content strategy for mission-driven organizations, brands, and people

Oak Street Health OLD

An accessible, inclusive web experience for seniors

 
 
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Background

Oak Street Health is a network of primary care practices for patients on Medicare. As more adults retire and claim their Medicare benefits, the company is experiencing a massive growth. In partnership with One Design Company, I helped redesign a new experience to support Oak Street Health patient acquisition and recruiting efforts. As the team’s content strategist, researcher and copywriter, I drove efforts to design a website that led with accessible, inclusive content.

Services

  • Workshop facilitation

  • Usability research

  • User testing

  • Content strategy

  • Copywriting

Previous Oak Street Health website. They wanted a more professional and streamlined experience to attract new patients and employees.

Previous Oak Street Health website. They wanted a more professional and streamlined experience to attract new patients and employees.

Understanding target website users

We couldn’t design and build a website until we fully understood One Street Health and their target website users. During our discovery phase, we learned their patients end up in the hospital significantly less than other primary care practices, and their doctors report higher job satisfaction.

It wasn’t enough to know these facts. We needed to know why. Just a few of many questions we explored:

  • What brought new patients and employees to Oak Street Health?

  • What kept them there? Why might patients leave to seek healthcare services elsewhere?

  • How was Oak Street Health keeping patients healthier and doctors happier?

Through formal interviews, informal conversations, workshops, contextual research and observational visits to Oak Street Health centers, we learned everything we could. I led several sessions with stakeholders and synthesized our learnings. From these early stages, I began to formulate user-centered content practices.

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Plain language paired with simple visuals

An early wireframe of a portion of the homepage. We wanted to make clear that Oak Street Health helps their patients navigate Medicare benefits, which is a key point of differentiation.

The final version of this content simplifies the message.

The final version of this content simplifies the message.

Creating an accessible, inclusive experience

We had specific accessibility requirements to consider:

  • Most people on Medicare are 65 and older. This was our primary audience.

  • Oak Street Health patients have an average third grade reading level.

  • Not many patients own computers. Most own Android phones, but their tech literacy varies.

Content had to be easy to read and understand. The website had to be extremely intuitive.

With a mobile-first approach in the wireframes, we challenged ourselves to keep content as concise as possible. Keeping in mind the limitations that small screens present aging eyes, the designers experimented with high-contrast colors and type size. I used Hemingway App to identify too-complex sentences and language.

Once we had a working mobile prototype with copy and design, we conducted a small user testing session. Putting an early version of the mobile site in front of patients validated many of our content and design decisions.

During interviews and user testing, patients weren’t shy about sharing their health conditions and concerns. To help new patients see themselves at Oak Street Health, we identified the most treated conditions on the homepage.

During interviews and user testing, patients weren’t shy about sharing their health conditions and concerns. To help new patients see themselves at Oak Street Health, we identified the most treated conditions on the homepage.

Iterative and collaborative content delivery

Lorem ipsum never once made an appearance throughout the design process.

I wrote content iteratively, starting from our first wireframes. I used early stakeholder feedback to refine content as we underwent several design reviews. Close collaboration between design and content allowed us to move quickly and make adjustments as we gained new information.

I also co-created content with our client partner. We sat side-by-side as he quickly identified problematic language, and together we fine-tuned copy and made adjustments. This doesn’t mean I accepted every content change he wanted to make. We had thoughtful discussions about what the website needed to communicate to end users.

I knew the website would continue to evolve after our engagement ended. To help the Oak Street Health team maintain consistency as new pages were added or portions were tweaked, I created content standards that addressed tone, style and systems.