Crohn’s & Colitis UK has appointed integrated agency WPNC to develop the charity’s digital services, including a new online hub designed around the needs of users.
The collaboration will be a key part of the charity’s long-term digital transformation strategy to harness technology and data, to engage with and support its audiences, and boost self-service for users.
Self-service is a growing area of delivery in the third sector. For Crohn’s & Colitis UK, it is especially important as due to stigma and misunderstanding surrounding the conditions, many are left suffering in silence.
With a self-service model, people can seek out information and support about their symptoms or diagnosis in confidence, on their own terms, in their own time.
WPNC’s appointment followed a competitive tender process involving a shortlist of five agencies.
Objectives of the digital transformation include delivering services, advocacy and information online in an accessible, inclusive, usable and visible way that benefits everyone affected by Crohn’s and Colitis.
The charity also wants to maximise income generation and cut-through of marketing communications online. In addition, Crohn’s & Colitis UK is seeking to build a more user-centric digital service – partly as a response to increased demand for digital services during the pandemic – with co-production between end users, staff and WPNC set to underpin the work.
To drive continuous improvement, contributions will be sought from diverse users at each step of digital product development – via workshops and user testing – to ensure services best reflect their needs.
The resulting online hub, which will house reorganised and extended information and services, is due to go live in 2022.
It is set to offer improved user journeys to audiences including people living with Crohn’s and Colitis, as well as their friends, family, medical professionals and employers; healthcare and research professionals; and policy-makers and commissioners.
Users will continue to be involved in phases beyond the initial hub launch to help shape Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s future provision of services and information.
Crohn’s & Colitis UK digital manager Kian Scott-Loach said: “We’re excited about leveraging our digital strategy to make our information and services easier to access by everyone in the Crohn’s and Colitis community. We felt a strong synergy with WPNC who will work as an extension of the charity, and share our vision of how we can bring the strategy to life.
“We want to ensure we’re developing products that are inclusive for all of our audiences, including harder-to-reach groups, and that’s why co-creation and ongoing analysis and insights will be key to the success of the transformation. By taking a phased, sustainable approach we will ensure the new website hub continues to be best in class at meeting users’ needs.”
WPNC managing director digital and deputy CEO Vicky Reeves added: “The charity is keen to take a user-centric approach to developing a new website hub that will deliver services in an accessible and inclusive way, and also help maximise income generation.
“As part of our approach to innovation in service and fundraising we’re firm believers in co-creation and collaboration involving stakeholders – not least the people who use or support the charity. There’s a very engaged community to tap into, which has a younger average age than many other health charities.”
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