Discovery, user research and content auditing the RAF Air Cadets site
The RAF Air Cadets is an inclusive organisation for young people. They offer personal and professional development through a range of activities, training and education. There are over 48,000 air cadets and 10,000 adult volunteers across the UK.
The RAF Air Cadets had their own website that wasn’t consistent in look and style with the main RAF website. They wanted to better understand their users and their content in order to make decisions, based on data and evidence, about whether the Cadet site should be separate or part of the main RAF site. They also wanted to understand how the site should be structured and what the priority content was to meet the needs of their users.
The main goals for the project were for the client to understand:
- If the Cadet site should integrate with the main RAF site
- The top tasks for cadets, volunteers, parents and carers
- What content they had, what they actually need and how to target it to their audiences
- How they could best recruit young people into the Cadets through their website
- How a new website could support their organisational strategy
- Where their content was disjointed so they could improve consistency
To deliver the necessary work, the Lagom project team consisted of the different disciplines of a dedicated User Researcher, Service Designer and Content Strategist.
What we did
- Conducted 16 stakeholder and user interviews
- Conducted a review of the entire RAF Air Cadets site content
- Analysed 344 responses to a user needs survey
- Prioritised 25 user needs
- Developed 3 user journey maps
- Designed a provisional site map
- Developed content models
Following our user research standards, we set out to gain as much knowledge and data as possible. This allowed us to analyse, group and present our findings which we then turned into recommendations. Part of our research included a content gap analysis, landscape analysis and finding insights in the analytics for the existing site.
The research involved interviews with users of the site. This enabled us to identify user needs for different user roles, which were then tested in a validation survey. We also spoke to stakeholders, as well as undertaking an analysis of the site’s entire existing content.
The content audit revealed that there is a lot of content on the current site, which we recommended could be significantly reduced, with prioritised remaining content to be rewritten using clearer language that addressed the user needs. We also developed content models for different content types so there was more consistency across the site.
All of this enabled us to develop a clearer sense of a minimal viable product for the new site’s content. We then tested our assumptions using a card sort survey, which led to the development of a provisional site map.
By this time we had a detailed understanding of the users, their needs, the business goals, the site structure, content and could talk to the client about this with evidence for each insight.
The project’s outputs allowed us to craft a detailed set of recommendations about the future of the website. We worked with our technical partner, Binary Vision, to launch a streamlined and updated RAF Air Cadets website which is now a part of the main RAF site following what we learnt and recommended from this discovery.
The RAF and RAF Air Cadets continue to develop and improve the website with a new user-centred approach.