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Puja T. Parikh
Sep 30, 2022 · 12 min read
A Psychotherapist and passionate advocate of mental health
Product Thinking, User Research, Information Architecture, Ideation, Wireframing, Visual Design, Prototyping, Testing
Product Designer, Frontend Developer
Mar 2022 - Nov 2022
Puja T. Parikh
In this project stint, the goal was to create a web + mobile experience for a New Jersey-based Psychotherapist.
How might we create a mental health brand centered around a psychotherapist who is also an author, speaker and thought leader?
In designing this web + mobile experience, I primarily focused my efforts in re-establishing a visual identity for the Brand, making improvements to the User Experience, and expanding the experience with multiple new feature sets(booking, e-commerce, and more).
While this was the third iteration of the website, and a lot of the foundation had already been laid, there were some big additions to the service offerings Puja wanted to incorporate, which offered an opportunity for more points of interaction and engagement with the User during the experience.
Understanding where Puja is and where she wants to go
A preliminary discussion with Puja helped me to understand what was working well, what could be improved, User paint points, and the plan for her brand going forward.
In laying the groundwork for this project, it was important to understand where Puja currently stood with her Brand. The first iteration of her website was in 2019, in which I developed a simple landing page experience. The second iteration was a project I was not involved with, but during that iteration she rebranded from a personal brand to a professional Practice. In this third iteration, she's wanting to revert back to a personal brand and expand her offerings.
With this discussion as a starting point, the development began with identifying what was working for Users, identifying new sets of Users and understanding how we should go about improving and expanding the experience with her new offerings.
1st Website Iteration · 2019
I designed the first iteration of Puja's website in 2019. A simple landing page experience displaying services and a way of contact.
The largest pain point of this initial iteration was that Users were unable to book appointments. In talks with Puja, having patients call for appointments was inefficient—a majority of Users preferred to book online. Additionally, Users inquired about pricing for services, which was not available on this 1st iteration of the website, indirectly forcing the User to call even if they weren't ready to book.
In my own critique of this initial iteration, I recognized that the lack of information indirectly caused pain points. Additionally, the experience seemed to be constructed more around Puja than Puja's potential patients. Instead of the website being centered around how these Services can help the User and what immediate steps the User can take towards their mental health, it was made more as a brochure of Puja's professional accomplishments, assuming the User would be impressed and want to get in touch.
In hindsight, a landing page format was not the best choice for the User. In the next iteration it was going to be key to spread out the information, utilize more descriptive headlines to make the information more readable, and center call-to-actions and headlines around why the User should take action towards their mental health rather than why they should book Puja.
Understanding the Users and gathering the data
Puja offers psychotherapy services to men, women, children, couples and families. However, because mental health is such a universal issue, I thought gathering quantitative data from an official source may be more beneficial and reliable than just analyzing site visitors or interviewing Puja on her typical patient types.
Considering this, I sourced data from the National Institute of Mental Health and the CDC. Here's what I found:
adults in the U.S. with a mental illness
of adults with a mental illness are female
children in the U.S. with a mental illness
of adults with a mental illness are age 18-25
Along with this data were also insights as to which groups actually took action with receiving treatment for their mental illness. Overwhelmingly, Women as well as Caucasians took action. Also, seeing the number of children with a mental illness indirectly showed a large number of adults(parents) who may not have a mental illness themselves, but directly deal with someone who does.
What do Users want in using this experience?
As a User, I should be able to...
BOOK SESSIONS WITH PUJA
LEARN ABOUT PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES
Over several conversations about goals and what was lacking in the first iteration, Puja and I compiled a list of items Users should be able to get in using this experience.
One of the biggest priorities for this experience was going to be reorganizing information, and adding convenient ways for self-service(booking, contact, product purchase, mental health information, questions, etc.).
We complied the list in an order of priority.
LEARN ABOUT PUJA'S PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
GET ANSWERS TO GENERAL QUESTIONS
PURCHASE PRODUCTS FROM PUJA(BOOKS)
READ BLOGS FOR SELF HELP
Starting with the landing page(Home), I laid out a general structure that highlighted key information and call-to-actions(Name, About, Take The First Step, Service, Blog, Ways to Get In Touch, Links-footer). Puja approved the initial wireframe concepts.
The hi-fi wireframe concepts helped me to flesh out ideas more and visualize how the experience will feel and function. After a few rounds of revisions, Puja approved the wireframe concepts.
"ABOUT" LANDING PAGE
"SERVICES" LANDING PAGE
"SERVICE-SELECTION" LANDING PAGE
The hamburger menu was initially tested as a way to open a newsletter subscribe form, but after deliberation, we agreed a menu icon didn't correctly communicate this action. Additionally, the experience in using this icon was unnatural and a-typical for a subscription-action and we opt'd to use a popup experience instead. Furthermore, it didn't translate well on mobile.
There had not been an established brand identity, or even a logo beforehand, but Puja was sure she wanted to utilize natural tones with a splash of coral.
Prototyping & Testing
Putting all of the pieces together
There was discussion about adding some scroll animations to the experience, but ultimately passed on this as the animations seemed to distract from the experience rather than add to it.
In testing with Users, we're actively looking to scale back the mental health content. We found Users may not be able to comprehend jargon and may attempt self-diagnosing. Services, the largest portion of the site, we felt takes away from the experience and Users can get lost in reading rather than taking action.
In hindsight, I would have spent more time in the User Research phase. This project taught me that Research is paramount in deciding where the experience should be focused. I've also realized that quantitative data isn't as important as qualitative. I wish that I had spent more time in gathering qualitative data, as this would have saved a significant amount of time during development.
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