Pow Hearing Solutions
Redesigning the website to send a clear message
For my fourth project at RED Academy. I worked with a small business that provides audio accessibility solutions for the deaf and hard of hearing. This is a case study breaking down the process we took to redesign their website.
Client: Pow Hearing Solutions
Project Length: 3 weeks
Team: David Marks (UX), Joel Loyol (UX), Mengqi (UI)
What is Pow Hearing?
Pow provides audio accessibility solution for the the deaf and hard of hearing. Laura, started her businesses after being inspired by her own experiences as person who is hard of hearing. She found it difficult to do everyday tasks like talking to a teller at the bank or attending events she was interested in. She would go into a businesses that advertised having a hearing solution but would find out that the staff didn’t actually know how to use it. Their was disconnect between businesses and the people who actually used the solutions.
Frustrated Laura decided to solve the problem by becoming the solution provider. To create solutions that actually worked!
The Problem: a confusing website
During our initial client meeting Laura broke down the problem we would be helping her with: the Pow Hearing website. The current website suffered from numerous problems:
- Information overload
- Buried Information
- Unnecessary pages
The site failed to send a clear picture of what her business offers.
Our goal for redesigning the site was to :
- Simplify the site and make it more digestible.
- Clarify the business proposition
- Strengthen the branding
Before we could start designing the new website we had to get some insight into Pow’s business. We needed to understand:
- What is Pow’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Who is their customer? What are they looking for?
- What is the best way to design Pow’s website?
The best way for us to find these answers was to talk to as many people as we could at all levels of the business, from suppliers to customers.
Pow’s strengths and weaknesses
We interviewed Laura’s past customers to learn about her value and what she can do to improve.
- Strength: Her customers trusted her technical knowledge.
- Strength: She was a pleasure to work with, very collaborative, and particularly helpful.
- Strength: Organizations would contact her about one solution but would often end up getting an entirely different solution all together that better suited their needs.
- Weakness: Some customers were initially confused on what Pow’s services were.
Finding and learning about Pow’s customers?
Most organization’s aren’t aware that they need a hearing accessibility solution until it is requested by one of their customers. Talking to organizations about a problem they don’t think they have would give us little insight and result in us asking hypotheticals.
To get around this we used the site Aldlocater.com, which lists all assistive listening devices in a given location. Since they already had a device in place we could learn about their journey to getting it and more about the organizations that would be representative of pow’s audience. To get in touch with these organizations we picked up the phone and started cold calling.
What we learned:
- Organizations relied on expert advice when buying a hearing solution. They did not have the necessary knowledge to make an effective purchasing decision. This more so validated Pow as an effective solution for its customer base.
- The driver for many of these organizations to get hearing accessibility solutions was from their elderly customers who’s hearing had started deteriorating.
- A majority of organizations with ALD devices were churches.
Our most insightful interview, Pow’s supplier
Audio Everywhere supplies pow with some the tech solutions that they offer. They have a website where they get large amount of their sales from. Lance the owner of the business was able to give us valuable information. His site has a similar demographic to Laura’s and he has google analytic data from his site to backup his insights.
Our major insights from talking to Lance were:
- A large amount of site traffic came from mobile, because of this we made sure to design mobile first.
- Important to have multiple call to actions, which we incorporated into our designs.
- Keep contact form short as possible, every extra question pushes 50% of people away.
Learning about individuals with hearing loss
We wanted to talk to individuals because some of Laura’s past customers have been individuals. This target audience is often the driver for organizations to seek out solutions in first place.
We created a survey to get insights on this audience segment. We were able to find a Facebook group for Canadians who are deaf or hard of hearing. We were lucky enough that the admin for the group was willing to post our survey to the group on our behalf.
Here is a summary of our survey and what we learned:
Sample Size: 18
Female: 89 %
Age (55+): 83 %
- 58% felt that their current hearing solution was somewhat effective
- 52% were interested in consulting with an expert
Using the research we gathered we were able to create three user personas reflecting the three different types of audiences pow will have:
Individual Seeking Help
Ruth Goldberg | 73 Years old | Retired | Toronto, Ontario
Bio: Ruth is a retired librarian who has six grand kids. She has developed hearing problems and struggles to hear her family when they all come down for Christmas.
What she needs: An easy to understand website with large fonts and plenty of images
Greg Mathews|64 Year old | Anglican Priest | Hamilton, Ontario
Bio: Greg has worked in various jobs before becoming a priest and values hard work. His parishioners are mostly older in age and he has noticed that some of them are struggling to hear his sermon due to hearing loss.
What he needs: reasons to trust your services, testimonials, clear and to the point information.
Emelia Lee |31 Years old | Community Manager| Toronto
Bio: Emelia works for a non-profit. she is very empathetic and likes to help others. Working for a great cause is what really drives her to do her best work. She regularly organizes events and seminars for her work. She is very much a go getter but because of this she is very hard pressed for time.
What she need: Quick and to the point information. Clearly laid out services and a quick way to get in contact.
Deciding on Features
By figuring out what each persona we made needs out of pow hearing’s site we are able to make sure that we built the appropriate features for them.
For example some features we included into the site for Ruth are having large fonts to display information and to include plenty of images.
We made a list of features based off our users and then put them under two columns, must haves and nice to haves. This is in order to maintain the scope of the project as a minimum viable product.
Starting off our designs we weren’t sure how we were going to set up the information architecture. So we focused on designing the home page on good old pen and paper. We drew out many versions of the home page to get an idea of all the possibilities. We shared our designs and unanimously agreed on one of them. The design that stood out, had dedicated pages for all three of the key users: organization, live events, and individuals. We could speak directly to our different users and provide them with relevant information.
With the home page settled on, it became abundantly clear how the rest of the site would be setup. Our low fidelity design process accomplished building out the core structure of the product.
With our mid fidelity designs we started to add the content for the website and figuring out what content we would place in the areas we had designated. Through out our process we were constantly checking and improving component of the site through feedback and constant iterations.
Our End product
We were able to successfully reach the goals we had set out do at the start of our project.
- We simplified the site by talking directly to the key users.
- We clarified pows service by immediately explaining what pow does on the home page.
- We strengthened pow’s branding by showcasing the sense of joy people have when interacting with pow.
It was great project to work on and my team overall is happy with our end product. But most of all our client was overjoyed with what we delivered. We had accomplished what she wanted and even managed to exceeded her expectations. We delivered a focused clear site that will help her grow her business in the future. Best of all the site is going to be made by the web development students at Red. We are excited to see it up and running in the near future!