Our work: CRUK Amazon Echo

Proving the power of voice assistants to engage audiences

Strategy: Service design | Campaign: Chatbots and voice applications

Manifesto helped Cancer Research UK investigate whether home assistants like Amazon Echo could be used to increase supporter engagement and disseminate cancer information more easily, by helping them rapidly prototype three different proof-of-concept propositions over the course of a single day.

Engaging and supporting audiences with new technology

Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. Their digital innovation team is constantly exploring how new technologies can help the organisation achieve its ambitious long-term goal of raising the cancer survival rate. One of the avenues they wanted to investigate was whether home assistants like Amazon Echo could be used to increase supporter engagement and disseminate cancer information more easily.

Rapidly prototyping three PoC propositions

We donated some time to build a proof of concept to show senior stakeholders at CRUK how Amazon Echo could be used to share cancer information with those who need it via a conversational interface. Over the course of a single day, we worked with the digital innovation team at Cancer Research UK to rapidly prototype three different proof of concept propositions. We also pointed out natural extensions to these high level concepts which would further enhance the experience and provided guidance on the feasibility of delivering them via Alexa skills.

Demonstrating the power of conversational interfaces

The proof-of-concept prototypes have been used to demonstrate to senior stakeholders, and the wider team at CRUK, the potential of conversational interfaces for providing a new way to access cancer information. This led to the project receiving support for a second phase of development.


“We knew they were an innovative organisation willing to work in an Agile way. We were able to produce a prototype in next to no time, which we’ve now used to engage teams across the organisation and help us move to the second phase of the project.” – Paul Weaver, Digital Innovation Manager, CRUK

How this helps us on your project

Our expertise in user experience design extends far beyond the web and can help you engage audiences across a variety of technologies and touch-points. We’re able to rapidly prototype concepts to prove their potential impact for an organisation and our early adoption of Alexa Voice Service technology makes us pioneers in the rapidly evolving world of conversational interface development.


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