Case study Transforming the Marie Curie website
Early in 2014 Marie Curie began a project to relaunch their website, this project was one of a number of activities, supporting a strategic repositioning of the entire organisation. Part of the repositioning work also included a refresh of the organisation's brand identity, the relaunch of the website was planned to coincide with this and be launched together at the end of the year.
## The brief
The website needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. The aim, for the beta launch, was to replicate all the functionality of the existing website and update the CMS platform. Broadly this included:
- New CMS
- Fundraising campaign journeys
- Donation journeys
- Event registration journeys
- Search functionality (including geographic search)
- Blog migration (from WordPress)
However the brand refresh work meant we also had to deliver:
- New information architecture
- Content migration and refresh to incorporate the charity’s new tone of voice
- Interface redesign to include the charity’s new visual identity
- Launch of a new information and support service
In addition, we were asked make the site responsive, improve the UX where possible, and to give the content editors much more flexibility to create flexible page layouts.
I was the design lead in a cross functional scrum team dedicated to the website relaunch. I was also part of the advisory group for the brand identity refresh, which was being developed by external agency. I was responsible for advising on, and creative development for, the implementation of the new visual identity for all of the charity’s digital channels, as well as leading the design direction of the website. I was also main point of contact for the website team regarding developments in the new brand identity.
The initial user research was undertaken by UX agency Bunnyfoot who developed user personas and reccommendations for the new information architecture. The early technical development focussed on the setup of the new CMS and basic content editing capabilities. Complex features such as event registration, search and payments were prioritised and assigned to later sprints.
What I did
- Developed a fluid design process that complimented the team’s Agile approach.
- Led on all aspects of the visual design and a phased introduction of the new visual identity.
- Created an online pattern library and style guide to support the website team.
- Supported the product owner and business analysts by writing user stories and leading demos.
- Built HTML prototypes of all major features and supported the developers team with CMS integration of the front-end code and testing.
- Created a library of content blocks with flexible styles and layouts to give the content team more options when building pages.
- Supported UX, content and development leads with their work.
The team aimed to complete one major feature each sprint. Completed features were demoed every two weeks to stakeholders from across the organisation. By the end of 2014 the team had completed enough features for stakeholders to approve a beta launch of the new website in early December. New features and improvements continued to be released regularly throughout 2015.
The Marie Curie website was awarded silver for best use of digital in the charity sector at the Digital Impact Awards 2015.