Working with Mind to revitalise their website and increase user engagement

A little background

As one of the UK’s largest mental health charities, Mind would like their online offering to better meet the needs of those interested in seeking help with their mental health, supporting the charity, or finding out more about their work. In 2017, Mind appointed Sigma to help them build on their existing research, increase donations and improve engagement through a new website.


The key objectives of this project were to:

  • Increase engagement with supporters and key stakeholders
  • Analyse and improve how the charity communicates with its online users
  • Identify and remove potential barriers to engagement
  • Create a new website that delivers the best possible experience, for a diverse range of users, whose needs often change significantly over time

What we’ve achieved so far

Our work so far has concentrated on understanding user needs and business requirements, designing and prototyping new features and pages, setting up the necessary technical environments in Umbraco CMS, and coordinating this activity with parallel projects in Mind (such as branding improvements and CRM platform integration).

Working closely with organisational stakeholders, we’ve established the foundation for what will be released publicly. Over the coming months, our work will deliver:

  • A simpler, more efficient donation flow
  • Clearer routes to Mind’s high-quality, authoritative information
  • An easier way for users to get involved in fundraising events


The project is being delivered in two phases. Firstly, we undertook a comprehensive discovery phase and some of this work is described by Mind in their Camp Digital 2018 talk (watch above). In phase 2, we’re currently delivering a fully agile design and build project for the new site.

Phase 1

We wanted to gain an appreciation of the groundwork that had already been done in previous research, to understand the project’s critical success factors, and to map out a technical and user experience approach to delivering the new site. We spent time learning about the organisation, including its strategy and its stakeholders, so that our work would fit into the business goals and have meaningful impact.

We facilitated co-design workshops and used the insights from them to create impact & experience maps. These maps helped to bring clarity to the key priorities – not just in terms of website features but in terms of the actual user needs and business goals.

We produced a design pattern library and a prototype, and we designed key site pages and features. We also created a detailed set of technical, functional and architectural specifications, in preparation for building the new site to be hosted on Umbraco 7, and transitioned the ‘old’ (current) site into our support service.

We are proud of the information and advice our website offers and delighted to be working with Sigma to ensure we are able to reach even more people and achieve our supporter growth ambitions.

Eve Critchley, Head of Digital at Mind

Phase 2 

Now, we are taking an agile approach to designing and building Mind’s website. The impact map has been instrumental in prioritising the work we are delivering, informing the goals for each sprint.

We’ve already designed and built a new donation journey that is simpler, clearer and more compelling than the current version. We’re currently working on fundraising and events features, and on revised information pages for supporters and people seeking help, including those in crisis.

We’re releasing new features and content as they’re ready, rather than having a ‘big bang’ approach, so it’s important that the new pages work seamlessly alongside existing features.

Mind & Sigma team sticking post its on a wall

Working with a charity & understanding changing user needs

Mind want to deliver better engagement with site users on their information pages (commonly used by those in crisis and/or their family and friends), an improved experience for their supporters (many of whom fundraise for Mind), and a more integrated experience between digital and in-person, telephone-based, and other services.

Many of Mind’s users have mental health problems themselves, and do not experience linear journeys with their mental health. So, perhaps more so than in other situations, Mind’s users have changing needs and goals over time. For example, one individual might approach the Mind website ‘in crisis’ one month and then, following improvements to their health, return a few months later as someone who is less urgently ‘seeking help.’ The website must be just as useful in the second case as in the first case.

Many of Mind’s beneficiaries also become supporters down the line, once their health is sufficiently recovered, but may have to then reduce their involvement when mental health symptoms flare up again. This fluidity is a common issue for health and disability charities where beneficiaries can become supporters and may switch back and forth between these roles over time, depending on a number of complex internal and external factors. It is important that the new Mind site supports these transitions over time, and considers cognitive load. 

For a more in-depth look at our approach towards these considerations, read Francis Rowland's thoughts on "How to design for people struggling with mental health".

Services delivered: 

  • Usability & accessibility testing 
  • Impact & experience mapping
  • Creative, UX & interaction design
  • Mobile friendly front-end development
  • Continuous integration & delivery (CI/CD)
  • Information architecture
  • Business design
  • Continuing support, maintenance, and optimisation of the site

Want to work with us… 

Sigma is committed to helping brands and organisations of all shapes and sizes interact better with their clients and customers while helping them create accessible and user-friendly platforms. If you are interested in the work we do or think we might be able to help, get in touch here or call 01625 427718.

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