What’s big, yellow and helps you keep your family healthy? Change4Life, of course! Although, it’s not so yellow any more… it’s been treated to a brand new look.

Change4Life is one of Public Health England’s national health campaign websites. It focuses on healthy eating and physical activity content and tools to help equip parents with the information and ideas they need to help their children and families lead healthy lives.

The new Change4life website, which launched last month, took the Campaigns Team 6 months to design, write, build and test. This new site replaces a confusing array of legacy pages and campaign additions that used to form the vast majority of the Change4Life digital offering.

User testing

The redesign kicked off with extensive user testing, which also took place throughout the build, and the major design and information architecture decisions were led by user feedback.

The 10 biggest changes

  1. Dynamic card-style homepage
    Serving up content at random from a range of content types, including recipes, activities, videos and quizzes. This means the homepage looks fresh to users on every return visit.

    Change4life homepage

    Left: Old SharePoint homepage | Right: New homepage

  2. User-led navigation language
    We based the language in the new navigation on user responses to a card-sorting exercise. Our findings helped us to move away from campaign terminology as a way to categorise content, which led to a new Activities section featuring the 10 Minute Shake Up campaign. This puts the campaign content into context as ‘activities’ and is a more meaningful user journey for parents looking for ways to keep their kids active.
  3. New mobile navigation
    The brand new navigation is fixed to the bottom of the screen making it easily accessible. It allows users to move around the site landing pages easily.

    New navigation on mobile devices

    New navigation on mobile devices

  4. Brand new accessible carousel
    Featuring a much more compact design, coupled with increased accessibility, for example the slides can be paused.
  5. Interactive ‘quiz cards’
    To make guidelines and facts more interesting and memorable we’ve used an interactive quiz format, where the card flips to reveal the answer. Users responded really positively to the quiz cards and this is a really good example of users subverting our expectationsthere is an appetite for policy information if presented in a refreshing way.

    Change4Life quiz cards

    Left: Quiz card front | Right: Back of quiz card with answer and signpost to more content

  6. Real life imagery
    The move to include more real life imagery is a step change for Change4Life. In user testing we confirmed that real images, especially of food, had a more powerful effect on users, so we were able to use this evidence to recommend a change in image approach to Public Health England.
  7. Design consistency
    The redesign gave us chance to create a generic page header style which visually pulls all the pages together and creates greater consistency across the site.
  8. New ways to promote campaign content
    Change4Life teamed up with Disney again this summer to inspire children to be active during the school holidays with characters from their favourite Disney films, such as Beauty and the Beast and Cars 3. This year the new card-style homepage enables us to include this 10 Minute Shake Up content alongside other content on the homepage, providing additional routes in to the campaign.
  9. SharePoint content migrated
    We finally archived and redirected all remaining old SharePoint pages, removing outdated content and migrating all other content to the new site templates.

    Change4Life accessible activities

    Left: Old SharePoint disability content | Right: New ‘Accessible activities’ page

  10. Reusable components
    We now have components, such as the new carousel and content cards, which can be reused across the site. The recipes landing page features a version of the homepage carousel with food specific slides and you’ll find Shake Up cards dotted across the site where relevant.

It seems to be working

Initial indications are looking good. In the first two weeks post-launch, the bounce rate has decreased by 6.5% from 43% to 36% compared to the same two weeks last year (new card wall homepage vs. SharePoint homepage).

We’ll be monitoring the metrics going forward, including which content cards are most popular, using this data to help inform iterations of the site and content decisions.

What this means

The site will continue as a platform for regular public health campaigns. The new dynamic nature of Change4Life means the site can become more always-on, with fresh content published regularly and surfaced on the homepage. We can also weight relevant content on the card wall at pertinent times for parents, like school holidays.

This also helps lay the foundation to move towards contextualisation and personalisation in the future. We’d like to be able to serve up more of the content that individual users engage with. For example, if you watch a lot of video you would see more video content when you return to the homepage.

What do you think?

Please do take a look at Change4Life and tell us what you think.

We have temporarily disabled the comment functionality whilst we make some technical updates. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think about our work so tweet us @NHSDigital using the hashtag #NHSTransformationBlog or get in touch at england.digitalhealth@nhs.net.