Applying UX to improve digital service delivery for Alzheimer’s Society

User Experience & Usability

alzheimers society website displayed on laptop screen

There are predicted to be 1.6 million people living with dementia in the UK by 2040. As the UK’s leading dementia charity, Alzheimer’s Society is striving to find new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for dementia. It provides expert information, advice and emotional support, invests in research, and promotes a more dementia-friendly society. We worked with the charity, providing expert website user research to help accelerate improvements in its digital services.

“System Concepts helped us continue to establish and grow our culture of evidence led, inclusive, user-centred work. Their additional accessibility expertise was invaluable.”

Rik Williams, User Experience Architect, Alzheimer’s Society

The challenge

When Alzheimer’s Society was redesigning its website and transitioning to a new CMS system, it recognised the opportunity to rethink the way it engineered content to meet user needs. The team wanted to enhance the accessibility and effectiveness of digital support and resources, particularly given the weighting of the charity’s services towards older age groups. They recognised that “A lot of the opportunity to deliver support and mitigate the impact of dementia, lies in digital services. The role of UX is to ensure that our digital services are fit for purpose, and that we optimise our use of resources to meet our strategic objectives.”

System Concepts were pleased to be appointed to the project due to our emphasis on contextual research, and fully supported the rigorous onboarding process in line with the charity’s governance requirements.

What we did

We focused our  user research on the Alzheimer’s Society website around four key themes:

  • Finding information
  • Ease of navigation
  • Content and layout
  • Language

Our methodology included contextual research, running face-to-face sessions in people’s homes. This was especially pertinent given the challenges of accessing all those affected by dementia. Using this approach we were able to evaluate different user journeys, gaining insights across a variety of user groups. These included: family and professional carers; people affected by dementia; and those with visual impairments, dyslexia or upper mobility impairment.

“Recruitment is always a challenge with harder to reach groups, but System Concepts handled it really well… All of the System Concepts consultants we worked with were very professional, organised and good to work with – we built a good level of rapport. It all panned out as expected – the research method, plan and execution were all done well.”

Rik Williams, User Experience Architect, Alzheimer’s Society


We delivered a detailed written report, recognising what was already working well on the charity’s website – along with actionable recommendations for areas where there was room for accessibility and usability improvements. This allowed Alzheimer’s Society to make efficient updates to their website, leaving them better prepared to fight dementia through digital means.

researcher organises post it notes on wallOur client also highlighted an important ‘softer’ benefit of the project, as it helped establish a culture at the charity around the value of user research, and user centred design practice. Allowing stakeholders to be involved throughout, as part of our flexible and inclusive approach to the project, created valuable exposure to first-hand insights from participants.

Since this first project was completed, System Concepts has undertaken further work for Alzheimer’s Society. We were able to use a similar process for the follow-on project, which looked at user experience aspects of the charity’s local services online directory.

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