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HRA website redevelopment update

Last updated on 4 Aug 2017

If you are a regular visitor to the HRA’s current website, you may share the view of many of our users that the site is increasingly difficult to navigate and it can be hard to find the information you need.

It’s this that has been in the forefront of our minds as we have been redeveloping the site.

Throughout the project we have been making sure we talk to and gather the views of the many different types of users our site has so that the new site works better for our users.

Everything from the site’s navigation to its layout and design has been through a series of steps that have been guided by what our users have been telling us works for them.

Since the last issue of HRA Latest the project has moved on rapidly and we are now in the final stages of creating a prototype of the new site.

Over the past few weeks we have begun to test this prototype with users, and we are pleased and relieved that the feedback has been broadly very positive.

Users like the new design and layout and have complimented us on the ease of navigating around the new website, which is very encouraging.


So what has changed?

One of our main aims was to make the process of finding relevant information as easy as possible.

The biggest change is to the detailed application guidance from the ‘research community’ section of the current HRA website.

You told us you would prefer to have that alongside the application form rather than hopping between sites, so we are moving the guidance relating to all approvals UK-wide to the ‘Help’ section on the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) site.

This way, our website will focus on providing information about the services and approvals that we are responsible for as an organisation and about the activities that support high quality research.

The website’s navigational structure has changed completely and now content can be found within just three clearly defined categories:

  • Approvals and amendments: gives users an overview of HRA Approval and study set-up and conduct, sign-posting to the IRAS site for detailed guidance.
  • Improving research: the key to a successful project is planning, and this section takes you through the activities you need to complete to give your application the best chance of quickly gaining approval – saving you time and effort. The section also has a ‘best practice’ area where you can find additional background material on topics such as consent and patient involvement. It also contains background information on the legal and other frameworks for research.
  • About us: contains all of the key corporate material about the HRA, including information about who we are and what we do, details about our various committees and services, partnerships, as well as the latest news and updates.

So when can you see the new site?

We hope to have a preview of the site available for you to view in September, subject to a mandatory review by the Government Digital Service.

We will then have a couple of weeks where we run the new site alongside the old, before switching the old site off.

Until then we will use the additional time to continue testing our thoughts and ideas with users to ensure the website we produce will be beneficial now and in the future.

If this sounds like something you would like to get involved with there is still time to do so. Please email for more information.

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