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Nonprofit United Kingdom

Consulting on design, optimisation, and functionalities of an ML-based chatbot solution

Executive Summary

Challenge: Cancer Central needed to revamp and reorganise their website, which is currently used by 100 cancer organisations and has 600+ users connected in a year, in order to make it content rich. The company needed assistance in finding ways to effectively manage the activities happening on it.

Approach: Following an in-depth consultancy workshop, we prepared UX and frontend solutions, encompassing low- and high-fidelity prototypes. Recognising the time constraints, we extended our support to the backend development, enabling Cancer Central to showcase their project during the event.

Result: By redesigning the website, we created a comprehensive voice chart, serving as a guideline for the ML-based chatbot’s communication with users. Through rigorous user interviews combined with testing, we fine-tuned the website and significantly enhanced the functionality and performance of the client’s project.

Table of Contents

About the client

Cancer Central is a cancer platform using AI to guide people affected by cancer to find the support and information they need.

This platform supports those affected by cancer – the individual and their loved ones. Recognising the myriad challenges faced by these individuals, Cancer Central aspires to establish itself as the preeminent destination for accessing reliable and authenticated cancer-related information and support.

Everyone involved in Cancer Central volunteers in their spare time, and so far, they have received over 70,000 donated hours.

Need for a consultancy partner

Having learnt from user engagement with previous website iterations, Cancer Central looked for support in best practice to implement new functionalities and provide a more seamless user experience.

Their aim was to update the website with content-rich features. Although ordinary chat integration was already present, they sought a more sophisticated solution to leverage smart ML technology. Their vision extended beyond mere conversational capabilities; they aimed for the website to generate suggestions, solution outcomes, directions, links, and materials.

With some concepts to address user flow done by their previous designer, Cancer Central turned to us and asked for our expertise and help. We offered viable alternatives to overcome their obstacles.

70 000

donated hours

1 million

enquiries during Covid-19 pandemic

Our Value Proposition workshop was fabulous.

While we already knew our need and challenge, taking a moment to step back with fresh eyes really helped hone in our understanding of what could drive the biggest impact and outcome, helping to support even more people affected by cancer.

Avril Chester
Founder of Cancer Central

Scope of work

In the initial stage of our collaboration, we conducted a thorough workshop to learn more about the expectations and gain a deep understanding of the client’s challenges and objectives. This workshop facilitated open discussions to map their needs and obstacles, while also exploring the resources they had available, including branding elements from external entities.

As we began our work, we realised that some of the initial assumptions were unnecessary and could be simplified. During a presentation call, we introduced an unexpected revolution that caught the client off guard.

Our recommendations and ideas were very well received by the client. Consequently, the project expanded to include chatbot design, language design, and interface design, transforming it into a comprehensive consulting endeavour.

The chatbot Ave, named after Cancer Central’s founder Avril Chester.

Future Processing exceeded our expectations. It was an incredible experience with a fantastic team. I knew Future Processing had the expertise to support us, and they’ve just blown me away with what they have produced.

They performed exceptionally well when it comes to project management. (…) The most impressive thing was their innovation. They grasped the concept and found the best way to deliver. Future Processing was incredibly generous.

Avril Chester
Founder of Cancer Central

We advise and support our client

Our expertise enabled us to successfully reconcile the dual requirements of our customer and as a result we suggested integrating a form and chatbot into a unified solution. Prior to commencing the implementation phase, we conducted rigorous interviews combined with testing to validate our recommended approach.

To ensure the correctness and tangible value of our solution, we conducted interviews with four end users. These participants were guided through the website featuring the chatbot, allowing us to gather their feedback, assess if their needs were met, identify potential improvements, and understand their information-seeking behaviour related to cancer.

Our collaboration with Cancer Central is highly regarded, as we consistently challenge existing assumptions and propose optimisation strategies. The client places great trust in our recommendations and values the information we provide.

Due to time constraints associated with a specific event where the solution was to be presented, the client’s backend team decided to simplify some of the assumptions from the initial version. However, the target version, currently under development, will incorporate our suggestions to a greater extent during the second phase. All the materials and recommendations we have provided remain valid, and the solution will continue to evolve accordingly.

It gets a big tick from me. I didn’t know certain charities existed when I had ovarian cancer 10 years ago, and I really wish I had, so what a great resource.

Cancer Central's End User

Main benefits of our partnership

  • Conducting a thorough workshop and providing comprehensive consultancy services that led to valuable. recommendations for the project
  • During our workshop, Cancer Central officially reached 70,000 donated hours, a testament to their dedication and our collaborative efforts
  • Redesigning the website, incorporating significant functional and performance improvements to ensure an optimal user experience
  • Offering a consistent user interface and functionality across both mobile and desktop platforms
  • Conducting rigorous user interviews combined with testing to ensure that all aspects of the website met user expectations, enhancing its overall usability and effectiveness
  • Lack of emotional attachment to the project provided a fresh perspectivebringing new ideas and insights that invigorated the project
  • Open, fully transparent collaboration, leveraging the agile mindset of both companies enabling effective communication, efficient decision-making, and seamless progress

I have learned some interesting facts about cancer that I never knew. Insightful and scary at the same time.

Cancer Central's End User

Proactive and flexible approach

Our versatile team comprises a technology consultant, a UX designer, and a developer, collectively ensuring the meticulous fulfilment of all project requirements pertaining to user flow and website design.

We maintained close collaboration with the Cancer Central CEO and their esteemed technology partner, leveraging their invaluable expertise in implementing the recommendations provided.

Recognising time constraints, we extended our support to the client by assisting with the backend development of the project, enabling them to achieve their objectives and showcase the developed solution during a conference.

Technologies used in the project