Around 500,000 people in the UK are living with Crohn’s or Colitis, and more are diagnosed every day.

Diagnosis of the condition – also called Inflammatory Bowel Disease – can be a long road. Once it is confirmed, people can face a lifetime of medication and major surgery; not to mention ongoing symptoms that include constant, severe pain and extreme fatigue, and attendant mental health problems.

With more and more people awaiting a diagnosis and learning to live with the disease demand for information and support is high. People living with Crohn’s and Colitis need to discover more about possible treatment and relief, but their families, friends and carers also want to build their knowledge.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to the condition. In 2021, the organisation set out an ambitious three-year strategy to present these audiences – along with healthcare professionals and policymakers – with a treasure trove of information to aid their understanding of the disease, its effects, and how people can live well following a diagnosis.


Digital channels are becoming an increasingly important platform for charities to offer and distribute information about support and services.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK is no different. In 2021, more than 4.7 million users visited its website – more than three times the traffic it received in 2019.

It is also a useful portal for the organisation’s 47,000 members; 55,000 community members; and 50 local networks.

But the charity understood the website could be much more effective. To deliver a wealth of information for everyone affected by the condition to consult. And to also be recognised as a hub to campaign for better support and treatment in policy and healthcare.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s ambition was to provide a new website hub that would deliver services in an accessible & inclusive way and maximise donation generation, using a User centric approach when considering the development and design of the site was key.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s new website hub


Over the course of the next few years, Crohn’s & Colitis UK and integrated digital & marketing agency WPNC are collaborating on a digital transformation programme to develop the charity’s online presence.

The programme of work is placing its community of users at the heart of everything it does, embracing technology to further improve people’s engagement with the organisation.

The first phase of the charity’s new digital strategy is now complete. An online hub and content management system,, has upgraded the old site and user experience.

Regular collaboration has been key during the project

Initially developed as a Minimum Viable Product, with further releases of functionality planned in the near future, the hub supports all users thanks to being:

  • co-produced with service users for better journeys and experiences
  • mobile-first for consumers, and desktop-first for professionals
  • a place to access all information and services but also offering multiple ways to donate or support the charity
  • set-up to offer self-service and ‘my page’ personalisation for users

goDonate – the online donation platform provider spun out of WPNC – is being used to improve supporter and user journeys, as well as handling online donations.


The team at WPNC aimed to build on the existing research completed by Crohn’s & Colitis UK and to fill any gaps to then collaborate to design and develop the impactful website ‘hub’ Crohn’s & Colitis UK was looking for.

User journey mapping

Taking the comprehensive brief and research already carried-out, WPNC initially focused on the main website hub, service delivery and donations areas, as these were key priorities for Crohn’s & Colitis UK; and to then follow with additional phase-builds such as membership and hyper personalisation after initial launch.

The key phases of the project were:

Discovery & Definition

Through stakeholder engagement and collaboration, goals were clearly defined. The site architecture was reviewed to understand the challenges, pain points and opportunities of the user journeys.

Heatmap testing
User behaviour research

Related data and insight using Google Analytics and heat maps identified key areas for improvements and substantiate new site structure and journey mapping. A site map was also created to keep the Crohn’s & Colitis UK primary audiences and SEO requirements as priority.

User Journey Testing

User journey testing

WPNC then created wireframes into a testable prototype to validate initial assumptions made and to identify further improvement opportunities. The prototype was tested by different the representative from the key audience groups.

Design & Development

WPNC created a modular and accessible design solution to enable flexibility and consistency and bring the brand to life with a compelling design.

As part of the design, a full suite of iconography was also created to match the modern feel of the brand.

The site was developed using the Umbraco CMS which is an open-source .NET solution very popular with charities due to the flexibility of the product as well as the easy to use back end administration.

WPNC also enhanced the donor journey with the integration of the next generation donation platform goDonate Plus, streamlining the website’s donor UX and updating payment options with digital payment wallets such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Modular and accessible design

Post-launch CRO and website evolution

WPNC continues its collaboration and support of Crohn’s & Colitis UK with regular communication and monitoring of the live site.

WPNC and Crohn’s & Colitis UK are also collaboratively working together on a quarterly CRO (conversion rate optimisation) programme to evolve and improve the site further.

Future phases

Later phases are being rolled out over the next year including an overhaul of the online membership area and investment in hyper-personalisation to provide intuitive content delivery and online services.

Initial results

Over the last year we’ve established a really strong partnership with WPNC which is helping us bring about a step-change in our web presence. Our community and users are at the heart of the work we’re doing, and we are excited about the potential of using technology to further improve people’s experience and engagement with us.

Kian Scott-Loach, Digital Manager at Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Initial results following the launch of the MVP are very promising with users now spending longer on the website, bounce rates down significantly and very strong feedback from users.

Optimised for mobile as well as tablet and desktop