Healthcare UX Research Case Study:

Website Usability Testing with Patients for UVA Health

To improve its website experience for patients, we led mixed-methods usability research for this major regional health system with the #1 hospital in Virginia. After combining qualitative UX testing with 2 types of quantitative research, we led a 1-day analysis workshop.


Step #1: Qualitative research

We conducted 3 types of research for this project:

  • Primary: Usability testing (qualitative)
  • Secondary: Website survey (quantitative)
  • Secondary: Session replay analysis (quantitative)

To design the qualitative usability research, we collaborated with our main point of contact to come up with a set of scenarios for people to test on the website. We settled on 5 common scenarios including:

  • Getting to primary care appointment
  • Visiting family member in hospital
  • Scheduling and researching a mammogram
  • Researching offerings for child food allergies
  • Finding hip replacement cost and insurance info
  • Researching treatment options and offerings for brain tumor
  • Researching options for a relative’s failing liver

Step #2: Quantitative research

To supplement our qualitative usability testing, we also conducted 2 types of quantitative research: a website survey and session replay analysis. For the website survey, we captured 600 responses from 2 survey variations with 2 quick questions. Learn more about the survey part of this project: How a Website Survey Gave UVA Health Actionable UX Insights.

Step #3: Analysis as a team

We like to remind clients that, while we can help teams follow usability best practices in a broad sense, our client teams are the experts on their products, users, and constraints. The best way we know how to make a website do its job better is to show our client teams people trying to use the site.

  • We viewed the results from the survey, which supported what we saw in the qualitative interviews.
  • And we watched some sample screen capture videos, which again supported what we saw in the qualitative sessions.
  • Improve search
  • Make content easier to find and understand
  • Add content that is missing

Getting to next steps

We spent some time in the afternoon brainstorming solutions and discussing who could take the most valuable next steps, and when.

Our researcher (top) moderates a usability testing session with a user (bottom) of the UVA Health website. The participant thinks aloud while trying to complete core tasks on the site.

UVA Health team members take notes on post-its as they observe recordings of research sessions. Later, they will post their notes on the walls and participate in collaborative analysis exercises.

“The facilitation was great. Awesome to think about problems this way.”

Aleksandra Golota

Marketing Specialist , UVA Health

​More Case Studies


Prototype UX Testing with Kids & Parents for PBS

PBS was exploring a new user experience flow for its digital products used by young children. We led qualitative user research with 12 pairs of parents and children and facilitated a collaborative analysis workshop.

How a Website Survey Gave UVA Health Actionable UX Insights

How do you launch a website survey that captures actionable data without annoying users? Here’s the step-by-step process we used for a regional health system along with the keys to our survey’s success.