It’s been a busy year in the Cancer Research UK web team. Not content with completely revamping CancerHelp UK (our award-winning patient information website) we’ve also given our News & Resources site an overhaul.
News & Resources, launched in 2005, is the charity’s general information website – the home of our news, press releases, statistics, health information, and policy work, as well as the place where you can read highlights of what our scientists and doctors are doing to beat cancer, and the progress they’re making.
Although we haven’t given the site quite as extensive a redesign as CancerHelp UK, there are a few new bits and bobs that should make the site even more useful and easy to navigate, and we thought we’d take you on a guided tour…
Perhaps the biggest new ‘thing’ on the site is the dynamic A-Z index. Almost every page on the website has now been categorised into topics such as ‘Bowel cancer’, ‘Smoking’ and ‘Lab research’, and you can use the A-Z to find all the information we have on a particular topic.
For example, if you click on this link to our bowel cancer A-Z page, you’ll see how it pulls together all our stats, press releases, research info and policy guidance on bowel cancer; the same is true for a whole host of topics. And the page also directs people to the appropriate content on CancerHelp UK.
Whilst this is a bit of a work-in-progress, we’re pretty excited about how it makes our content more ‘findable’, but we’re also really keen to get your feedback as to how we can improve this – some of the pages are definitely quite long!
Related content tags
Linked in to the A-Z is the ‘Browse related content’ box you’ll find at the foot of many pages. These link through to the appropriate A-Z page, and further improve how you can navigate around the site to find related information.
Flexible page design
We can now add widgets, RSS feeds, video and audio to each page’s right-hand column. And – at least in some browsers – the page resizes to fit your screen size.
Improved search for news and press releases
On the old site, it was often tricky to find news articles and press releases, because they were only categorised by date. So we’ve used the topic tags and built a new search page specifically for our news content.
It’s now easier than ever to read highlights of who we’re funding, what they’re doing and where they’re doing it. Our Research Highlights section has over 130 plain English summaries of our top researchers, browseable by location, cancer type and topic, and this section is now fully tagged to make it easier to find the research you’re interested in.
We’ve completely reorganised the homepage, to make it more focused on the site’s content and less on its structure. There’s now space for a feed from this blog too, since some of you felt it was a bit hidden.
New section – Spot cancer early
After extensive user-testing, and in light of the current focus on cancer signs and symptoms, we’ve split out the Spot cancer early pages from our Healthy living section. This will allow us to focus each section better towards its target audiences – although the same team will be responsible for both sections
Tell us what you think!
No website is ever a ‘finished product’, and getting feedback from a site’s users is an essential process. All of the above has been driven by feedback we’ve had since the site launched nearly five years ago. But we’re always keen to hear more from you.
So please do tell us what you think of the new site design in the comments below, or by using the website’s feedback form.