Involving employees in design

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As we start to get screen shots of the new website from StayWell we’re thinking about how to involve the “end user,” King County employees, in developing this new experience. We realize we are just too close to the program and we need the perspective of people from outside of our group. This is a major change from how we worked with WebMD on that implementation.

StayWell has a highly customizable web experience. It’s one of the reasons we picked them. It allows us to take the unique personality of our workforce into account when we are thinking about how to engage them on the website.

And boy does our workforce have personality! We have downtown office workers, bus drivers, law enforcement officers, public health clinic workers, road maintenance crews and people who test water quality… And all of these folks bring their unique perspective and abilities. We have people who hate computers, people who tolerate them and people who know so much about them they can fix them. We have people who are fitness fanatics, people who try but can’t keep motivated, people who feel like they just don’t have time and people for whom it’s just not a priority.

How do you design for this much personality?

We have gathered a group of employees to help us with the website development. We think we might be one of StayWell’s only clients to do this. Following best practices, and our own KCIT, we decided to involve individuals who are representative of our workforce instead of inviting 14,000 people to participate. The research says 6-8 people will raise the same issues that 1,000 will.

So, we have our team of willing testers! These folks will help us answer questions like – do you know what you’re supposed to do as soon as you logon to the website? Is your next step in the program obvious? Is it easy for you to choose an individual action plan? Easy to change? Can you tell what you’ve done? Do you know what you still have to do to earn gold?

Stay tuned for what they have to say!

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