Sport England

Sport England is a public body building the foundations of a community sport system by working with national governing bodies of sport, and other partners, to grow the number of people becoming more active; and help talented individuals from all diverse backgrounds excel.

This was a project utilising the UX process to re-design a government body content heavy website. The project was to consolidate Sport England’s multiple websites into one to provide the user-centred platform for their funding applications, the research they carry out, and to clearly communicate their mission and strategy.

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An image of the Sport England's website homepage.

The project

My role

UX Designer – Leading the research and discovery phase

The team

UX Designer, Project Manager, Visual Designer, Back-end Developer, Front-end Developer, SEO Analyst, QA Analyst, DevOps Engineer, Account Manager

The project challenges

  • Re-designing a very content heavy website
  • The consolidation of multiple websites
  • To define the personas of an organisation with a wide range of varied users
  • To carry out a thorough content audit on a content heavy website

How we did it


01 Workshop with 16 participants

The project was kicked off by an internal stakeholder workshop with 16 participants over two days, the workshop consisted of tasks and activities to define the problem, outline the project goals and risks. During the workshop the users were discussed and initial proto-personas defined. The workshop was also used as an opportunity to get all stakeholders buy in from the outset.

02 Stakeholder interviews with 10 participants

Following the workshop 10 internal stakeholder interviews were conducted to dig deeper into the project goals on a one-to-one bases.

03 User research with 14 participants

In collaboration with the Sport England team, a mix of 14 users were identified, in-depth user interviews were conducted to better understand the users, their needs and pain-points, and to define the user groups.

04 Content audit

A full content audit of the website was carried out. Looking at over 1000 URLs (and the data) to make decisions on the quality of each page and to whether keep, merge or delete it.

05 User journeys

The key user journeys were mapped out to get a deeper understanding of the users, their pain-points and the opportunities for improvement.

An image showing the audience segmentation for the Sport England's website.


06 Audience segmentation

User interview analysis lead to defining three primary and two secondary personas.The three primary persons were:

  • The Advocate – professionals that support Sport England’s strategy, making decisions and developing policies.
  • The Facilitator – professionals that apply the local strategy. They act as the bridge between the Advocate and Implementor e.g. helping clubs secure funding.
  • The Implementor – professionals that provide sports or activities to the general public. They are less involved with the national strategy.

The secondary personas were:

  • Internal Sport England stakeholders
  • MPs
  • Journalists
  • Job seekers

07 Information Architecture

The IA was developed and defined alongside the content mapping task in an iterative process.

08 Content mapping and content strategy

A content mapping exercise was carried out during the IA development and wireframing stages, making decisions on content types based on user needs. This followed the development of a content strategy and content creation.

Image of a set of wireframes.


09 Wireframing

The wireframing was completed over 5 sprints, the focus for each sprint was a different section of the website, starting by the ‘funding’ section as it was identified as the most important part of the project.

Over 60 wireframes were created for three breakpoints ensuring the designs will be fully responsive, and with accessibility fully in mind.

10 Prototyping

During each sprint, the wireframes were turned into prototypes ready for testing.

11 User testing with 19 participants

Moderated in-depth usability tests were carried out in a number of rounds with 19 participants. After each round the designs iterated and presented to the clients.

12 And finally

The final part of my role was to write the user stories, the functional specification, the handover to the development team, and being on stand by during the development phase to answer any questions.

Image showing the homepage of Sport England's website.

Final takeaways

  • To have success in a project an in-depth user research needs to be prioritised, knowing the users is the key to informed and confident problem solving and decision making.
  • There are no short cuts in carrying out a content audit, it’s a long and boring job, but it needs to be done, and it needs to be completed thoroughly.
  • Building a good professional relationship with the clients, and getting the main stakeholders involved and onboard from the start can be invaluable to the success of a project.