For Institute of Physics (IOP), events are a crucial part of the membership experience. Every day, lectures, talks and meet-ups are organised by IOP members across the UK, helping to build relationships, exchange knowledge and forward the role of physics in society.
From the beginning of Amphio’s and IOP’s partnership, it was clear that reinventing the events service would act as a catalyst for IOP’s wider digital transformation. As a result we built IOP Events, a service where members can both discover and create events directly.
The road to IOP Events began at the first design sprint that Amphio facilitated at the IOP. The initial prototype we tested with users was designed to improve event discovery by recommending relevant events based on the member’s interest. However, we quickly learnt from user testing that members wanted full control over finding relevant content. As a result, Amphio was able to iterate on the designs, in line with member feedback, and build a new search-driven event experience.
‘I’d like more control over which events are presented to me.’
– User feedback from the design sprint
Next we asked, how can we make it easier for members to create events? Previously members would send requests to a manager at IOP who reviewed submissions before publishing. Mapping the user journey revealed multiple bottlenecks for both staff and members. From this understanding improvements became obvious. We empowered members to publish their own physics events directly.
We built prototypes in one day that allowed us to test member reactions. The data gathered during testing gave IOP the confidence to take IOP Events into full development. The platform was developed by Amphio, working closely with IOP staff, using SCRUM methodology. Iterative development, built in two-week phases with clear goals, allowed us to regularly ship new and improved versions. Check out our latest releases.
‘Working with Amphio has changed how we will approach Agile development from now on. They have been open, collaborative and reliable throughout.’
– Vicky Stephens
Project Manager, Institute of Physics
To optimise discovery and usability, the service was built to be mobile-friendly, improve SEO rankings and integrate with messaging services. We released a Beta version in July 2017 which enabled further user feedback and better prioritisation. Next we tackled sign-on, ticketing and administration features. There has already been a 3x increase in page views and the rate at which new events are created has gone from negative to positive. Check out our key service metrics.
Using a member-informed approach from the start allowed the project to quickly identify bottlenecks and design solutions that both serve members and decrease operational costs for the IOP. Key to this was easing the administrative burden for IOP employees which led to a measurable increase in output and ultimately made more events visible to physics community. These learnings were incorporated into the IOP service manual which is being used in future IOP projects and across their digital transformation programme.
Talk to our Senior Project Manager Alan if you want to know more or want to discuss working with us.