People living with motor neurone disease (MND) are now able to access vital information in an easier way thanks to our new WordPress site for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Improved navigation options and an easier search function now sit on simply designed pages, making it more straightforward for visitors to find the information they need.
Content on the entire 1,500 pages of the previous website were reviewed and updated with more than 200 pages removed. A library of information videos has been added and the sitemap reworked to put the most searched for information at the top of the navigation.
We worked in collaboration with the MND Association team to reskin, modify, test and redevelop its existing WordPress platform to make a quick, accessible and high-performing website. Check out how we went about it, below.
About the MND Association
Founded in 1979, the MND Association is the only national charity that focusses on motor neurone disease care, research and campaigning. The organisation strives to improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers.
MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. Moreover, six people are diagnosed with MND in the UK every single day.
The Association funds and promotes research that leads to new understanding and treatments for MND. One of its core aims is to campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people with MND and everyone who cares for them are recognised and addressed by wider society.
What were the goals?
The MND Association needed a new website to communicate with its varying audiences in an engaging way. The creation of the new-look MND Association website has been a truly collaborative process. As a living and breathing fundraising and education platform, the site needed to have a great user experience at its heart.
We achieved this through the creative use of design, the latest coding and functional developments and analytical research. Our focus was to create an engaging website that would act as a window into the Association for its many audiences and to help the Association position its content in a clear and ‘human’ way.
How we helped:
Our strategy covered a variety of tactics to help the MND Association achieve its goals, namely:
- Audience evaluation and persona creation
- Online brand development
- Sitemapping research and intuitive architecture creation, including a mega menu with embedded video option, and a pop-up side menu
- Web design and build with a focus on key landing pages, especially for fundraising events and donation pages
- Seasonal ‘campaign takeover’ design functionality
- Bespoke WordPress sandboxing and development to AA accessibility compliance
- Built on the Roots stack, hosted on Kinsta
- Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) using Amazon S3 for speedy image handling
- WordPress plugin testing and installation including WP Rocket, Wordfence, Jetpack and Yoast
- Integrations with Google Analytics, HotJar, DotMailer, PayPal and Google Maps
- Donation page with clear monthly or single gift options with visual price points
- An intuitive donation process with easy completion stages and postcode lookup
- Personalised thank you landing pages with clear signposting to ‘next steps’ after users donate
- Content-rich fundraising events pages including carousel banners, event categorisation, event search bar and event map plotter
- Onsite review pop up via HotJar Feedback
- Testing, quality assurance and deployment
- Ongoing technical support
Our core aim was to create a strong online identity for the MND Association as an authoritative national charity. The Association already had an established brand which we needed to take into consideration and develop for the different audiences that would use the site.
The site needed to be flexible to cater for seasonal campaigns. We designed the middle section of the home page to act as a ‘campaign takeover’ area that could easily be switched on and off by the digital team. The campaign takeover feature can also be used in other areas of the site, alongside campaign-specific landing pages. We also developed a range of event templates that allows the Association to pick a design for either a small, medium or large event.
The new website has been designed primarily for mobile so all pages work effectively on tablets and mobiles as well as desktops, enabling people affected by MND to access vital information wherever and whenever they need it, including by using communication aids such as Eyegaze eye tracking software.
The MND Association already had an existing WordPress content management system but we have taken it to the next-level. Our technology team stripped out 90% of the existing code, put in processes to speed up the site, added new styling, fixed any broken functionality and tested and installed new functionality. For our tech team, the project was all about performance optimisation.
Throughout the development people with MND were consulted to ensure the language and website journey allow them to use the website in confidence. Other Association key audiences – health and social care professionals, volunteers and fundraising supporters – have also had an input into the new website, which is not only an important resource but a global source of information.
The Association’s digital media manager Adam Belson said: “A new website is a large undertaking for a charity like the MND Association so we had to get it right. Thanks to input from representatives of all our key audiences we believe that’s what we’ve done.
“Besides all the standard elements of a website – intuitive search, easy navigation and clutter free pages – we had to make sure it was suitable to use with the kind of technology people with MND may use. Many have limited movement and rely on apps, communication aids and Eyegaze software so we had to test the new site for its suitability with those.
“The Association’s digital team are very excited by the new WordPress content editing system and some of the new analytical functions we’ve added which will be vital as we look at how the new website is being used, its functionality and future developments and improvements.”