Alles over kanker
How can we help users find the right information?
With the website allesoverkanker.be, Kom op tegen Kanker aims to inform and support people with cancer and their loved ones. The organization does this by sharing its knowledge about the disease in an accessible, human, and understandable way. The website not only provides information about all medical aspects, but also offers tips on how to deal with all the consequences that come with the disease (financial, work, school, side effects, etc.). It also informs cancer patients and their loved ones where they can find support. In addition, the website helps people feel understood, thanks to the numerous stories of patients that are intertwined with the informative pages.
The previous version of allesoverkanker.be was due for renewal after 7 years, both functionally and technically. With several thousand pages, the website was bursting at the seams, making it increasingly difficult for users to navigate smoothly. But how do you create an organized website, where users can quickly find the right information, when you are the “Wikipedia of cancer”?
Moving away from hierarchical navigation
One of the biggest challenges in the conceptual development of the website was the large amount of content and the search for a way to structure all that information. That's why we gladly took on an extensive revision of the existing information architecture.
Because there’s so much content to find on the website, a hierarchical navigation would be too heavy and inhibiting. For this reason, we chose to work with "forward navigation". This type of navigation guides users through the pages in a concentric and intuitive flow. For content-rich websites like allesoverkanker.be, this is often a more suitable solution, avoiding the hierarchical structure that comes with a main navigation. Validation tests also confirmed this. More and more people aren’t visiting allesoverkanker.be via the homepage, but are looking for a specific type of cancer from which they can navigate to deeper information. That's why we designed landing pages for each type of cancer, which our partner Ants Connect also highlighted as an SEO best practice.
To maintain an overview, we created a small homepage for each type of cancer. This gives users an idea what kind of information is available on the website. In addition to medical information, they can also find information on insurance, support groups, activities, and other topics.
Forward navigation and more synergy
Together with Kom op tegen Kanker, we started by sharpening the definition of the problem and the expectations. To get a good understanding of the expectations of the users and other stakeholders, we also conducted desk and field research: what needs should the website fulfill for cancer patients, their loved ones, and other involved parties? And can we learn from the best practices of similar organizations abroad?
Next, we made a first conceptual model of all necessary content types, mapped out the information architecture, and translated this into wireframes in the UX trajectory. Starting from the forward navigation principle, we built templates for the pages about the different types of cancer and the detail pages. In addition, we created more synergy between the informative aspect (description of the type of cancer) and the more inspiring and supportive aspect (“Living with cancer”) by linking adequately at the right time.
Finally, all of this had to be done in a digitally inclusive way. Since allesoverkanker.be is a website with medical information, which is often visited by people with medical or physical disabilities, accessibility was a high priority. For this reason, we added definitions of technical jargon on the page itself. This way, the content is readable and understandable for everyone, and users don't have to navigate to another page for more information.
The wireframes were extensively tested with end-users. An external party also conducted an accessibility audit during the different phases of the project.
Craftzing developed the entire project up to and including the UX design, but our collaboration with Kom op tegen Kanker didn’t end there. Together, we also wrote a specification to find the right partner for UI design and development.
A (more) simple platform to cope with difficult news
For cancer patients and their loved ones, the diagnosis of cancer is difficult news to hear. Afterwards, they have to process a lot of information – with plenty of technical jargon. By visiting allesoverkanker.be, they can go through all that information at their own pace, both medical and practical matters. In addition, patients can also turn to the website for mental support in the form of stories, tips, support groups and activities. The renewal of the website allows them to do this more easily and faster than before, supporting Kom op tegen Kanker in their role as a reliable expert and information source on the disease.