Our challenge

Research revealed that after visiting the old Barnardo's website, users were still unclear about what exactly Barnardos is and what it does. Over half our users spent less than 10 seconds on the site. 

It was cluttered with content that wasn’t engaging and was hard to find.

It had too many contributors and no agreed idea of what good content looks like. It was also built on an old platform that didn’t work well on phones and was difficult and expensive to maintain. It was so hard to manage that many Barnardo’s services published their own websites, which made it even harder for users to find the content they needed.

Screenshot of Barnardo's website 'Protecting children' page

Our solution

Our new website is a single domain. One site for all Barnardo’s users, wherever they are, whatever device they use. It’s much easier for them to find what they need, and it’s easier to manage and cheaper to run.

It also has a central content team who are trained to present content that users need in a way they can use it easily.

Designing a user-focused website

We began by researching our users. A discovery analysis involving workshops, interviews and online surveys to find out who our users are and what they need from our website.

someone putting a post-it note on a wall

Then we did an extensive audit to find out what content we had and how much of it our users actually needed.

We found over 12,000 pages spread over 85 sites. We reduced this to around 200 pages on the new site.

We developed it using open-source software. That means we can make our own improvements and adjustments according to our users’ needs.

We built it using our design system and wrote it in plain English in accordance with our style guide, so it’s accessible to all users, whether they’re professionals commissioning our services or young people using them.

As we were developing the new site’s features, style and tone we brought cross sections of users into a user-testing lab so we could get their views while tracking their interaction on the site.

Using Barnardo's website

Screenshot of mobile phone view of barnardo's website 'Get involved' page

We've taken a one-site approach. The new site is replacing the old site section by section, so users can use the same url and the same links.

Recent user feedback includes:



'Very informative'


'Amazing great charity keep up the good work!'

Next steps

The site is live but we're listening to user research and feedback to make further improvements.

A content strategy setting out the management and maintenance of the site will ensure it stays clear, relevant, useful and user-friendly in the long term.

Find out more

Visit https://www.barnardos.org.uk to find out more about who we are and what we do.