work / Capita


Increasing Army applications with a new secure platform

We created a new Army recruitment website for Capita, addressing design, user experience and technology challenges. The outdated design did not resonate with target Gen Z audiences and failed to attract diverse applicants. User experience was confusing with poor mobile experience. An inflexible content management system (CMS) made the site difficult to update.

To support seasonal recruitment campaigns, we had to deliver a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) within 12 weeks that delivered a 10% increase in applications.

To meet the timescale, we ran a two-week Discovery phase to:

  • Establish requirements
  • Define roles and responsibilities
  • Set governance

Adopting an agile approach, we implemented regular ceremonies to collaboratively manage dependencies and mitigate against risks, ensuring timely progress and minimising potential delays.

The site needed to meet the needs of different user groups, regular and reserve. We mapped user journeys, recommending a structure that split content by audience to enable targeted experiences.

Research identified the need for new creative direction that resonated with the target audience. We approached this with a more empathetic focus on potential recruits’ needs and concerns. Design choices embraced reportage-style photographs capturing human experience, camaraderie, grit, and gratification, moving away from traditional military imagery.

We made language and content more accessible and concise, encouraging further exploration of the site. We optimised usability, delivering a mobile-first experience. User testing of experience and creative garnered positive feedback, giving confidence in direction. 

To underpin the new experience, our Technical Architects proposed an application and infrastructure architecture that enabled rapid development of the MVP and flexibility to pivot.

The application architecture is based on Next.js framework, leveraging its static site export feature, providing a fast, performant website that is easily deployable. The infrastructure architecture is built on MODCloud, utilising Azure App Services and Azure App Gateway to serve the website securely.

The site architecture eliminated a whole class of potential security vulnerabilities, simplifying the accreditation process by removing the need for database or server-side processing. We collaborated with Capita and their Technical Design Authority, addressing accreditation concerns, and supporting several rounds of external penetration testing to maximise site security.

The architecture means lower operational maintenance effort. There are no databases or traditional servers to maintain or patch, allowing focus on availability, performance and keeping application code libraries updated. Since launch, the site maintained 100% uptime with UK business hours support and oversight from our support team.

Capita chose Storyblok, a SaaS CMS. We rapidly up-skilled our technical team to ensure compatibility with the chosen technology, starting with prototyping. Using a SaaS CMS means zero operational effort for our support team to maintain it.

Using two-week sprints for prioritised feature development, we completed the MVP architecture, UI and design a week early. Next.js facilitated rapid deployment of a high-performance static website, while offering flexibility to adapt to a server-side rendered architecture or hybrid architecture as the site and requirements evolve.

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