Transparency International UK Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Programme


The new programme by the Transparency International UK team set out to focus on corruption within the Pharma and Healthcare industry. They needed a website which could firstly demonstrate the ‘hotspots’ for corruption throughout the various categories within the industry, and then form a basis for further news and reports into the future.

As we immersed ourselves in the research provided by the TI UK Pharma team we were stunned by the shear scale and potential for abuse of funds and power in the sector. Whilst the problem seems to be more prevalent in certain countries, the size of the industry, from drug development and research, right down to grass-roots treatment means abuse of power happens all over the world.



We identified two problems – the first was around the quantity of information we needed to make available to users – ensuring the site was detailed enough but that there was always ‘ways in’ for people and the content never appeared impenetrable. Secondly, we knew that we would have a broad audience and that the site needed to be relevant, and useful, for those with different needs, from Governmental Policy Makers right through to what might be called the front-line of medicine. The visual tone and usability we needed to set was one of accessible yet credible.

The site needed to sit neatly alongside the existing TI UK brand, but also to be distinct in its own right. We took inspiration from pharmaceutical packaging to create a bold yet clean typographic style and page layouts, then created a set of illustrations which could be used to aid the categorisation of content and ‘soften’ what could otherwise be a dense, text-heavy site.

The biggest challenge was one of Information Architecture – how the content was organised and displayed throughout the site. As we were covering an entire industry, breaking large sections into categories simplifies the user journey. We were conscious that we didn’t want people to reach dead ends so it was important people move fluidly between subjects and categories.

We pulled together User Personas to help all involved keep a clear idea of who we would be talking to. User Personas can greatly help inform design and usability decisions throughout the development process by acting as a clear reminder of the end-user’s needs.

By building and iterating over a bare-bones prototype with the Pharma team, we were able to get to a point where we felt confident that everything was arranged in a logical and practical way, the key messages were clear and it was easy for people to dive deeper into the content should they want to.

As is correct, the needs of the user drove the direction in which the content management system was designed but great care was taken to ensure that the CMS was never a barrier to anyone in the TI UK Pharma team sharing any news or other content.

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