Awarded to Nomensa Ltd

Start date: Monday 22 October 2018
Value: £100,000
Company size: SME
Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and its subsidiaries

RSSB digital strategy: Prototyping and design

5 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 2 large

8 Completed applications

5 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Wednesday 25 July 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 1 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 8 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
RSSB seek usability support for the alpha development phase for assistance with:
(i)Developing prototypes/models of pages/functional areas across devices and permission levels
(ii)Testing prototypes with internal/external users
(iii)Assessing feedback to develop further iterations of prototypes
(iv)Building and reviewing specifications, layouts, pattern libraries, and transferable designs (such as .Net MVC views).
Latest start date
Friday 31 August 2018
Expected contract length
To be confirmed - Less than 2 years
Organisation the work is for
Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and its subsidiaries
Budget range
Our budget for the duration of the project is £100,000 (maximum). RSSB will use this budget on a call off basis as required. RSSB reserves the right not to utilise all of the available budget.

About the work

Why the work is being done
RSSB is currently planning migration to a new CMS. Work is required to build prototypes of the new site, testing these with internal and external users and generating outputs that can form a specification for RSSB's new site.
Problem to be solved
RSSB's website supports a broad range of content types including standards, research, events and tools. It is important that the new pages are tested with users to ensure they are efficiently meeting user needs. The envisaged work will including creating prototypes/models/wireframes, reviewing the materials created with users, analysing user feedback to build new iterations of prototypes and to create specifications, a pattern library, and transferable designs (experience of .Net MVC and Razor syntax views is helpful). Prototypes may need to be created for different content types across different devices and permission levels.
Who the users are and what they need to do
External users of RSSB's site need to be able to quickly find and understand resources to assist them in their roles and help to create a safer, sustainable, more efficient railway. The development team who will be building the updated website require validated prototypes to use a resource to build new pages and components.
Early market engagement
Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done
The initial Information Architecture (IA), including the creation of a site structure, taxonomies, navigation routes and content models was completed with Civica Ltd. A pilot activity to create new page designs to Improve Membership Engagement with RSSB Products and Services was completed by Nomensa Ltd. This work will build on both previous items.
Existing team
The supplier will work with the RSSB digital team and RSSB development team. The supplier will also liaise with stakeholders from the wider business to review prototypes and designs. The supplier may need to liaise with external RSSB stakeholders where there is a need to better understand any external requirements or validate prototypes.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Mixed offsite/remote and onsite work.

Onsite work at RSSB's offices, The Helicon, 1 South Place, Moorgate, London EC2M 2RB.
Working arrangements
Due to the complex nature of the material, RSSB would prefer to adopt an agile style of working with the supplier. The requirements identify the key areas to be addressed, and the supplier should agree upon the best approach for addressing the requirement based up current known factors, for example resource availability, other RSSB projects and priorities. RSSB will appoint a project manager to liaise with the selected supplier's project/account manager to agree appropriate engagement at specific points within the project, and plan accordingly. It is envisaged that the supplier will frequently work in RSSB offices.
Security clearance
Not applicable. All information should be kept confidential.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The supplier will be required to provide a rate card and any applicable discounts for all resources to carry out the work. This will contribute to the Price element (20%)

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Significant experience in user-centred design applied to websites and online tools, preferrably Gartner Magic Quadrant CMSs - 3%
  • Expert understanding in psychology, human factors and applying these to online products and services - 3%
  • Expert technical understanding of web content delivery, content management systems, single sourcing, metadata, workflows and standards - 3%
  • Demonstrates experience of developing templates, resources and strategies to measurably improve engagement - 3%
  • Expert understanding of UI design and best practice and designing for multiple permission levels and multiple devices - 5%
  • Significant experience of building prototypes, testing prototypes with users and interpreting user feedback - 4%
  • Experience of optimising highly technical content for multiple audiences - 2%
  • Experience of working with a Member-based organisations and the GB rail industry - 2%
  • Knowledge of designing and optimising website subscription and pay-per-product models - 2%
  • Knowledge and experience relating to ecommerce and public/membership differential opportunities and implementation - 3%
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Designing and implementing multi-channel and multi-platform publishing solutions - (3%)
  • Migration planning for legacy on premises to cloud based content and collaboration platforms - (2%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate how the supplier will work with RSSB to develop a robust UX experience to address key topics defined within the summary of work (8%)
  • Demonstrates how the delivery of the summary of work will be managed to minimse effort/cost and maximise results (4%)
  • Identify approaches to efficiently transfer prototypes into pages and components within online tools, preferably Gartner Magic Quadrant CMSs (4%)
  • Develop the UI to support all key user journeys. Identify approaches/analytics to track the success of these journeys (4%)
  • Demonstrate how the UX design and prototyping process will also accommodate user needs, including requirements identified within previous RSSB work (4%)
  • Demonstrate how you will align the development of the UX to RSSB's digital engagement strategy (3%)
  • Demonstrate that an effective supplier team structure will be in place for working with RSSB, including a summary of key resources and competencies (4%)
  • Demonstrate an ability to provide estimates for packages of work and deliver to these estimates within a time and materials contract (4%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Works using an agile methodology that uses iterative methods of delivery that can incorporate changes in priority – 3%
  • Provides a sound strategy on how to engage and motivate internal and external staff so they will enage with prototyping, testing and review activities – 3%
  • Provides information on how the supplier's team will interact and collaborate with the RSSB project team – 4%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1. If we can provide experience of working with member-based organisations but NOT any businesses in the GB rail industry, will this disqualify us from the process?
A1. As GB rail is a comprised of a number of organisations with different roles, priorities and responsibilities, the supplier will need to have experience of working with the GB rail industry and have an understanding its component parts.
2. "RSSB seek usability support for the alpha development phase for assistance with: … (iv) Building and reviewing specifications, layouts, pattern libraries, and transferable designs (such as .Net MVC views)." Is the supplier expected to build specifications or only assist in creation of such? What type of specifications?
Specifications are being created for some of the more complex features of the site, such as the Standards Catalogue. The supplier is expected to review these documents from a UX perspective and contribute new material as further testing and design work is undertaken.
3. "RSSB is currently planning migration to a new CMS. Work is required to build prototypes of the new site, (…)". Is it the website that's about to be rebuilt?
4. What are the main problems with current website, that led to decision about rebuilding it? Is it only about compliance with new CMS or are there other, non-technical issues to support this decision?
RSSB are updating their site as part of a wider digital engagement strategy with a number of themes, including making the site responsive, driving deeper engagement and creating more awareness of RSSB's mission and value.
5. Apart from the outputs mentioned in "Any work that’s already been done" - was there a Discovery Phase or any broader research done to identify and understand end users, their needs, problems, requirements, etc.? If yes, what are the outcomes / outputs from this phase and will the supplier be provided with the results of discovery?
A discovery phase was undertaken that did include user research and understanding their problems. The outputs of this phase and subsequent works are a strategy document, personas and an information architecture for the updated site. The supplier will be provided these documents.
6. During Alpha phase, apart from prototyping, testing and gathering feedback - would you agree for the supplier to engage into additional research activities (qualitative / quantitative, with users and stakeholders) if the supplier finds it necessary?
Yes. We are happy for this to be done where it helps us to ensure that our new site will drive value and insight to our members and the wider GB rail industry. However, we are keen that previous work is not replicated.
7. "Develop the UI to support all key user journeys." Are the key user journeys already identified? By "develop UI" do you mean "provide functional and visual designs" or develop front-end for the website (HTML / CSS / … )?
We currently only have user stories defined where they are linked to our personas. By 'develop UI' we primarily mean provide functional and visual designs. We are however interested in ways in which a supplier can work such that designs are easily transferable to front-end components using approaches such as .Net MVC views and Razor syntax.
8. "Demonstrate how you will align the development of the UX to RSSB's digital engagement strategy (3%)". Could you provide the insights for RSSB's digital engagement strategy?
The key initiatives identified within the digital strategy are:
- Content strategy - tone of voice, workflow, content champions, etc
- Expand digital team - expand resource and skillset
- Improve CMS - improve CMS and opportunities for multi-channel publishing
- Optimisations - Tactical engagements to provide short-term wins (such as improving home page)
- Social media strategy - Align social strategy with content strategy
- Information architecture - develop IA, introduce a more topic-led approach and review/cull content
- Responsive redesign - make the site responsive across a range of devices
- Personalisation - explore how to adopt personalisation
9. Are you able to give an indication of the expected size of the overall project through to live phase?
The project will transfer the current RSSB corporate site ( into a new platform where the pages will utilise new templates. The MVP deliverables are currently being defined and tested with the steering group.
10. Which CMS has been selected for use?
We are currently finalising our CMS selection.
11. What user research and discovery materials are available e.g. personas?
Same as response to Question 5 above.
12. What is the expected scope in terms of number of journeys & pages?
The site consists of around 500 pages, not including catalogues. We are planning to use a pattern library and standard templates to develop the new pages. We have identified around 15 separate content types. We have not formally defined the user journeys (see question 7) and will seek the supplier's help to prioritise these.
13. What is the structure and the roles of the internal team?
Our sponsor is the IM&T director. The core team consists of a project manager, the head of digital, the ECM technical manager, the web manager and two content analysts. We work closely with our internal development team and subject matter experts from within RSSB.
14. Who are the key stakeholders?
Internally we have a steering group comprised of directors and subject matter experts. External stakeholders include representatives from a wide variety of organisations and roles within GB rail. We have previously tested deliverables with senior external stakeholders and will identify external representatives as part of the alpha testing phase.
15. What was the process for generating the IA, structure, taxonomies, etc?
The IA was generated in conjunction with Civica. The approach for this included user research, card sorts, treejack testing and the creation of wireframes to help visualise the emerging IA.
16. To what extent has the previous work (IA, structures, taxonomies) been validated?
Some testing was carried out using card sorts and treejack. This validation was initial. We expect further validation to be carried out in this phase of work.
17. What was the scope of the Nomensa pilot and were the new page designs tested with users? What were the results?
The Nomensa pilot created new page designs for two new topics on the RSSB website, Platform Train interface ( and Health and Wellbeing ( These new areas generated a positive uplift in visits and downloads when compared to previous pages and received positive feedback from users.