Case Studies
Redesigning the digital membership of a major UK political party.
Taking a people-centred approach to designing a digital community

SNP

The Scottish National Party are the
third-largest political party in the UK
with over 125,000 members.

CHALLENGE

UK political parties are not known for having a user-centred digital membership experience. We changed this.

The SNP have grown their membership by empowering grass routes movements. They wanted to be able to do this digitally, bringing more value to their existing members, better understanding their needs, as well as making it easier for new members to join and get involved.

With membership and engagement increasing rapidly, the party needed to vastly improve the digital experience for its members. The existing system that ran their membership experience and marketing was cumbersome to manage, poorly integrated with their data systems, expensive to run and restricting their ability to be agile with members events, content and fundraising opportunities.

The SNP team needed to migrate their vast membership database and content library, along with popular features amongst members from a propriety system and rebuild on a new system that answered all their needs and gave them the foundation to build upon themselves. This needed to be done at a point when their membership was rapidly increasing, the party was under the increased public and political spotlight, alongside the existing hectic schedule of a major UK political digital team, and be delivered in 9 months — from workshops to public beta — before their major party conference.

SOLUTION

We worked with the brilliant SNP digital team realise their vision of what they wanted to achieve. Through structured design-thinking workshops with their team and key membership, we were able to clearly define user needs and a feasible project roadmap to realise that vision.

Analysing historical data to understand digital user behaviour, and combining with findings from research and workshops, we designed new and re-designed existing features for the platform. The insight from the SNP team combined with our research found that people were looking for a personalised experience, much like that served in a social media platform. We went through prototype iterations with key groups to understand what combination of features and architecture of choices best met our identified goals. This prototyping defined the design of the platform, guiding us to create a personalised experience unique to each member.


The project roadmap allowed us to design a platform solution that delivered the agility, resilience and donation growth potential for the party, but more importantly, it reduced critical issues such as fall-off during the joining and donation, as well increased membership engagement and retention.

IMPACT

We were able to launch the project at the party conference, being met with applause at all levels of the party. Since launch there has been a sustained increase in user engagement. Donation and registration drop-off reduced, with donations increasing. We continue to work with the party to develop the platform and work as a partner on their initiatives.

DELIVERABLES

User Research & Data Analysis
User Experience Strategy
Digital Product Design & Build
Technology Strategy