Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

An interview with Change Grow Live's Digital Marketing Manager and Senior Designer

person using the website

An interview with Change Grow Live's Digital Marketing Manager and Senior Designer

30 April 2018

On 25 April the Change Grow Live marketing team launched the latest phase of its website transformation project, with a collection of new design features and new photography featuring current staff, volunteers and service user reps.

I spoke to our National Digital Marketing Manager and Senior Graphic Designer to find out more.

What are the new design features on the site?

We’ve significantly upgraded the site with a suite of new design elements. These include quotes, infographics, data animations, real story features, signposting, calls to action, pull-out content, masonry grids, app listings, iconography and photography.

Take a look at the About Us page to see some of the new features in action.

We’ve also added a new ‘mega menu’, which allows the user to pick from all the options available at a glance, as well as a selection of new photographs.

What was the rationale for adding these design elements?

Our website contains huge amounts of great content, but the key messages, statistics and quotes can easily get lost with standard page design, and the content can become overwhelming.

These new design elements help the user navigate through the page, draw the eye to important statistics and quotes and guide them through the website, prompting them to take action when needed.

When we carried out last year’s commissioner survey, the feedback we received included a request for more infographics and data on the site. You’ll now see that all the pages in our ‘What we do’ section feature statistics displayed in a visually engaging way.

Certain features represent a new mobile-first approach to design, reflecting the change in our users’ behaviour. Our new masonry grids, as you can see on our app listings page, are responsive by design, allowing the user to easily scroll through all the different items, no matter the device.

"When we carried out last year’s commissioner survey, the feedback we received included a request for more infographics and data on the site."

How did you ensure the new site meets the needs of your users?

We take a user-centred approach to design here at Change Grow Live, and one useful tool we use to ensure we are being user-centred is “personas”.  Personas are a selection of profiles that represent a major user group of our website, and they help to shift our team and stakeholders into an empathetic mindset whilst developing our designs. We used these personas to identify our users’ needs, goals, and behaviours, and they helped us create the website design to improve the usability and overall user experience of the website.

Once the initial pages were designed and created on our development website, we tested the designs with actual users. On this occasion we tested the website with volunteers from our Service User Council, giving them five tasks to complete, we watched and listened to feedback from them, as they completed the tasks.

The tests gave us insight into how users behave and interact with our website and highlighted what is, and isn’t working well. These tests help to identify any “pain points” within the website, where users struggle to complete tasks, and enabled us to make adjustments to the design to improve the usability and overall user experience of the website.

"Once the initial pages were designed and created on our development website, we tested the designs with actual users. On this occasion, we tested the website with volunteers from our Service User Council."

How did you approach the new photography?

Since we re-branded to Change Grow Live we have used photographs of real staff members and volunteers across our marketing collateral. The reason for this is to give a true representation of who we are as an organisation, and portray the dedication, passion and diversity of our workforce.

This is the second professional photoshoot we’ve done, this time at our Birmingham service. We invited staff, volunteers, peer mentors and service user reps from all our services in the West Midlands and surrounding areas to join us for the day, and the response was fantastic.

The photograph below, featuring some of our service user reps from Birmingham, is one of our favourites.

group photo

What’s next for the Change Grow Live website?

We are currently preparing to launch a new feature for service users – online asset maps. Service users and members of the community will be able to recommend groups and organisations in their local area that can help their peers to change, grow, and live.

Website users will then be able to see a map on their local service mini-site with a wide range of activities, groups and local organisations.

We will initially be launching this on a pilot basis in the north east.