The MS Society has completed the first stage of its programme of digital transformation with the launch of a new website that was developed with the help of more than 1,000 people with MS.
The society recruited a panel of 150 people from the MS community to share views on the new site, providing feedback on everything from design and content to ease of use. A further 1,000 people fed back online, and more than 800 on the beta home page. This included a two-week period of testing during which they could review the site before it was released.
The new website is the first part of the MS Society’s digital transformation programme, with which it aims to use digital technologies to achieve a better impact for people living with and affected by MS. The charity said it was gathering feedback on what would be next and a few ideas were being considered. However, it stressed that it was an "agile process" and the strategy would adjust according to the changing digital environment.
On the new website, the charity said that one element that had changed significantly as a direct result of user feedback was the site’s architecture, with alterations to the menus. Visitors to the site also wanted to see bigger pictures, more positive stories and better navigation. Further changes were made after comments from users who thought the website was aimed more at MS professionals than those living with the condition.
As a result, the society said, it had created a more mobile-friendly site with information that was more easily discovered and with stories, features and quotes direct from the MS community, all designed to make it more friendly and personal.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the MS Society, said: "There are 100,000 people in the UK with MS and this website is our biggest and best way to reach them, particularly those people who are newly diagnosed and learning to live with the condition.
"Our ultimate goal is to improve the online experience of everyone in our community, and we think we’re getting there. This is the first step in a long journey, but from the feedback we’ve already received from people living with MS, it’s absolutely worth it."