Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS) aims to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society. Part of how they achieve this is to run courses and conferences for researchers, healthcare and public health workers around the world.
Wellcome Connecting Science builds communities of interest around their courses, conferences and events.
The WCS learning and training team wanted to take a user-centred, discovery approach to understanding the needs of users for communities of practice, and the opportunities and solutions to best meet those needs.
At the start of the discovery we agreed and prioritised a set of questions to explore in the research:
- Who are the actual users in the community of practice?
- What are their needs?
- How are users currently behaving?
- What digital solutions / channels do they already have / use (e.g. Slack, WhatsApp, LMS)?
- Who is responsible and has visibility/access to these channels?
- How to foster and sustain community engagement beyond an actual WCS course or conference?
- What is the role of WCS as an enabler / facilitator of such interaction and community management / development?
- What are gaps to meet needs and foster the community?
The Lagom project team included a delivery manager, senior user researcher, user researcher and a lead digital strategist.
What we did
We used a combination of user research methods to understand the current behaviours of users, and their needs for a community of practice.
We recruited users from around the world, and with a range of attributes, to understand the similarities and differences in the needs of different groups of users.
We interviewed stakeholders to understand their aspirations and concerns, and used landscape analysis to understand how others had addressed similar situations.
We then drew on our analysis of the research findings to consider four possible options for ways that Wellcome Connecting Science could act on the research.
- Ran a session to walkthrough the current community of interest life-cycle, including existing tools and processes
- Conducted 5 stakeholder interviews
- Landscape analysis to learn from others responsible for similar communities, including an interview with a service owner
- Conducted 20 one-to-one user interviews
- Analysis of a user experience survey with 110 responses
- Developed 5 user proto-personas
- Created and facilitated of the prioritisation of 50 user needs with the WCS team
- Presented project findings and recommendation show-and-tells, and a detailed discovery report
We presented our research findings, and made recommendations addressing: strategy and process, governance and facilitation, and user experience. And we provided a suggested action plan for the WCS team, setting out a suggested sequence for acting on our recommendations.