Cyber security
A new website to help make the UK the safest place to live and work online
The homepage of the NCSC.
Overview
Using a range of research techniques, we helped the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to understand its users’ needs and online behaviour.

We designed a website that helps people discover, understand and easily action the critical information they need to stay safe and do business online, irrespective of their technical expertise.
Research services
Discovery
Usability testing
Guerilla research
Online testing
Survey
Data & analytics
Expert review
Design services
Proposition design
User journey mapping
Rapid prototyping
UI & responsive design
Content design
Information Architecture
Design system
The challenge
Give the right information to the right people at the best time
The National Cyber Security Centre shares important information with audiences ranging from worried parents to professional cyber security experts.

Our challenge was to design a website that gives the right information to the right people at the best time, so that they can take action to change their behaviour around cyber security and reduce their risk of a cyber attack.
Discovery
Understanding the NCSC business and users to define the service strategy
Highlights
  • Workshops with 40+ stakeholders
  • 30+ face-to-face and remote interviews
  • In-person research at cyber security conferences
We set out to learn the organisation's aims and objectives, as well as their users' needs and behaviours, to help define what a successful solution would look like.

We used multiple research methods to reach a wide range of users quickly and build contacts for future research. From this, we identified a clear set of user needs, expectations and current behaviour to inform the new website design.

We discovered that members of the general public did not ‘feel like the [original] website was for them,’ while cyber security experts felt the guidance was difficult to find and poorly organised.

Working with our development partner Zaizi, we defined the technical requirements and prepared the digital service strategy.
Presentation screens with our approach and findings.
Solution design
Rapid prototyping and research to test ideas
Highlights
  • Tested 5 prototypes ahead of launch
  • Ran 30+ one-on-one research sessions
  • Engaged 400+ people in the UK
We used rapid prototyping to explore a range of design ideas at speed and tested these with real users.

Using Agile design and research sprints we were able to shape the user experience to help everyone find the right information quickly.

We combined ongoing analysis with regular show and tells to update the team with interim findings and adapt the research approach accordingly to ensure a broad understanding of user needs.

During these iterations, we explored a number of complex problems for a wide variety of users, from novice to cyber security expert.
A UX researcher and a research participant in a usability testing session looking at a screen.
Implementation
Designing & building the new website
Highlights
  • Created an online design system
  • Designed 30+ page templates
  • Achieved WCAG Level AA accessibility
Working with our development partner Zaizi, we delivered a new design system including all the design templates required to build an accessible, intuitive and responsive website.
A collage of screens from the National Cyber Security Centre's website.
Outcomes
1
100% increase in traffic to the NCSC website
We worked with the entire project team to optimise the site and content for Google, resulting in an uplift of over 100% of visitors to the site year on year.
2
More people find what they need
We introduced an audience-based navigation to help the NCSC’s audience groups more easily and quickly find information they wanted, as well as connecting them with information they weren’t aware of.

Users consistently told us that the NCSC had ‘increased the amount of guidance on the website,’ when in fact we’d reduced it. This proved that our new design made it feel like it had more content.
3
More people understand cyber security and take action
We worked closely with the editorial team — who were encouraged to observe research sessions — to design content around the people that will read it. Online and face-to-face testing proved that the new content was easier to read and understand.
Working with Fluent on our high profile project has been an absolute pleasure and I’d recommend their services to anyone.
Stuart T • Head of Digital, Marketing, Strategy & Insight
Our thoughts
It was clear from the beginning that Stu and the team at NCSC really championed customer-centric design. Their support, along with the commitment from the multi-agency delivery team, resulted in a website that was demonstrably more effective and easier to use.
Paul Lakin, Managing Director

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