An online service that makes donating easier
The website of Blood Service (or Veripalvelu), responsible for blood supply across Finland, now better serves the main protagonist of blood donation – the donor. Thanks to the redesign, it's now easier to communicate urgent blood needs, crisis situations, and donation locations.
What is the most important task of Blood Service? To ensure that all patients receive the necessary blood products. Therefore, the Veripalvelu website needs to address individuals considering blood donation, provide up-to-date information about blood needs, and explain who can donate and how to do it.
“Blood Service is responsible centrally for the entire blood product supply in Finland, both in normal and exceptional circumstances,” state Kristiina Hietanen, Development Manager at Blood Service, and Hille Nylander, Marketing Specialist. “Additionally, we handle tasks such as coordinating stem cell transplants, tissue typing for organ and stem cell transplants, and certain laboratory tests related to blood.”
The old website of Blood Service, implemented with SharePoint, no longer met current needs. The goal was to modernize the website both in terms of functionalities and user experience, and to manage different content sections from a single system. Blood Service also has numerous content contributors, and their user roles needed clarification.
“Our website was completely revamped. The previous site we were using didn’t allow for customer journeys and functionalities that we needed to serve our customers in the best possible way. The aim was to introduce user-friendly and clear pages where customers can easily find the information they need without any interruptions in their chosen paths.”, Kristiina and Hille recap.
The website redesign started with requirements gathering in a workshop with the client, and the process continued using a sprint model. We developed a WordPress site for Blood Service, addressing the issues and consolidating various components into a single system under the client’s management.
"Our field of operation and target audience are diverse, requiring us to communicate clearly and in a timely manner to both blood donors and other stakeholders."
Kristiina Hietanen, Development Manager, Blood Service
How did Blood Service benefit from the renewal?
- The societally significant service is now more user-friendly
- Blood Service staff can now manage all website content sections from a single system
- The site is tailored in content and visuals to the donor
- Current blood demand can be easily updated and shared
- Customers can search for the nearest donation location based on their own location.
Blood demand always up to date
One blood type may be needed more than another. How is the need for blood communicated clearly?
Through visual means. When the Blood Service staff updates the blood situation in the WordPress database, the blood status barometer displays the current blood demand with illustrative blood drops.
Visitors can choose to share the image of the blood status on social media or download it to their device. The shareable image isn’t pre-made; instead, the blood status barometer fetches the latest blood data and generates the image dynamically.
Find the donation location near you
Where and how can blood be donated? Many donate blood at blood donation events organized in different locations. Therefore, the donation location search needed to be based on the user’s physical location.
We implemented a donation location search utilizing the RediPress search engine, where customers can search for their desired location, town, or the nearest donation spot. If the customer agrees to share their location through geolocation, the donation location search displays the nearest donation spot based on the customer’s coordinates.
For example, a ‘Tampere’ search to the Nominatim API returns the coordinates for Tampere. We have previously implemented a similar search feature for example for A-Katsastus, where the customer’s location was also a key factor.
How did we fare?
We hionists were pampered, as the Blood Service team was actively and precisely involved in the entire journey of the project.
“The customer was fully engaged and took charge of their part, as there was a lot of content. It was equally their contribution that allowed us to complete the website on schedule,” praised Lead Developer Ville Löytynoja.
We have received excellent feedback from Blood Service regarding the easily editable content. However, the user-friendliness of the website doesn’t only benefit the Blood Service staff – it benefits all of us. It’s crucial for the service provided by the entity responsible for blood supply across Finland to be up to date. Now, the new website allows for the swift dissemination of information, such as sudden crisis situations and the urgent need for blood to save lives.
"The project succeeded wonderfully, according to both us at Blood Service and the feedback we have received from our customers. We achieved all the set goals, thanks to the committed and knowledgeable project team at Hion! With smooth collaboration and swift progress, we stayed on the planned schedule throughout."
–Kristiina Hietanen, Development Manager, Blood Service
“With the renewed service, blood donors now find it even easier to locate a suitable donation place and time, as well as participate in advocating for blood donation by sharing real-time blood situation updates on their social media networks. Hion displayed an excellent and consultative approach throughout the entire project. Smooth communication and development suggestions from Hion’s project team were significant factors in the project’s success,” Kristiina and Hille conclude.
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