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Médecins Sans Frontières renovates UK website with help from Torchbox


By Jessica Davis | Consultant Journalist

January 17, 2017 | 3 min read

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an independent medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid internationally, has revamped its UK website with the aid of Torchbox.

In need of a refreshed online offering, MSF sought a collaborative partner to conduct an in-depth piece of user research to path the redesign of its UK website. With the intention to gain an understanding of the goals, behaviours and attitudes of the site’s users before applying analysis and design thinking to identify solutions, Torchbox hosted a deep-dive session; this resulted in gaining an understanding of the charity’s internal culture and identifying potential organisational objectives which would steer audience prioritisation.

Torchbox organized user surveys, Google Analytics behavioral analysis and a series of interviews with potential and existing volunteers to develop new user journeys, ensuring that visitors such as quality volunteers had a more appealing and less frustrating online experience. As a result, they were able to prototype and test a series of pages that would support MSF in increasing the quality of their volunteer applications with minimal fuss for the user.

Ben Holt, UK digital lead and international strategic adviser at MSF, said of the hire: "We’ve developed a sophisticated digital strategy in recent years and we wanted to work with an agency which could take it to the next level. The new site had to provide a window into MSF's frontline work and let our medical work speak for itself. At the same time, we needed to convert a complex range of audiences; the information architecture and design had to be intuitive, and confidence-inspiring.

“Torchbox helped us explore our ideas, pushing us further than we would have gone ourselves, and worked really hard to understand our brand and our priorities (which will ultimately always be our frontline work with patients). It was a great partnership.”

Olly Willans, UX design director and co-founder of Torchbox, commented: "MSF is such a respected and valued organisation by its supporters, stakeholders and the people it helps. Their team are driven to make all aspects of their operations as high quality and as ethically robust as the wonderful work they do in the field. This made for a fascinating and engaging UX project, often balancing short term results against doing the right thing by their organisational principles to come up with the best balance of user experience, organisational goals and ethics."

The insights not only gained supported dramatic improvements to the audience experience across MSF’s multiple online and offline touch points, but also supported the development of future strategy, giving clarity to MSF’s online priorities and objectives. These can now be developed into ongoing KPI’s to support further development and iteration. More can be read on the project here.

Torchbox is a digital agency which has offices in Oxfordshire, Bristol and Philadelphia.

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Torchbox is a multi award-winning digital agency which specialises in building powerful, user-focused websites and custom web apps for the world's leading non-profits, charities, universities and museums - including Médecins Sans Frontières‎ (MSF), Centrepoint, University of Oxford and Museum of London.

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