Exploring the usability, user experience and usefulness of a supportive website for people with dementia and carers

Publication Name

Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology


Purpose: This study explores the usability, usefulness and user experience of the Forward with Dementia website for people with dementia and family carers, and identifies strategies to improve web design for this population. Methods: The website was iteratively user-tested by 12 participants (five people with dementia, seven carers) using the Zoom platform. Data collection involved observations, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Integrative mixed-method data analysis was used, informed by inductive thematic qualitative analysis. Results: Users of Version 1 of the website experienced web functionality, navigation and legibility issues. Strategies for desirable web design were identified as simplifying functions, streamlining navigation and decluttering page layouts. Implementation of strategies produced improvements in usability, user experience and usefulness in Version 2, with mean System Usability Scale scores improving from 15 to 84, and mean task completion improving from 55% to 89%. The user journey for people with dementia and carers overlapped, but each group had their own unique needs in the context of web design. Conclusions: The interplay between a website’s content, functionality, navigation and legibility can profoundly influence user perceptions of a website. Dementia-related websites play an important role in informing audiences of management strategies, service availability and planning for the progression of dementia. Findings of this study may assist in guiding future web development targeting this population.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION People with cognitive impairment can provide useful feedback on design and accessibility of websites, and their input should be obtained when developing digital applications for this group. This paper provides practical suggestions for website design features to improve function, legibility and navigation of websites for older people and people living with dementia.

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