User Insights For A Healthier Scotland
The Scottish Government's Campaign ‘Eat better, feel better’ is aimed at helping parents with children make healthier food choices. From meal planning, right through to shopping and food preparation; the website provides easy, quick and cheap recipe ideas, as well as useful tips, discount offers and video demonstrations.
Before the campaign launched, our job was to conduct user research with parents of children aged 4-17 in order to understand their digital behaviour in relation to food and healthy eating.
The project also involved one-to-one user testing of a prototype website and TV advert to determine how well the target audience would repond to the campaign, as well as gather their opinions around the overall site architecture and content to determine whether the website could be used as a 'go-to' for healthy food choices.
Understanding user needs
We knew who the campaign was aimed at so we set out to recruit 8 mums who were typically stressed, lacked time and generally do not plan ahead. They lack confidence in cooking meals from scratch and believe that eating more healthily is just too difficult.
Prior to testing we interviewed participants to assess their current online behaviour in general, as well as their digital behaviour in relation to the topic of food and healthy eating.
We also presented each participant the TV advert, as well as the proposed homepage and recipe page designs in order to gain some general feedback on the overall look and feel of the website, and whether the sample content available was helpful and engaging.
Usability Testing Prototypes
Low fidelity, interactive wireframes were created. These were output as HTML and covered all proposed website functionality over approximately 15 pages. During testing, participants were asked to complete several important tasks on the wireframes, whilst we captured opinions, usability issues and success rates in completing the tasks.
Participants were also asked to provide feedback on the proposed designs and invited to suggest improvements, along with any additional tools they felt would encourage parents to use the website.
After testing, participants were asked to complete a short online survey about their experiences, which helped clarify their preferences and offered insights as to whether they found the online tools useful, if the proposed format worked and if there were any additional requirements needed.
Clarifying the results
Usability issues were captured for each task and scored against a severity rating scale of minor, serious, and critical. We found that the majority of the target audience used their mobile phone or tablet to browse the internet, which highlighted a number of limitations on the prototypes, as some features were not mobile friendly. We were able to identify these usability issues and recommend practical solutions for improvement.
We also learned that eating healthy on a budget was a more appealing and persuasive selling point, which enabled the Scottish Government to amend their marketing approach.
Revised, mobile site and targeted TV advert
A detailed report of our findings, together with a number of recommendations and a formal presentation was given to the Scottish Government project team; allowing them to revise the design and structure of the website, ensuring the TV advert appealed more to their target audience.