The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) is the world’s oldest photographic society, and was founded to promote the art and science of photography. It continues this mission to this day through national and regional events, practical workshops, lectures, and community projects across the country.
RPS was planning to undertake a full-site rebuild and approached Box UK to help them create a brief for tendering firms that was user-driven from the outset. The key strategic goals for the new site, collected during an initial requirements gathering session with senior RPS stakeholders, were to be included in the brief:
Using a User Centred Design (UCD) approach, Box UK’s User Experience (UX) consultants carried out a series of research activities with RPS to ensure that the requirements detailed in the site specification would balance the needs of their multiple stakeholders and audiences. These activities included:
Following completion of the workshops, surveys and reviews, over 100 user stories were written to succinctly describe desirable features and capabilities for the site, as told from the perspective of the user. As a pragmatic method to determine the ‘who?’, ‘what?’ and ‘why?’ of user and business requirements, these stories provided RPS with a number of issues to discuss, prioritise and agree upon before going out to tender. The list of prioritised requirements then subsequently allowed tendering development firms to more accurately estimate timescales and costs.
Referencing the user stories, our consultants also then built a HTML prototype that would help RPS and tendering firms better understand how certain features and processes could work. To effectively explore and validate User Interface (UI) ideas for key pages and journeys, over 20 different ideas were built and then tested with members and non-members alike, before being iterated to improve the UI suggestions based on real user feedback.
The UCD activities we undertook with the client and their users ensured that at the end of the consultancy phase we had built up a detailed picture of:
Using this information to create the site’s underlying concepts and then validating these with actual user, enabled RPS to complete the essential initial design stage of the project, and provided a new UI to guide future decision-making. As such, the client was able to go out to tender confident that they would be able to effectively assess responses and ensure their new site has the interests, expectations and requirements of their users at its heart.