Transformation of NHS face-to-face sexual health clinics to digital service with SH:24

Ordering a test kit

An online sexual health testing service to tackle high clinic demand

  • 8 weeks from an idea to a working online service
  • 16 weeks from inception to NHS approved service
  • 95% of people who start the order process go through to completion
  • 200,000+ test kits ordered to date


Orders dispatched per week


Test kits ordered to date

Taking the process from the doctor’s waiting room to online

Following a string of negative headlines and a rise in STI rates in the Lambeth and Southwark areas, SH:24 came to us with an idea for a digital service: an online sexual health testing service for 620,000+ local residents. The vision was a self-service testing kit, ordered online, to tackle long queues at sexual health centers and dramatically increase public access to these services.


“From the moment we met Unboxed, we felt they understood our approach and had a robust process for exploration and delivery.”

Chris Howroyd, Director, SH:24

'Moving in' next door to users and SH:24

Our team co-located with the SH:24 in their offices in Lambeth for the discovery and alpha phases, forming an embedded team. Our location, close to the clinics, gave us direct access to the service users and our clinical partners. From the earliest sketches, through prototypes and models, to the final production code and kits, we were able to validate our thinking on a daily basis with real users of the service.


A new physical service with a digital core

Whilst the digital elements formed a critical part of the service, great care was taken to ensure that the experience of the physical product was equally as effective, creating a consistent physical and digital service. The packaging and instructions, supporting information and messaging were taken through numerous iterations. For example, the home blood sampling process changed radically and the instructions were tested and recreated several times, moving from the original idea of a video to written instructions, validated through user testing.



“Unboxed brought people together rapidly and helped us to deliver a full service in an incredibly short space of time.”

Chris Howroyd, Director, SH:24

A new physical service with a digital core

Many different stakeholders had high hopes or deep concerns about the outcome of this mould-breaking project. To ensure that we were gathering regular input, our team held regular open workshops to establish enough trust to move fast. We identified the most significant issues first: patient record security and service quality, directly addressing these immediately at the beginning of the project.


User satisfaction rate


People starting the order process through to completion

Live service launched in 16 weeks

After just 8 weeks, users were able to order and complete an STI test at home, without any clinical support. A further 8 weeks and this live service was scaled and launched to the public, resulting in over 200,000+ tests being ordered to date. With a result pleasing users and stakeholders alike, SH:24 has rolled out across further UK areas, as well as winning the 'Best User Experience’ award at the User Experience UK (UXUK) Awards. Unboxed continues to work with SH:24.

Visit SH:24.



“A great team with exactly the right mix of skills we needed.”

Chris Howroyd, Director, SH:24