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We ensured the NIBSC website met rigorous security protocols

NIBSC stands for The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. They play a major national and international role in assuring the quality of biological medicines. They also provide scientific advice and expertise to a large number of organisations including manufacturers of biological medicines, the UK government and European bodies and The World Health Organisation. In fact, even recently, NIBSC played an important role in evaluating vaccines that were deployed in the fight against COVID-19.


NIBSC initially approached Greenwood Campbell with a challenge. They required an extremely quick, strategic short term fix on the existing NIBSC website to address recent Pen Test security concerns and to ensure the longevity of the site whilst budget was still available. 

From the client side, a number of team members were involved to manage their particular area of expertise on the site. NIBSC also appointed an internal project manager to ensure efficiency was kept throughout. From Greenwood Campbell, we appointed 2x BED’s, 2x FED’s, a UX designer, 1x project manager, 1x account manager and an internal testing team to complete the project within the deadline. 

The project started with a discovery session to address the high priority security fixes required and the broken user journey through online accounts. The team spent a large amount of time mapping out the existing user journeys through login and beyond to understand where issues were arising and how these could be addressed.

This was then shortly followed by a second discovery session with a whole new team to address changes required to the product search and categorisation set up on the existing site.

 Clear communication for such a project was key. Greenwood Campbell’s project management team worked very closely with the internal NIBSC project manager throughout, this included daily stand ups with relevant project team members throughout the full 3 months and weekly burn down updates to track the full projects progress.

The NIBSC website sits on a particularly old and often complex CMS, Envisage. This required a large amount of background knowledge from both sides to ensure our new designs would adapt accordingly with the current set up. The required quick turnaround, need to liaise with various third parties and changes in goalposts also created challenges along the way. But through excellent communication both internally and with the client, and an amazing team effort from the design & development team, the project went off largely without a hitch and Greenwood Campbell were able to exceed expectations of delivery on time. 

What we did

The purpose of this project is to complete an strategic short term fix on the NIBSC website to ensure continued longevity prior to a larger website redesign project in the future. 

In particular, this project focused on addressing a number of security and accessibility issues highlighted through relevant pen tests and accessibility third party reports. The project also looked to substantially improve the current user experience and usability of the site whilst addressing the security and accessibility issues all in one go. Following completion of the high priority pen test security fixes, the team then got to work on some low fidelity wireframes for both the improved user journey for the online accounts and for the product search/categorisation piece. Only once these had been approved were we able to complete the build phase and integrations with the existing APIs managed by a third party. 

Due to the extremely tight turnaround, the project required a lot of moving parts all being managed at once. Due to this we decided on an agile project management approach, with the project being broken down into four separate sprints. Relevant team members from both GC and the client side were allocated to each sprint, with separate discovery sessions held for each work package. All took place in tandem working towards the same delivery date. 

The project took 3 months overall to complete.


Early feedback from the client was overwhelmingly positive. The project was delivered largely on time and exceeded expectations given the extremely tight deadline for turnaround. 

In the future, the client hopes to complete a full site UX and design revamp including a transfer onto a modern and more suitable CMS. 

"“I just want to thank you all and congratulate you for the success of the NIBSC Website Upgrade. Whether you were from NIBSC or GWC you worked as one team and pulled together to get these important changes done on time. I would also like to especially thank our supplier, GWC, Nick and Kayley and their team working hard behind the scenes. Nothing was ever too much trouble, when we needed to pivot and change the goalposts at the last minute, this was done with a professional approach. There were no complaints, Nick, Kayley and team just rolled up their sleeves and got on with it. The GWC team went the extra mile for this project and for that we are very grateful. It also felt great to work with a team that is so self-reliant and motivated. Without the support that you all have provided, NIBSC might not have achieved the milestones. Despite everyone having incredibly busy schedules, every one of you and those in your teams, just made the project look easy. Thank you all for the amazing dedication and effort! It’s been a brilliant experience working with you all and I wish you the very best on your next challenge ahead. I am sure you will ace it!”"

Lucy Murnane
NIBSC Digital Programme Manager