Case Study: NHSBT

Improving usability to change hearts and minds

Usability is everything. And, when it comes to the NHS, it can save lives. This was demonstrated in dramatic fashion shortly after the Beta launch of our newly designed organ donation website for the NHS Blood & Transplant service.

Just four months after launch, results showed:

  • 100% increase in registration conversions via mobile device
  • 50% increase in registration conversions via desktop
  • 5,000 out of 7,000 users who initially selected 'no I don't want to donate my organs' changed their decision and recorded their wish to be a donor
  • 0.2% of users registered their decision to not donate

With 21 million registrants, the Organ Donor Register is the biggest voluntary database of its kind in the UK and the website is core to allowing people to register their donation decision.

Using the 'power of two' for a streamlined and efficient design process

To maximise efficiency, our UX consultant and designer worked together in a “power of two” dynamic. This allowed ideas to be generated, discussed and validated in a creative and collaborative environment before being presented. It also allowed the project team to be adaptive, overcoming challenges as they arose.

Our initial designs were based on research already undertaken and provided to us by the NHS. This included the results of a ‘discovery’ phase with workshops and user testing at the Government Digital Services (GDS) user lab.

Sprint-based rapid prototyping, validated with user testing over a period of six weeks, also ensured the final solution was delivered in line with real user feedback and needs.

Once the final prototype had been thoroughly tested, NHSBT used it to develop a new fully mobile responsive website. This too happened through a series of sprints, allowing insight from on-going user research and testing to feed into the final release.

Achieving more than just ‘sign here’

The project was about more than simply increasing the number of registrants on the Organ Donor Register. Our remit included (and achieved):

  • Enabling users to make an informed choice about their donation preferences
  • Allowing users to manager their preferences, including updating details, registering not to be a donor and withdrawing data from the register
  • Aligning with the NHS Blood & Transplant’s wider digital strategy
  • Meeting a December 2015 deadline to allow for new legislation coming into force in Wales

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In responding so comprehensively to the brief, the team not only enabled our organisation to achieve its vision, but effectively assisted in saving lives too.