EnableMe Platform Design Research – Inclusivity of Persons with Disability (PWD)

In April 2022, we partnered with EnableMe Platform on a user research and testing project intending to understand the user path, user experience, and challenges of Persons with disabilities with the EnableMe platform.

Who/What is EnableMe you may ask? This is a platform that empowers people with disabilities across the world by providing information, self-help peer communities & digital services. This includes; scaling and making enabling information accessible, building peer-based self-help communities for Persons with Disability, and providing programs to foster disability inclusion in organizations.

The main question that guided us through this project was: How might we improve the EnableMe platform to increase engagement on the platform and meet the information gap within the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) community? Having this in mind, the Human Centered Design team set out to understand the user path, user experience, and challenges of Persons with Disabilities concerning the EnableMe platform. In addition, the team also sought to understand the needs of non-users, herein described as Persons with Disabilities who have not engaged with the platform.

Which research tool did we deploy? We used semi-structured MVP testing sessions that aimed at observing Persons with Disability interacting with the EnableMe platform, capturing stories, needs, and challenges of the interviewees concerning the topics of user experience of the platform, community, and content needs surrounding matters of living with disabilities. We successfully interviewed 40 persons with disabilities, both users and non-users to understand the user path and challenges. This included; 25 total platform users (15 user testing interviews and 10 survey respondents) and 15 total non-users (3 user testing interviews and 12 survey respondents). Through these interviews, we were able to generate behavioral insights concerning the interaction with the platform.

An insight that stood out from this project was that the EnableMe platform is enjoying a monopoly! There is no other platform as robust as this one in the market. When it comes to finding a platform that offers both content and community for Persons With Disabilities in Kenya, EnableMe is the only platform. The platform addresses the major needs of this group. The provision of both community and content means they get to exchange topics they care about and are interested in in a safe space. WhatsApp support groups are popular but despite this, Persons with Disabilities are still also using EnableMe because it allows them to dive deeper into specific topics and engage in discussions on specific articles and comments. Moreover, the platform offers many of the users a safe space to air their views on a variety of subjects that otherwise would not be addressed. EnableMe provides Persons with disabilities with an environment to talk about pertinent issues to them as a minority group in society.

A major lesson we’ve picked up from executing this project is that innovation, collaboration, and Human Centred Design are powerful and necessary tools in this day and age.

Through this project, we were able to create personas and user journeys that would go into helping the improvement of the EnableMe platform. This activity aimed to ensure that all the needs of users were addressed adequately. Through this exercise, we offered key recommendations around community engagement and content engagement. To address these two overarching recommendations we provided step-by-step instructions for the improvement of the platform through the development of new and in-depth content covering both content on disabilities and real-life issues faced by Persons living with Disabilities. We further recommended that this content is provided in varied forms to ensure inclusivity. Overall, the project illuminates the power of human-centered design in ensuring the usability and accessibility of the platform.

Is your organization on the quest of searching for its next design research partner? Circle Innovation is a leading innovation company focused on helping ideas grow through human-centered design, research, and innovation process facilitation. We work with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to support them in the process from an idea to piloting solutions with design research, processes, and tools. We do this through quantitative and qualitative research, human-centered design, workshops and training, co-creation, startup programs, and innovation project facilitation. Let chat! Reach out at hello@circleinnovation.co or visit our website via www.circleinnovation.co to learn more about our organization.

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