Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, working towards a vision of a world without dementia. To improve digital experiences for fundraisers, donors, partners, and people affected by dementia, they needed to rebuild their main public-facing website to offer more personalised content and faster access to services.
Someone in the UK develops dementia every three minutes – it’s now the nation’s biggest killer. Alzheimer’s Society is the only charity which campaigns for change, fundraises for research, and supports people living with dementia today.
The charity’s existing website was built on a proprietary CMS which was difficult to extend and develop. Alzheimer’s Society wanted to rebuild the site using the Drupal content management system to facilitate continuous improvement of the site. They also wanted to improve the user experience by personalising content and helping people affected by dementia find local services more easily.
What we did
We collaborated closely with the team at Alzheimer’s Society to translate their requirements into a backlog of development tasks. By working in an Agile way, with a focus on user experience, we ensured that the features and functionality that would deliver the most value for the organisation and its audiences were prioritised.
Ground-up rebuild on Drupal 8
We rebuilt the site on the Drupal 8 content management system, making use of Acquia Experience Platform to ensure security and stability. While no significant redesign was required – we followed the brand guidelines established in an earlier brand refresh – we called on our deep knowledge of user experience design in the charity sector to suggest and implement improvements to key interactions and journeys where appropriate.
We helped Alzheimer’s Society improve engagement with website content by personalising content recommendations based on user behaviour. Utilising the extendability of the Acquia Experience Platform, we added functionality to track a user’s preferences during a session and then recommend content that matched their profile.
Building tools for service users
We helped update and extend the service finder feature for the website home page, which returns a list of local services for people affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia, based on their stated location. A smart search bar makes it easy for users to find their address with minimal typing, while search results are returned right on the home page, optimised for accessibility.
Integrating the blog and forum
Prior to the website rebuild, the Alzheimer’s Society blog was hosted on a separate subdomain to the main website, making it hard to maintain a consistent experience across the two properties. We brought the blog into the information architecture of the main site and designed new templates for both blog posts and articles from the six-yearly Dementia Together magazine.
Similarly, the Society’s online community, Talking Points, is also hosted separately. We helped integrate the community more closely, building a journey for new community members on the main website and surfacing links to relevant forum threads within similarly-themed articles.
How it went
The new, improved website launched in 2017 after six collaborative sprints by a combined Manifesto and Alzheimer’s Society team.
Organic visits are up 28% year on year, and the number of users has increased by 30%. Alzheimer’s Society will continue to work with Manifesto on improving the site and making it more user-focused.
How this helps us on your project
We have a long track record of delivering successful digital experiences for charities and organisations in the not-for-profit sector, using our technical expertise to recommend technologies and platforms which support organisational goals, and our strategic and creative insight to improve user journeys and boost engagement. As Acquia partners, we can help clients realise the full potential of Drupal for delivering secure, reliable and scalable digital experiences.