CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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NES Knowledge Services – The Knowledge Network redesign

Category: News

The Knowledge Network redesign, screenshot of new website sitting on a navy blue backdrop.

By Katie Edwards, Knowledge Manager

The Knowledge Network – redesigning the digital library for health and social care staff in Scotland

The Knowledge Network is the digital library for health and social care staff in Scotland, maintained by the Knowledge Services team in NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

On 30th April NES Knowledge Services launched a brand-new redesigned site which is more up to date and easy to use. The Knowledge Network has been the digital library for 20 years and this redesign is the culmination of over a year’s worth of planning. We worked closely with our colleagues in the User Experience team in NES, including researchers, designers and developers. The redesign is based on robust user research, evidence and feedback including surveys and focus groups.

White text reading "The knowledge network." Search an extensive catalogue of books, articles, journals, and more. A fake search bar with the words, "same excellent resources, brand new knowledge network."

The research found that users struggled to find information on the site, feeling overwhelmed and confused. They resorted to external search engines and found the site structure difficult to navigate. Feedback indicated that the site appeared text-heavy and outdated. Users also reported that terms and explanations across the site were unclear and jargon heavy and that information was often duplicated.

The design approach informed by research findings was person-centred and aimed to alleviate user frustration and improve overall usability and satisfaction with the website. This resulted in:

  • Refreshed interface with a contemporary colour palette, vivid colours and pops of pink for calls to action
  • Introducing a website search to make it easier to find content
  • New site structure and navigation focused on simplicity and clarity
  • Clearer explanations about resources and services with action-oriented and explicit messaging throughout the website
  • Improved mobile experience

This also involved a review of our service for social care staff who were used to seeing SSKS (Social Services Knowledge Scotland) – a separate website which provided access to the same subscription content. The redesign integrated both health and social care content and includes a subject specialism for social care which was created in collaboration with social care partners and which we will continue to improve with their input.

While things may look different to our users, they will still find the same excellent collections of books, journals and articles to support practice and learning from the Library Search, which you can click here to access. All available for free to health and social care staff in Scotland with an OpenAthens account.

NES Knowledge Services will be updating all training materials to support health and social care staff over the coming months and already have a range of support available including a Tour of The Knowledge Network on the homepage and more on the Help and Training page, which you can click here to view.

We will continue to ask for feedback to inform future development. The User Experience team have planned a usability study with new and experienced users to begin building that feedback and make improvements on the initial design where needed.

All health and social care staff can keep up to date with library news by joining our Knowledge Nuggets mailing list, click here to see more and can access support and additional training through our Knowledge Services Help Desk here.


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