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Our challenge

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) is the national health board responsible for providing advice and services to the rest of NHS Scotland.  

NSS wanted to rethink and redesign how its information and data was delivered. But with more than 40 websites across its digital estate, this was easier said than done. 

The first part of this extensive process was to review and analyse NSS’s existing digital services. This ‘discovery’ phase would require complex planning and negotiation and had to work in line with the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) model. That’s where we came in. 

Our approach

During this initial discovery phase, we focused on the Information Services Division (ISD). 

ISD (now part of Public Health Scotland and known simply as ‘Data and intelligence’) provided health intelligence and statistical services for the NHS. 

We wanted to go beyond the data and understand what problems existed – then uncover how these problems could be solved. 

To help us define the problems and understand ISD users’ needs, we used various techniques and strategies including:  

  • Data analysis 
  • Persona development 
  • RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies) analysis 
  • User research 
  • VMOST (Vision and Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics) workshops 

Our impact

Following an extensive phase of discovery, research and analysis, we produced a series of outputs, including an in-depth recommendations report and low-fidelity wireframe prototypes.  

The project was so successful that we were immediately commissioned to design and develop the new ISD website.  

But for us, the most significant impact was being able to transfer our knowledge to the ISD team. They can now run Agile discovery projects on their own – using the skills and knowledge they’ve gained from working with us. Now that’s what you call collaboration. 

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