Website Development: Our agile approach to improving

Dina Li October 30, 2015 5 mins read

Our web strategy for 2015 & 2016 is to use user feedback to shape the next generation Morgan McKinley website.

Introducing Galileo  - A usability project to improve user happiness. Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has given feedback on our websites over the last 12 months. It has been invaluable to us, providing us with a real insight into the areas on the site that need improvement. We also took the plunge to adapt an agile methodology so we plan to release new features and improvements to the website in a staggered approach; see an earlier blog post on this.


And so the story begins! 

Step 1. Requirements gathering

We added a feedback comment box on all websites two years ago (it's located on the the page after you apply to a job). On average we receive 750 comments a month - the good, the bad and the ugly! The majority is good, which give us great confidence that we are doing something right! About 15%of the feedback is bad or ugly! We used this feedback as the basis of our website analysis. We worked with our marketing teams across the globe to gather requirements from their teams. Each member of the online team also submitted their ideas and suggestions.

Step 2. Analysis Feedback

The online team held multiple workshop sessions to analyse, group and prioritise the extensive list of feedback. It was interesting to see that some ideas were listed on the requirements spreadsheet several times and most of these were also popular on the user feedback doc. The output of these sessions shaped the scope of this project - A usability project to improve candidate happiness across our global suite of Morgan McKinley websites. The project divided into 30 individual release projects. I’ll write a part two blog specifically talking about the detail of each release project!

3. Project name

We needed a name for the project! We were driving each mad calling it something different! We had a internal voting game to name the project. This was a fun thing to do, but also gave all team members a change to put their stamp on the project at the early stages. The winning name was 'Galileo' chosen by our design team. Why Galileo - General all round genius - his most famous invention was the telescope. Galileo made his first telescope in 1609, modeled after telescopes produced in other parts of Europe that could magnify objects three times. He created a telescope later that same year that could magnify objects twenty times. Basically made it better (hat tip to Sarah O’Brien and the design team!!!)

4. Estimate

It was then necessary to figure out how long each release project would take. Our online work remotely so we ran a remote poker estimation session to give time estimations for each of the 30 release projects. We used a tool called planning poker. This was a fun session. We had our team of developers, our UI and UX designer and team lead involved. For each release I read out the objective and background to the project and each member ranked it, small (1 day), medium(1 week), large(2 weeks) or x large(2 weeks+). We discussed each and agreed on the t-shirt size. 

5. Planning

We use Portfolio Management from JIRA Atlassian to plan our project, It’s a great agile tool to help forward planning. In addition to our planned project work, we also work on a lot of unplanned work, the advantage of portfolio management is that the system will highlight where there is a resource issue!! 

Next Steps

We are only a few weeks into the development of this project so watch this space! My next blog will go into more detail on each release and I also plan write  a short blog when we each project goes live! I’d love to hear your feedback on our approach. Also if you have any feedback or suggestion on how we can improve our website then I’d LOVE to hear from you. Send me an email or add your comment below!

Dina Li's picture
Marketing Manager


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