Prostate Cancer Research
IE Digital worked with Prostate Cancer Research to design and build their new patient information platform, the infopool.
The rich, interactive site helps patients understand the different tests and treatments available. It also includes hundreds of real stories from people affected by prostate cancer, as well as information on clinical trials they may be suitable for.
Prostate Cancer Research exists to create a world where people can live free from the impacts of prostate cancer. They do this through research into diagnosis, prevention and treatment, as well as by providing better information to empower people to make choices that will improve their quality of life.
Our team brought the charity’s vision to life, creating something new and exciting that had never existed for the prostate cancer community before.
Prostate Cancer Research had worked with an agency on the research, technical scoping and UX design for the new infopool website.
They wanted a new agency partner to take forward the visual design and build of the project. IE Digital was appointed to bring the charity’s vision to life.
Defining the key audiences
IE’s digital consultants started with a thorough review of all the background material and documentation produced by the previous agency. We got up to speed with Prostate Cancer Research’s project requirements and all the work delivered to date.
As part of the immersion process, our consultants clarified the key audiences the infopool website needed to reach.
- People living with prostate cancer with low health literacy
- Underrepresented groups (Black African, Black Caribbean and Black British people living with prostate cancer)
- Friends and family of prostate cancer patients
- Healthcare professionals
Confirming the project scope
As part of the listening phase, we also organised a number of stakeholder workshops with the Prostate Cancer Research team to discuss their needs and any challenges for the next stage of the project.
To be successful, we understood that the infopool website should:
- build on the research and UX work that had been done to date
- be built on a robust CMS that delivers an intuitive editorial experience
- feature an accessible, intuitive interactive tool that takes users through their likely diagnostic and treatment journey
- be a welcoming, accessible and safe place for all users, including those with low health and/or digital literacy
- feature personal stories and opinions, strong visuals, clear copy, and plenty of rich video content
- ensure the adequate representation of underrepresented user groups
- feature a strong, contemporary visual design that’s steered by the PCR main brand guidelines
- seamlessly integrate with clinical trials search tool Ancora.ai and the charity’s CRM, ThankQ
Researching the technical solution
We assessed the original technical specification and challenged the recommendation for a bespoke build to deliver the site’s central diagnostic tool. This approach would have meant a significantly higher budget and reliance on the original supplier for maintenance and support.
Through in-depth research into the technology available, we identified a suitable off-the-shelf solution. Stonly could provide the necessary functionality, customisation and integration we needed. It would allow the charity to retain total editorial control and flexibility, and would be more cost effective.
Stonly would integrate well with our recommended CMS, Drupal. As well as supporting a high level of integration, Drupal provided flexible form design options and supported the need to hold structured, sensitive data.
With the Prostate Cancer Research team, we mapped out the customer journey in detail. We defined the diagnostics and treatment workflows and created an initial proof of concept in Stonly to show how the tool could work in practice.
Iterative development and delivery
IE Digital then worked with Prostate Cancer Research to agree the scope and system design for the infopool website.
We agreed to take an iterative, phased approach to delivery. This meant defining a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) for the initial launch, then looking to extend and improve as necessary over multiple phases and deployments.
Building on the initial concept, IE’s consultants worked closely with prostate cancer clinicians to ensure the diagnosis and treatment tool was clinically accurate.
The team then conducted remote user testing with a group of previous prostate cancer patients, recruited by the charity. We wanted to observe how easy people found the tool to use, and what their thoughts and feelings were while using it. Our team then incorporated feedback into the final iterations for the tool.
Treatment experience survey
Before we launched the infopool site, we needed to capture enough real user data to feed into the interactive treatment tool.
We worked with the charity to send out a treatment experience survey to prostate cancer patients. We built a sophisticated form to capture data that dynamically created statistics and individual stories.
We front loaded the build with the treatment survey, allowing the data to roll in while we built the rest of the site. Over 500 people responded to the survey, which meant we had a rich repository of data ready for launch.
The survey form allowed users to submit their experience securely. Then, on the front end, this information was publicly displayed as part of the treatment tool, showing both amalgamated results and personal reviews and stories.
To help bring the infopool site to life for the Prostate Cancer Research team, we fleshed out the existing wireframes and incorporated user interaction with interactive prototypes. This gave the team a feel for how each element would react and respond to user input, and demonstrated the different user journeys through the tool and the wider site.
Once we had agreed the system design, mapped the integrations, and created the treatment experience survey, the IE Digital team began building the rest of the website.
Visual design storyboarding
IE’s digital designers translated the static wireframes and interactive prototypes, into a beautifully crafted new website design. The design look and feel was informed by a web trends exercise, where Prostate Cancer Research shared their preferences based on recent trends in website design and websites belonging to competitor and comparator organisations.
The charity wanted a strong, contemporary visual design that complemented the existing Prostate Cancer Research brand and visual identity. Beginning with an initial set of key pages from across the site, our designers worked hard to ensure the design stayed true to the original vision for the infopool website.
With the initial designs approved by the client. we rolled out the design across all areas of the project – taking feedback and refining as we progressed.
Managing the site integrations
The infopool site build in Drupal 10 included 2 key integrations:
- ThankQ – Prostate Cancer Research’s CRM system, which ensures that stories shared by patients and their loved ones are fed back to the infopool.
- Ancora.ai – the clinical trials finder application, which allows people to search for relevant clinical trials, as well as information on treatments and side effects. IE's developers integrated Ancora.ai using a hosted iframe solution, working seamlessly with existing Prostate Cancer Research website logins.
Deployment planning and launch
With all bugs resolved and content rolled in, we created a detailed deployment plan and ensured everyone involved in the process (including domain registrars, old hosting providers, and proxies) were fully up to speed.
We launched phase 1 on time and to schedule.
IE Digital hosts the infopool website through Pantheon. We provide the site’s ongoing support and maintenance, including regular security updates.
Ahead of the launch, we trained the Prostate Cancer Research team to edit the website in the Drupal CMS. We remain on hand to ensure this expertise is firmly embedded.
We continue to work with the Prostate Cancer Research team to ensure the site is as accessible as possible for users. We’re also working with the charity to expand the website’s stories section, to grow the already rich repository of lived experience.
We’ll be adding the experiences of partners, parents, and carers of prostate cancer patients, as well as case studies of clinical trials.