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Keeping RCN’s finger on the pulse.

With a community of over 435,000 nurses both in the UK and around the world, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is aware of the critical role digital channels play in helping them deliver valuable support and representation services. 

So when they made the decision to update these channels, they wanted to get it right.

They didn’t just want a refresh of their existing platform - they wanted a solution that would transform the RCN digital experience from a passive information resource and support service into a dynamic, real-time network of engaged care and nursing professionals.

A solution that would facilitate innovation, education and collaboration as well as inform and shape policy to build a stronger nursing profession for the future.

With so much riding on the rebuild, they asked Box UK to help them shape and refine the scope of the project, so that they could enter into it knowing exactly:

  • Who they were building for
  • The features, functionality and content required
  • How to approach development
As a result of our Discovery project the RCN has all the information they need to ensure their transformation project is a success - aligned with the strategic objectives of the business as well as the needs of members and other user groups.

Identifying the issues that matter

Firstly, we began building up an understanding of the existing RCN site, to identify the key themes the project would need to address. By gathering feedback from key stakeholders across the organisation, and conducting an in-depth analysis of the site’s usability, functionality and underlying architecture we uncovered a number of areas of focus. These included:
  • Consolidating the Royal College of Nursing ecosystem, which covers numerous sites with multiple content editors and workflows
  • Managing the wealth of content offered online - which comprises over 30,000 pages and documents - to increase findability and direct users to additional relevant information
  • Determining the most appropriate multi-channel strategy as the RCN’s mobile traffic continues to grow
  • Aligning the member experience with member needs

RCN prototype desktop

Clear goals for the rebuild were defined with reference to these themes - however, for the project to be successful the new digital platform needed to be driven by the requirements of the RCN’s users. We embarked on a comprehensive user research phase that combined end-user workshops, surveys and analytical reviews, revealing:

  • User needs, behaviours and usage contexts
  • Any associated design and development considerations
  • Key pages and tasks across the site
This information not only provided the RCN with a clear overview of their target audience, but it also highlighted those high-priority user journeys for our User Experience (UX) consultants to look at in more detail. 

Technical innovations

To help the RCN remain a vital community resource both now and in future, we also provided technical advice on extending and enhancing their digital member services. This included demonstrating personalisation capabilities that would enable users to more easily access information relevant to their role, location and interests - with the Sitecore Experience Platform proposed as the technology that would underpin the new RCN platform there was great potential for exploration in the area. 

A roadmap for success

Together, these organisational, user and technical requirements signposted a programme of work that would enable the RCN to achieve its strategic goals - providing a clear picture of what was required alongside the likely budget and timescales. Also delivered as part of the project were UX prototypes for the most popular pages and breakpoints, which helped better communicate how the new platform may look to secure stakeholder and member buy-in for the project. 

RCN prototype iPhone and iPad

Box UK is now working in partnership with the RCN to execute the required programme of work, as part of the organisation’s ambitious long-term digital transformation plans. With the completion of the Discovery activities a key initial milestone, the new platform will be launched in phases to allow for the gathering of feedback and integration with other RCN services - culminating in an official launch ahead of the institution’s centenary year that will support their reputation for innovation in the membership sector and help deliver significant competitive advantage.

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