The design of our new website based on 3 important principles:
- Putting patient needs first
- Making it accessible
- Listening to our users
1. Putting patient needs first
- We focus on high-quality content in as few pages as possible so that users can get the information they need easily and quickly.
- Our content is simple, clear and written in plain English. We use the language our patients use and avoid medical jargon.
- More than half of the people who visit our site use their phone or tablet, so we prioritise the needs of mobile users first.
- We optimise our content for search engines like Google by following specific rules for page titles, keywords and descriptions. This helps users find information easily.
2. Making it accessible
- 1 in 4 people have a disability, so our new site is designed to allow everyone to access the information they need.
- We’ve worked with people with disabilities to design and test our new site to make it as accessible as possible regardless of background, ability or needs. This was not as an afterthought, but as the main driver behind how it looks and works.
- There are fewer words and a reduced number of PDFs to comply with legal requirements on accessibility. PDFs are used only where the information is complex and cannot be converted to webpages.
- The improved print function includes large font size, url references and the ability to print a range of sections using their titles for reference rather than page numbers.
- We follow web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and partially conform to AA standards making our content more accessible for people with additional needs including neurodiverse and disabled people.
- We’ve tested our site extensively, both with users on different browsers and devices and through an independent accessibility testing partner to ensure we meet required standards.
3. Listening to our users
- The design and content of our new site is based on user feedback and we’ve worked with our patients at every step to develop and test it.
- We make decisions based on data about how our site is used, accessed and navigated.
- We have slimmed down the site and removed out of date or unnecessary information. We signpost to NHS or peer-reviewed sources of information rather than developing our own where possible.
- We ensure that the ‘contact us’ information is available for all services and locations including response times wherever possible.
- We separate out information for patients and health professionals to make it clearer which information is aimed at which user.