RNID is a digital-first charity. That means a few different things.
It means that our products and services are developed in digital ways first and only become physical when digital doesn’t work, so for example our RNID near you service which helps people fix their hearing aids. You can’t do that kind of thing online. But products like the hearing check are entirely online. This is how more than three hundred thousand people have checked their hearing and lots of those who found out they have hearing loss have gone on to get hearing aids. That kind of impact at scale would be really hard to achieve off-line.
It means we all use digital technology in our work. RNID has over two hundred different technology systems. We have more technologies than we have people. I think that shows how digital-first we are as a charity.
And it means we think and work in modern, digital ways. Ewen Stevenson, our chair of trustees, talks about how we can use technology to connect with millions of people. Digital isn’t just about websites, it’s about RNID’s entire business model for how we use digital technology to have impact at scale. If Uber can use digital to change how we travel, and Spotify to change how we listen to music, then RNID can use digital to change society for people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus.
Who we are
There are eleven of us in the Digital team at the moment. We’re made up of four specialities:
Delivery – Help the whole of RNID figure out better ways of working and how we deliver value to our communities in impactful and agile ways.
Design – Includes service design, interaction design and content design. Use collaborative, user-centred thinking, to design products and services with subject matter experts from across RNID.
IT & data – Do the complicated technical work to make sure our systems and technologies are working.
Product – Develop and manage our suite of products, including things like the website and hearing check.
What we do
Deliver technical projects, like CRM systems, and essential business systems.
Develop new products, like the Hearing Loops Map which lets people update Google Maps about where hearing loops are installed.
Improve existing services, like creating a self-serve option for people looking for information so the Contact Centre can focus on supporting people that really need their help.
Support teams all across RNID with things like analytics and digital skills.
How we do it
Matrix – We work in matrix teams. That means we bring together skills and expertise from across RNID to work on all kinds problems. The hearing check team, for example, has a programme lead with experience of behaviour change, a content designer, web developer, interaction designer and product manager. We all work together, bringing our different perspectives and skills, to make the hearing the best it can be.
User-centred – We do lots of research to figure what the people who will be using the products and services ned from them.
Sprints – We generally work in fixed time-boxes of a week, fortnight or month. This helps us focus on the work that brings the most value for our communities the soonest.
Feedback and continuous improvement – We get lots of feedback on how people are using RNID’s products and services. This includes user interviews, satisfaction surveys and usage analytics. We use all of this to make sure we’re improving the products and services in ways that matter to our communities.