Autism Spectrum Initiative 360
A portal which provides information and services through a seamless personalized experience to people who are impacted by autism and related disorders.
Timeline: Jan 2019 - March 2019
Team : Aimee Wu, Ajinkya Sheth, Aditya Nayak
Project Type: Information Architecture class project
My Role: UX Researcher
Skills: User Research, Interview, Empathy Map, Personas, Card Sort, Content roadmap, Sitemap, Wireframes
Seattle Autism Center is an institute affiliated to Seattle Children's Hospital. The center provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support for autism spectrum disorders. Seattle Autism center approached UW iSchool to help them design an online platform providing a single point of access for information and resources related to autism.
What is Autism?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.
We interviewed the officials from Seattle Autism Center to understand their motivation and objectives for Autism online portal. We also obtained our first glimpse into the problem of how autism information and resources are currently being provided.
We interviewed three parents of children with autism. This helped us understand the experiences of the families impacted with autism and how parents of children with autism cater to the needs of their children from the diagnosis stage to the treatment stage.
In order to grasp a clear understanding in what the clients have in mind in terms of the resource they want to provide on the platform, we went through the interviews and identified all potential user types of the platform, and subsequently mapped out the generalized users' needs.
We created information personas that outline characteristics of each particular user type, the kinds of information that they need/desire for the website, and how and why the users would want the information. We made sure that our personas integrate into the overall business plan and our project strategy
I really wish there was a road map of where my son was on the spectrum. I really want the information to be black and white.
- Mother of son diagnosed with autism 7 years ago
We created empathy map to try to understand and identify how individuals with autism, family members of individuals with autism, or other types of users that are affected by autism would feel, say, do, and think. This helped us understand and identify with our prospective users' context, emotion, goals, and motivations.
For individuals concerned with autism, reading life stories of others going through the same can help them understand and empathize better. We created a roadmap that traces the content type of life stories for our portal.
Content Roadmap: Lifestories
After obtaining a clear understanding of user needs, we set out to design the Site Map. We kept in mind our goal of providing a personalized experience to the users and also incorporated users' ideas and unmet needs they stated during the interviews.
We designed Wireframes in Balsamiq to illustrate certain key pages in the proposed site. These wireframes contain some form of sample content that illustrates content that would appear on the page.
The final deliverables for our project are Wireframes. Our client (Seattle Autism Center) is very happy by our final deliverables and is going to approach a agency to develop the project and bring the Autism Portal to live.
Pictures captured while brainstorming and poster presentation at World IA day 2019.