Embracing digital to help eliminate brain tumours and reduce diagnosis time.

Utilising the Django CMS to provide a bespoke, user-first experience.

Taking a clunky website to the next level

The Brain Tumour Charity engaged with Giant in 2014 to update its website; which had become clunky and difficult to navigate due to ad hoc development. The digital team were tired of slow functionality, inconsistent design and features that simply did not work.

The Charity had experienced significant growth in recent years. Their mission was clear: to double survival of brain tumours and half the harm that brain tumours have on quality of life. The website had become a hindrance in achieving this.

Investing time in research

We kicked off the project by conducting stakeholder interviews to outline the various demographic profiles that visit The Brain Tumour Charity's website. This was crucial to develop a picture of various users' needs, behaviours and preferences in terms of content and functionality requirements. Delivering appropriate, contextual information to each individual visitor was paramount. For example, a parent with a child suffering from a brain tumour needed to be handled with sensitivity and compassion, whereas researchers and healthcare professionals needed concise information at their fingertips. This research was revisited and enhanced through a series of UX interviews as part of The Charity’s brand refresh in 2018, giving the in-house digital team 14 highly detailed personas to work with.

The Brain Tumour Charity website

A bespoke solution for a high-growth non profit

We worked with The Charity to develop a bespoke, scalable solution built on the Django framework. This enabled us to go from concept to reality quickly and provided a reliable foundation to integrate all of the functionality they required. The solution catered to multiple device types and offered a completely refreshed design, navigation and information architecture.

A hyper-local experience

The Brain Tumour Charity has areas of location specific content on their website. From fundraising events and activities to local support groups, users can search for services in their region. It wanted to further customise its users experience and provide users with personalised content at their fingertips.

We utilised the comprehensive functionality that Django provides to integrate granular location-based content. This now enables The Charity to direct those suffering from brain tumours to their local support group as soon as they access the website. Similarly, if they wanted to drive attendance at a fundraising event in Scotland, our solution can analyse a users’ device location and IP address to identify those based in Scotland. Tailoring the content in this way, not only provides immediate, relevant support to those suffering with a brain tumour but drives donations with more targeted fundraising marketing.

The Brain Tumour Charity The Brain Tumour Charity
The Brain Tumour Charity

Working with the data

In 2018, using the persona research, together with SEO and user behaviour insights from Google Analytics and SEMRush, we worked with the in-house Digital Team to construct a user-centric navigation. The navigation mapped against the sequence of information users said they required at each stage of their journey from symptoms through diagnosis and treatment and living day-to-day with the effects of a brain tumour.

Using the personas, we conducted a card sorting exercise with key members of The Charity to determine what information was key for the user to see upon arrival at the homepage. This resulted in a shorter homepage that briefly introduced The Charity, then focussed on the needs of the user. Clear signposting using plain, everyday language that the user could identify with was introduced to guide the user, whether they were worried about symptoms, had received a diagnosis or wanted to help with fundraising. Currently these three pathways have a combined click-through rate of 12% with half of those homepage visitors who clicked identifying with the “I’ve got a brain tumour” pathway. This type of signposting widget is helping the team learn more about their users and deliver relevant content at the appropriate times.

Providing clarity in difficult times

The Brain Tumour Charity supports everyone affected by a brain tumour, however this presented a challenge when managing the website’s content. We created the Jargon Buster: a dictionary of terminology including medical and scientific words. These words are highlighted through the text with short descriptions shown. This not only improves user experience, it alleviates the anxiety and confusion involved with diagnosis.

The Brain Tumour Charity website

Enterprise level integrations

Utilising Django, in 2019 we were able to create a donations platform that seamlessly integrated with both Stripe and Salesforce. This new platform offers users more up-to-date payment options for both one off and regular donations such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal, and a choice of direct debit or recurring card payments. We ensured all information captured by the website is fed into Salesforce - this includes the type of user and interaction. This enables The Charity to send personalised communications to the user relating to their activity on the site. For example, a patient that has just been diagnosed with a tumour, they are likely to be anxious and in need of support. Thanks to the integration with Salesforce, The Charity can send a brain tumour information pack and regularly engage via email.


Headsmart - Raising parents’ awareness of brain tumour symptoms

In 2017 we launched the HeadSmart campaign; a microsite specifically designed to help parents recognise the symptoms of brain tumours and recruit advocates to spread the message among friends, family, schools and doctors surgeries. We developed a site that was ‘app-like’ in design with a mobile-first strategy so that usability was both familiar and clear. Similarly, the site splits the symptoms into age categories (babies, children, teens) to reflect search terms frequently used in Google by worried parents and to avoid confusion and doubt in diagnosis.

The Brain Tumour Charity website

The results for The Brain Tumour Charity website:

Following the launch of the new website in September 2015, The Charity saw its biggest shift from offline to online donations. Their Christmas appeal traditionally saw 70% of the audience interact offline and only 30% online. However, in 2015, this switched, with 70% donations taking place online.

The website saw significant year on year growth in the following year with 161% increase in sessions and a 140% increase in users. Following the implementation of the new donations platform in September, the charity received an additional £50,000 worth of donations before Christmas. This equates to 200 extra days of brain tumour research or the funding to make 200,000 families 'brain tumour aware' through its HeadSmart campaign.


An average 22% year on year increase in charity income since the launch of the new website.


A total of 11,700 fundraisers have taken part in its annual Twilight Walk.


More than 2.5 million in individual giving since the launch of the new website.

"We selected Giant because we were looking for more than an agency, we wanted a partner - someone who would be as dedicated to defeating brain tumours as we are. Giant became an extension of our cause and worked with us to achieve our objectives and make a difference."

Antonio Cappelletti, Director of Digital Engagement and Communications at
The Brain Tumour Charity

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