Supporting award-winning cancer coverage

Experience: Digital design and build, Support services

For the last 10 years the Cancer Research UK Science blog has been engaging supporters, people affected by cancer and the general public with science, health information and public policy issues. CRUK wanted to integrate the previously standalone blog into the main website, to achieve a consistent user experience and branding. They also wanted to exploit the capabilities of the WordPress platform to create immersive, narrative-driven content on a regular basis.

The Cancer Research UK science blog had been built on WordPress some time ago for reasons of speed and convenience. It quickly proved a successful publishing platform for providing additional context to cancer coverage in the media, and highlighting the most important cancer research both nationally and internationally. But now it was posing something of a problem for unifying the CRUK web properties under a single cohesive look and feel. The organisation needed user journeys between it and the main CRUK site (built on Drupal) to be seamless, without compromising the ease-of-use and flexibility offered by WordPress.

What we did

Using the Cancer Research UK brand guidelines and the designs for their main website, Manifesto created and implemented a new, responsive WordPress theme for the science blog. This joined up user journeys between the main site and the blog through a unified navigation, and consistent branding and design, regardless of viewport size.

We also designed and built a new content type which would allow the blog editors to experiment with a new, immersive storytelling format. This versatile, and infinitely customisable, type of post lets editors build up long-format posts which incorporate YouTube videos, quotes, full-width images, text, audio and embedded social media posts to tell immersive stories.

A Journey Through Cancer on mobile

The ‘immersive stories’ post format uses a simple drag and drop interface which helps editors construct stories from individual blocks, and then creates a handy menu to help users navigate through the different chapters.

Posts created using the new format include ‘A Journey Through Cancer’ and ‘What it takes for the NHS to diagnose cancer… and why it’s struggling

We also took over ongoing support, maintenance and improvement of the blog, helping the CRUK team ensure stability, security, search engine visibility and the best possible experience for both users and editors.

How it went

In its new skin, the Science blog continues to go from strength to strength and has has won multiple awards for the quality of its journalism. The new design has helped join up the user experience between the main CRUK site and the blog and is helping the blog’s editors create immersive, mixed media content to help achieve their four main objectives: to communicate directly with people instead of having to go through the mainstream media; supply context to cancer coverage in the media; influence the narrative around cancer; and help the organisation manage its reputation by putting out its side of the story.

How this helps us on your project

Our team has the experience and the expertise to deliver high-performance WordPress installations which give editors the power to tell immersive stories and which drive users towards taking important actions, all while maximising the platform’s in-built ease-of-use and flexibility.

 

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