We worked with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK and nursing associates in England, to improve the online guidance for their new registration process for nurses and midwives who trained outside the EEA.
The NMC approached us to help them improve this user experience to ensure that prospective applicants, employers and recruiters fully understood the overseas registration process and requirements.
We started by running discovery workshops with a range of stakeholders involved in the overseas registration process to find out more about the process, potential users and the business needs. The workshop included members from the communications, operations, legal and support teams so we could get a holistic picture of the end-to-end application process.
Key insights we needed to uncover during discovery:
- Who are overseas applicants and what do we currently know about them?
- How do applicants currently learn about the process?
- What are common frustrations with the existing overseas registration process?
- What are applicant’s understanding and expectations before application?
- What are the biggest issues that have been faced with the process historically?
The outcome of these sessions allowed us to play back to the organisation what we had learnt and for us to recommend how best to solve any problems.
Designing for user needs
Using insights from the discovery phase we produced a set of personas based on exising data to inform design and content decisions, covering users with similar needs and experiences. We also piggybacked on recent GOV.UK user research regarding stepped processes and recommended a new set of components and templates to house the content surrounding the application process.
We were conscious that applicants would be registering from all over world, so we made sure our designs met WCAG accessibility standards and would load quickly on older devices connected over low bandwidths.
The value of prototyping
The NMC wanted to provide an interactive pre-application checklist tool that would provide prospective applicants with a checklist of requirements and evidence to start preparing for their application.
We used paper prototyping to quickly mock up user journeys and iterated the design during play back sessions to get feedback as early as possible. This allowed us to iron out the flow and vary content requirements before starting more detailed wireframing.
Developing a multi-step pre application checklist
When it came to development we created a fully CMS editable multi-step form with branched logic and printable results to allow the NMC communications team to be able to change questions and content without the need for development support or code releases.
Built with Episerver forms, it provides the right level of control for the NMC to be able to make changes quickly and efficiently when communication updates were needed.
Finally, we delivered training to make sure editors had a good understanding of the new functionality and templates available to them when creating content.
The new stepped-process guide and pre-application checklist received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the outset. Within only a few hours of launch, the pre-application checklist became one of the most viewed pages on the website – amassing around 4,800 visits.
It has continued to be an integral part of the application process, and the flexible and editable tools have allowed the NMC to publish content updates autonomously as needed. We continue to support the NMC with the design and development of their digital services.
dotcentric were a great support throughout this project and delivered two high quality products that have been a real star in the new process. They worked to a tight deadline, were reactive to changes along the way and gave sound advice on improvements that would benefit our applicants’ online experience.
Linda Everet, Assistant Director of Professional Regulation, NMC
- Wireframing & prototyping
- Design direction
- Front-end development
- Episerver integration