Enhancing the VOICE® web platform for a larger, more diverse, international audience

John - Signature Story



My name is John and I am the Digital Platform Developer for VOICE®.

I joined the team in 2019 to help manage and enhance the existing VOICE® web platform. As the number of users and collaborators grows and expands beyond the borders of the United Kingdom into the rest of the world, we need to make sure that the platform can also grow and adapt.

We are constantly identifying areas to develop as well as new functionality we can implement and, together with software engineer Richard Airey, we are scoping the requirements for a Learning Management System (LMS) to provide courses for users.

The first step when I started was a complete overhaul of the sitemap and layout, after research into the how users experience the platform. Good design of a website is crucial to ensure that users can easily find what they need to and don’t become frustrated or confused. Of particular importance are the collaborator homepages and dashboard. We wanted collaborators to have a section of the website tailored to them, allowing them to display their own branding, text, images and content. The dashboard allows collaborators to manage their PPI/E activities and view reports and statistics, so it’s vital that this area provides useful information in a way that is easy to use.

I created an Azure subscription for us to host the platform ourselves and have complete control over the infrastructure. Azure is an extremely powerful hosting platform which provides many features and security measures and ensures that we can accommodate large increases in user traffic.

The VOICE® platform will be continually evolving and adapting to ensure it is fit for purpose and stays up to date with the current state of the art tech. A major part of this evolution is the creation of a mobile app. Apps are increasingly the more popular way of using applications over sites within a browser. Moving forward we will be evaluating the platform and having regular discussions to scope the User Experience (UX) within the platform and reviewing the requirements. By having regular reviews, we can continue to improve the VOICE® platform and make sure that it remains the world leader in Ageing Innovation and Health Research PPI/E.