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NHS Digital Design Matters

A place to share experiences and learning about putting users' needs at the heart of digital services and technology.


Building a testing service that works for everyone

Kate Every, Service Designer for the NHS Test and Trace programme, looks at how using data and research helped the team meet the challenge of ensuring anyone within the UK population could carry out a lateral flow test for COVID-19.

Making content about skin symptoms more inclusive

Rhiannon Smith, Content Designer for NHS.UK, explains how the NHS website team are making content about skin symptoms more inclusive.

COVID-19 testing: 5 things I’ve learnt as content lead

Caroline Finucane, who leads the content team for the COVID-19 testing service, shares some principles that will be useful for anyone working on a fast-paced, complex government project.

It takes a village to design a service

Tero Väänänen, Head of Design at NHS Digital, talks about how important it is to design your organisation before you start designing services.

Do we need to drop the 'user'?

NHS Digital’s Head of User Research, Rochelle Gold, asks the question – is it time to drop the ‘user’ from user research?

Making it as easy as possible to take a test

Matthew Lund, who heads up the User Research team that works across the online COVID-19 Testing service, talks about the challenges of ensuring the needs of users remain at the forefront of a vital, fast-moving and high-profile programme.

How do users get forgotten?

Simon Davis, a senior user researcher who works across our screening programmes, explains how important it is to get stakeholders involved in designing services that truly meet peoples’ needs.

Meeting user needs in the face of winter

Brie Whyatt, Interaction Design Graduate, explains how the NHS App team improved the appointment booking process in the app by creating user stories, using the NHS digital service manual and doing usability tests to help patients and GP surgeries during this exceptionally challenging winter.

Joining forces to champion user-centred design

Matt Edgar, Victoria Betton and Simon Dixon introduce a new industry working group set up to bring the NHS and tech sector together to advance the cause of user-centred design in health and care.

How to place users at the heart of multimedia storytelling

Adriano Gazza, Multimedia team lead for the NHS website, explains how the principles of user-centred design can help create engaging video, animation and infographic content for the public that is clinically accurate.

Going remote: How we adapted our accessibility research

As we enter another national coronavirus lockdown, Mitchell Wakefield, one of our user researchers for NHS login, reflects on what he learned doing remote research with blind and low-vision users during the first lockdown and shares his tips on how to get it right.

Design is the strategy

Tero Väänänen, Head of Design at NHS Digital, explains why user-centred design is strategic.

10 ways the NHS digital service manual can help you

If you want to build easy-to-use digital health services that put people first, Adrian Smith explains why the NHS digital service manual is a great place to start.

NHS App: Conducting user research in lockdown

Conducting user research remotely is challenging but can yield unexpected benefits. Brigit O’Sullivan, User Researcher at NHS Digital, describes what she learned working as a user researcher for the NHS App during lockdown.

In a crisis, double down on user needs

Matt Edgar, Associate Director of Design and User Research at NHS Digital, explains why user centred design is vital in a pandemic – not a ‘nice to have’ – in the first NHS Digital Design Matters blog post.