If you’ve ever visited our website before, you might notice things are looking a little different around here. Our Head of Digital, Gareth Ellis-Thomas, gives us a run down on what's changed and why.
This is the main reason for change, making our website mobile-responsive. All that means is that now the website will work on any smartphone, tablet or laptop. It will respond to the size of the screen you are trying to view it on and adjust accordingly.
We’ve known for a while that more than half of all the people who visit our website do so on a handheld device, and our previous website wasn’t built for smaller screens. This made it difficult to find what you were looking for or do the things you wanted to do. One of the main purposes of our website is to provide information and support to men with prostate cancer and we felt that by making it difficult for half of those people we were failing them. We knew we had to change.
And once we knew we had to change, we thought about the other ways we could we make things easier for everyone visiting the site, which brings me on to...
Another thing we’ve been told by men who visit the website was how difficult it was to find some things. This affects not only those who need the information and support we provide to men with prostate cancer but our growing army of Men United supporters, another very important purpose of the website - bringing the money in.
There are some subtle but very important changes we’ve made like renaming ‘Information’ to ‘Prostate information’ to avoid confusion. ‘We can help’ is now called ‘Get support’ which is much more representative of what that part of the website is there for.
We’ve also made it much easier to find specific support services, volunteering opportunities and fundraising events local to where you are, revamped how you can find health publications or research we’ve funded and even added postcode lookup buttons to our address forms (a personal bugbear I know I share with many people).
Refreshing the design and ways we help people find what they need on the website has opened our eyes to many more things we can improve. The way we use pictures or describe our services and events has been brought more sharply into focus, for instance, and we’ll keep updating these beyond today’s launch.
As with any renovation project, we have a list of ‘snagging issues’ which need to be tidied up. We’ve done about three month’s worth of testing to make sure those issues aren’t going to stop anyone using the site and the feedback so far has been very positive.
However, no matter how much testing we do, it’s inevitable that the tens of thousands of people who visit the website every week, using all sorts of computers, phones, tablets and software will find things we couldn’t. That’s a good thing. Because once a problem has been found, we can do something about it. If you spot something that doesn’t work like you think it should do let us know and we’ll do our best to fix it.
So, please have a look around, tell us what you think and, hopefully, find what you need on the site more easily.