This is a two-part question. I'm a designer at a health tech company that helps post-op patients track their rehab progress, and we're currently redesigning the site's timeline, which displays the key events in the patient's rehab program. However, a lot of our users are older and less tech-savvy, so there's historically been a huge problem of them not being able to even discover the timeline (see screenshot: it's in the top right tab on the homepage). So first question: Is there a relatively unobtrusive way to make the Timeline tab more noticeable, or direct the user's attention to the Timeline content? Second, and perhaps a bigger question is: does the Timeline even make sense being there in terms of IA? Because while its important content that we want patients to see, it might not make sense on a thematic level to be tabbed next to "To-Do List" on the homepage. Would a card sort be an effective exercise to see how users categorize the timeline? Would really appreciate any feedback you might have, thank you!
What I found often, is that most problems originate when people try to model physical reality of world around us with using slightly or even completely different model.
Every event happens on a timeline. So, let's see what we can do about your particular problem.
You have two set of events
- Timeline Events (rehab events)
- TODO items (more important?)
I would argue, that TODO are not just items, but events as well. Some of those you know when user have finished, so they have a date, and other are of unknown time, and are yet to happen.
So, here is is what I propose, given limited information that I have:
- Use unified timeline
- Clearly distinguish TODO events from other events on timeline
- once event from TODO is checked, it integrates into timeline, again possibly with an edit function to restore it back to TODO if the accidental check happens
This way, you will represent information and events in their TRUE form. It's a SINGLE timeline.
It's a timeline of patients recovery events + some important TODO on the side, that once checked go into same timeline as well.
And when you show it like that (design might be challenging) it should be much easier for everyone.