The benefits of user-centred design: Lessons learned from the Norwegian Cancer Society

Duncan Stephen
Thursday 12 February 2015

The core model: Designing inside out for better results

We have highlighted the story of the Norwegian Cancer Society before. After undergoing a big user-centred redesign, the organisation saw massive benefits for the business too.

But this is the first time I have seen such a detailed case study of how they went about that redesign, and what exactly the benefits were.

A few interesting highlights to note:

  • “After launch in September 2012, the number of unique visitors on the NCS website has steadily increased each year, despite the fact that the project had no specific activities aimed at search engine optimization. User-focused content goes a long way.”
  • Since the redesign, NCS has been used more as a source by news media.
  • The number of helpline calls increased by 40%. Those calls were more sophisticated and informed than before because the website answered people’s most basic questions.
  • The number of one-time donations has gone up 198% since the redesign.
  • The number of regular donors went up 288%.
  • The sum from regular donors each year went up 382%.
  • Users will do anything on mobile. For some forms, conversion rates are higher on mobile.

Focusing on what people need, not what the organisation needs

Here is a detailed case study on the Norwegian Cancer Society, containing more information on why and how the redesign took place, and how successful it was.

Some of the headings from this case study give hints as to the challenges that may lie ahead of us:

  • The need for change
  • Defining a clear vision and strategy
  • Collaboration: building bridges across silos
  • Governance is key
  • Continuous improvement, not launch and leave

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