User Research
Product Vision and Strategy
Interaction Design
Service Design

Building innovative learning products for the NHS

Experience Design
Software Engineering

Spanning over 5 years, we’re proud to have helped design and build elegant, valuable, useful products for the NHS.

Yearly hosting cost saving

User research is at the centre of our design process. We strongly believe that to design effective solutions, we must first deeply understand the users and their needs. In 2018, Health Education England commissioned us to develop a single unified product called Learning Solution, which would combine their existing learning products. As this product could potentially impact the entire 750,000-strong workforce, it was crucial to understand the challenges faced by employees at all levels.

To achieve this, we conducted an extensive qualitative user research programme. This involved conducting calls, focus groups, and interviews across the country, asking key questions to form insights that would drive the product strategy. This research formed the foundation of a major product roadmap that is still being worked on today.

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“Working with Parallax is always a positive experience that pushes us forwards and develops our own capability. Parallax are experts in their field and always work hard to fully understand our objectives and develop solutions alongside us whilst developing our own staff too.”
Chris Witham
Digital Delivery Lead at NHS Leadership Academy
In 2015, we began our collaboration with the NHS by working on the NHSx project alongside STAC. This project involved creating a new e-learning platform for NHS leaders to replace an outdated system.

One of the challenges we were tasked with solving was a migration from WordPress-based auth to a service running on Ruby on Rails. During the early part of the project, we saw that Jamis Buck (the author of the SQLite drivers for Ruby, and Capistrano) was leaving 37Signals/Basecamp, so we hired him to work on the SugarCRM integration.

We faced some difficulties, but ultimately succeeded in moving everyone over to NHSx quickly. Since then, we have worked on several projects with the NHS, including the implementation of content categorisation and filtering, and DevOps projects to move the platform from Heroku to their own AWS infrastructure.

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Cutting the hosting costs in half

We have since provided the NHS with internal tooling to accelerate the development and deployment of websites, apps and other software.

This has encompassed tooling, training for a team of 10 engineers and ongoing support on WordPress, Laravel applications, security, Kubernetes, Amazon Web Services and APM tools to monitor performance and identify issues before they become problems.

As part of this process, we also managed to optimise spend with cloud providers, right-sizing where appropriate and migrating where it made financial sense, achieving cost-savings in excess of £50k/year.

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