“Their strength is in really seeking to understand what we are trying to achieve and doing what they can to contribute. They feel very much part of our team”

Cassi Harrison (Barnardo’s / CSA Centre)

Barnardo’s Centre of expertise on CSA

Helping an important new Centre of expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) come into being, creating a model for future Centres of expertise.

The challenge

Who are the principal users for this new Centre of expertise? And what do they need most? Vital questions for us to answer in developing their website. Also of great value for the new Centre as it geared up and came into being.

In the beginning

This brand new ‘Centre of expertise’ was created by Barnardo’s with Home Office funding.

The organisation existed only in name when we partnered with Lagom Strategy to help the Centre realise their vision.

The goal was to create a website to engage with their core users; CSA professionals across multiple sectors (policy makers, schools, hospitals, police, etc).

But for this new style of Centre it wasn’t clear who the principal users would be, or what were their most pressing needs.

What we did

Researching the Centre

At a kick-off meeting with Centre staff we worked out who we thought our key users would be – and what their needs were. We then interviewed more than two dozen potential users by phone, to get a better understanding of what the Centre could do for them – and what others were already offering.

These interviews were supported by a user needs workshop. Four small groups of users and Centre staff worked to create typical user personas and look at their needs.

And to validate the list of user needs and quantify which ones to prioritise an online survey was created. The Centre promoted this to all their contacts and we got 341 detailed responses – a terrific result, and testament to the interest in the Centre’s work.

Next, user needs were mapped by importance, and broken down by role. And based on these results we prototyped simple versions of the website – as Bruce Hannah said: “Mock it up before you fock it up.” – and we then research tested them with users.

We already knew that the Centre’s research – the key website content – would be the star and that technology should play a best-supporting role. What else did we learn?

Key users were not who we all thought, and their needs also differed to what we envisaged. In response we prototyped new ways to present the Centre’s work and revisited everything from how references are cited to how charts and figures are presented, working with the Centre as one agile team. We also helped create an online Directory of services, in response to user demand.

Up and online in two weeks

Also at the outset, we created an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) website in two weeks, to lay the ground for the emergent Alpha and Beta sites, and to respond to the hunger for information.

The outcome

The ‘Live Beta’ website is regarded as a model for future Centres of expertise:

“The team at Binary Vision has enabled us to take a more coordinated and strategic approach. Alongside delivering the technical side of things they have helped us to embed greater consistency of approach e.g. through working with us on style and brand, content structure and building standards into our procurement process.”

“Their strength is in really seeking to understand what we are trying to achieve and doing what they can to contribute. They feel very much part of our team, as opposed to a traditional commissioner/provider relationship and consistently go above and beyond, for example by feeding us interesting, thought-provoking and practical ideas.”

Cassi Harrison, Director, Centre of expertise in CSA (Barnardo’s)