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https://digitalhealth.blog.gov.uk/2020/11/15/hta-website-redevelopment-alpha-assessment/

HTA Website Redevelopment Alpha Assessment

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Alpha, Assurance, Service assessments

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From: NHSX
Assessment date: 30th October 2020
Stage: Alpha
Result: Met
Service provider: Human Tissue Authority (HTA)

Service description

The HTA website acts as a repository of information. The website is being redeveloped to:

  • Improve the user experience for the HTA website’s key audiences
  • Be fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards
  • Update the website CMS from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 as Drupal 7 is reaching its end of life
  • Reconsider the wider infrastructure to take advantage of cloud hosting and associated benefits

Service users

This service is for both the public and professionals working at the establishments the HTA regulates.

Report contents

  1. Understand users and their needs
  2. Solve a whole problem for users
  3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels
  4. Make the service simple to use
  5. Make sure everyone can use the service
  6. Have a multidisciplinary team
  7. Use agile ways of working
  8. Iterate and improve frequently
  9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy
  10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data
  11. Choose the right tools and technology
  12. Make new source code open
  13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns
  14. Operate a reliable service

1. Understand users and their needs

Decision

The service met point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has built a good understanding of their primary and secondary users, conducting research with both user groups
  • There is a good awareness of the constraints of the service (e.g. content review not being in scope and reports displayed as PDF), and are making an effort to ensure this does not affect the quality of the service being built 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Explore where there may be duplication of content across user bases (e.g. both professionals and members of the public searching for the same content), and ensure this is labelled clearly to users

2. Solve a whole problem for users

Decision

The service met point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • Through user research, the team have identified the key problems with the existing site, directly addressed them with the rebuild and then tested further with users to validate this
  • The team are making sure any positives from the existing site are maintained, such as the news letter

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue to test and validate changes with users, including users with accessibility needs   

3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels

Decision

The service met point 3 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The whole organisation are regularly updated about the progress and reasoning behind the website redevelopment
  • Insight from comms and customer services has driven some of the changes and design process
  • The contact details for the HTA are easily accessible and users can contact customer services for further info or if they need a non-digital copy of a publication or guidance

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue to work with and learn from all areas of the organisation
  • Engage with external stakeholders such as NHS Blood and Transplant and the MHRA

4. Make the service simple to use

Decision

The service met point 4 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • Followed simple (but distinctive) design patterns to gov.uk and nhs.uk
  • Have tested different designs with users, and have incorporated feedback into the design

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue to test the ways in which users navigate their way through the site with a larger sample of users

5. Make sure everyone can use the service

Decision

The service met point 5 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has considered the needs of users with accessibility and assisted digital needs

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Research with and present on a considerably broader sample of users for whom using the website can be particularly challenging

6. Have a multidisciplinary team

Decision

The service met point 6 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team is multidisciplinary and covers all roles and specialist levels of expertise required
  • The use of Drupal CMS means comms teams are able to make content changes themselves, without the need for any developer time

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Maintain the same team roles going into private beta 
  • Where possible, the team should fill roles internally - but the panel recognises that the organisation is small and specialist expertise and support needs to procured through an outside supplier 

7. Use agile ways of working

Decision

The service met point 7 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team works in an agile way in 2 week sprints with the traditional ceremonies, including show and tells for internal and external stakeholders
  • The design and development teams are able to work concurrently, which is more efficient and means findings from user testing can be implemented more quickly
  • The team has a committed SRO in place who comes to weekly project meetings, champions the project to senior management, and is able to escalate any issues quickly and effectively

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • The team should continue to work in an agile way   
  • The team should test the service with a senior stakeholder during private beta

8. Iterate and improve frequently

Decision

The service met point 8 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has developed a cycle of testing, changing and testing again during alpha - this has lead to improvements evidenced by user feedback
  • The team has dedicated user research resource

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Make it straightforward for users to easily feedback back any issues or suggestions about the site

9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy

Decision

The service met point 9 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The Website will be connected to NCSC ACD WebCheck
  • Vulnerability scanner will carry out penetration tests and Drupal specific scan. Scans include OWASP top 10 web application security risk.
  • Minimal data is captured to provide access to a newsletter which is opt in

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue working with the shared DPO function to ensure the website is adhering to best practice

10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data

Decision

The service met point 10 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 means that CMS can be upgraded, rather than having to do a full rebuild again in approx 5 years  
  • A key objective for the new website to be fully WCAG 2.1 AA compliant
  • The team are using Google Analytics to track performance and usage
  • User research in discovery has provided a benchmark to measure success against - traffic, engagement and key user journeys will be compared to the benchmark set by the previous website

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Carry out an accessibility audit for AA accreditation - this has already been scheduled in
  • Continue to monitor site success using analytics and make evidence based improvements

11. Choose the right tools and technology

Decision

The service met point 11 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team considered various open source CMSs ultimately deciding on Durpal 9, as it provided the required functionality and HTA are familiar with Drupal
  • AWS was chosen as the hosting solution as it meets the needs of the site and HTA
  • The technology stack uses established solutions which are suitable for the service     

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue to evaluate if their chosen technology stack is the best solution

12. Make new source code open

Decision

The service met point 12 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • No code has been written at the team of the assessment. However, the team is experienced in delivering public service and is committed to coding in the open. 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Host the code for the website in a public repository     

13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns

Decision

The service met point 13 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has made use of open source software where possible

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Consider how they can make better use of open standards for their reports moving away from PDFs
  • Consider how they can input into the Drupal community

14. Operate a reliable service

Decision

The service met point 14 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has established clear requirements for the availability of the site and established an appropriate level of resilience providing an uptime of 99.95% while being cost effective   
  • Backups are stored offsite and by utilising infrastructure as code a new environment for the site can be created quickly

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