the design and build, our team was able to offer long-term help to the internal team. We provided ongoing consulting via our team’s skills and expertise, with advice on information architecture, content and strategy support, ongoing feedback and review, prototyping, and extensive testing.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IS KEY
Ongoing support and further improvement.
When a website is launched, the work doesn’t stop. So neither does our support. Working both remotely and in person, we have a long and ongoing relationship with the Alzheimer Society, built on trust and partnership. Our support to the Alzheimer Society now includes providing internal and external surveys to test assumptions, further user testing, and ongoing advice with analytics and technology.