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Transforming the support network that makes the world of difference


Macmillan’s digital experience has grown organically over time, reflecting its structure and the passions of individuals within the leading UK cancer support charity. This created a disconnected and inconsistent digital experience, built on siloed data and fragmented technology infrastructure. 

Rufus Leonard was challenged to create a new digital experience strategy, defining a target digital experience which would meet the wide range of user needs, motivations and behaviours. It also needed to support key Macmillan strategic objectives for both service access & delivery and supporter engagement. It was important that this strategy aligned with the brand strategy and position Macmillan was rolling out, and drove a digital transformation programme designed to bring greater patient self-sufficiency to the fore. They saw primarily self-serve digital-first tools, content and networks as a key enabler of this individual self-sufficiency.



Based on the principles of design thinking, the tools of service design and the process of agile, we developed a strategy that balanced what users need with what the org wants to achieve and is able to deliver.  and the process of agility, we developed a strategy that balanced what users needed with what the organisation wanted to achieve and was able to deliver. 

We used two planning cycles and methods throughout the project. Firstly, we ran a high-level level planning session at kick-off to establish an overall structure for the project, agree milestones and establish the RACI log and key contributors. Secondly, we conducted weekly planning and prioritisation sessions to ensure we stuck to the plan, or knew how and why to change it, and to gather the right inputs and client feedback as we discovered new things progressing through the project. 

The project hinged on close, daily collaboration with Macmillan’s programme manager who engaged with the project content fully, and provided agile access into and across the organisation as the thinking developed.  

This project gave rise to the first iteration of what we now call the Experience Playbook - an inspiring blueprint that outlines the impact of unique digital experiences on the bottom line (and the technical infrastructure needed to deliver them) as well as bringing together tools, activities and principles previously siloed. It set the template for truly multi-disciplined strategic projects of the future.

Within this playbook, we created tools for the teams to deliver the transformation on a daily basis. These included:

  • Highly developed personas, fully integrating quantitative, qualitative and real-time data

  • Experience proposition development (a.k.a. DX concepts)

  • Integration of people, process, platform and commercial considerations into strategy and Brand Experience (BX) recommendations

  • Introduction of ‘brand hero moments’ into persona journey design

  • User-centred channel-agnostic ecosystem mapping

  • Tightly integrated channel and content strategies (tied to an ecosystem map)




If you’ve got the aspiration to deliver something meaningful to your customers, we’ve got the strategic thinkers and creative doers to make it happen. For a little bit more on how we can help, complete the form and we’ll get in touch.