Find a Provider A11y Updates Project


Purpose: Improve the experience of users with disabilities when they search for healthcare providers by adding extensive Accessibility Filters to my company’s Find a Provider (Doctor Search) tool.

My Role: As the UX/UI lead, I created, presented and refined wireframes. I also created the final visual design and delivered graphic and code assets to the dev team.

Timeline: Four months (my part); the overall project is still in development.

Detailed Goals

  1. Ensure that the solution was in itself accessible for people with disabilities
  2. Display the filters such that they would be easily usable by folks who needed them, but that didn’t impede searches by those who did not
  3. Make use of existing conventions in the Find a Provider tool specifically, and in Material Design generally, to maintain consistency and avoid reinventing the wheel
  4. Look for opportunities to improve the 508 compliance of the overall Find a Provider tool
  5. Watch for reading level problems: much of the original documentation was written with federal and state guidelines in mind, so the first draft of the text was full of legalistic, stilted jargon.

Sketching Phase

  1. Used Balsamiq (my go-to sketch tool) to create rough wireframes. 
  2. I’m a big fan of the tool because it’s possible to create complicated flows quickly.
  3. The ‘sketchy’ style helps stakeholders focus on the flow instead of getting hung up on visual design details
  4. I ran solutions past stakeholders to make sure the solution fit the requirements, and went through multiple rounds of refinements.

Working With Development

  1. My front-end development experience comes in handy when conferring with the dev team.
  2. In this case, being able to ‘speak developer’ helped us uncover a problem with the design concept: that part of it couldn’t be supported with the existing code base.
  3. Result: I revamped the approach, reviewed it with dev for feasibility, and returned to business stakeholders to get signoff for the change.

Reviewing and Revising with Stakeholders

  1. Background: I’m always careful to explain the rationale behind my UX and UI decisions. This helps with buy-in, and also helps us focus on discussions of user experience vs. pixel adjustments.
  2. For the most part, stakeholder review (29 regional plans!) was successful, except with the Texas team: they pointed out that my some icon choices were too binary, and gave patients the impression that a provider who was partially accessible wasn’t worth considering.
  3. Result: revised icon designs that fit the requirements and gained stakeholder approval.

Concurrent Improvements

  1. Working with the marketing team, I crafted copy rewrites that would lower the reading grade level for filter descriptions, disclaimers, and legal notices.
  2. Working with the dev team, we figured out a way to fix contrast issues in the tool’s header. It was outside the initial scope of the project but supported the overall strategy.