Picker and NHS England identified the need to combine two existing NHS Staff Survey websites into one, to cater better to audience needs and provide a single point of access for information about the Survey and results.
Design Culture worked consultatively with all parties to determine organisational needs. The new website needed to be simple and time-effective to work with and manage, be built for growth and be a powerful platform to deliver against each organisations’ strategic goals – so defining the right technical approach would be key to project success.
Both of the previous websites were particularly difficult for internal teams to work with – particularly complex in terms of content management, requiring lots of time and resource on data and document upload to publish Survey results on a specific release date.
Audiences for the combined website include NHS Trusts, Survey participants and researchers and academics. With the site’s core purpose to house a lot of complex information and present NHS Staff Survey information, supporting documents and results to these audiences at the point of need, we planned a clean, coherent site architecture and user journeys.
With the information architecture defined, we could focus on the technical complexities of the delivery and visual design of the website.
Visually the site is clean and contemporary, with its design look and feel centred use around use of the NHS blue and supported by a limited core palette of complimentary colours. An ownable and distinct illustration style adds visual interest throughout, but allows for the informational content and navigation to lead at all times.
The website has been designed with Accessibility at its core, meeting international WCAG 2.1 AA standards. So, key to our design approach was the need to balance this requirement with creating an impactful, modern design.
Particular focus was placed on the functional requirements of the team that need to manage the website day-to-day, to provide an intuitive, easy to use CMS that would enable the quick deployment of survey results. Alongside this was the need to deliver a high performing site and positive user experience for all audiences.
A standard CMS approach was not going to be effective as we needed a solution that would remove the requirement for manual upload of large amounts of data and documents when publishing the results. So, we chose to develop the website using Gatsby frontend plus WordPress as a headless CMS, which enabled us to build a bespoke FTP that allows the client to bulk upload large quantities of files into a pre-determined folder structure, automatically tagging each file with required information. This dramatically reduces the level of work the teams have to do at each release.
Unlike a standard website, the Jamstack approach (Gatsby + Headless CMS) means that when a user visits a page in the website, there is no database or server request to load the content, meaning the load time is very quick when moving from page to page as the website doesn’t have to refresh – with the user experiencing up to 60% faster page load speeds.
Gatsby front end plus Headless CMS enables faster content creation as well as ease of management for the team and it provides enhanced site performance and security in comparison to a traditional deployment of WordPress CMS. Other benefits include shorter development time and a better development experience on our side.
increase in average session duration
increase in pages viewed per session