Care Leaver Covenant Redesign
As the CLC organisation grew and started providing new and expanded, services, the original website started to become a little cluttered and bloated. So the decision was made to rethink the entire experience.
In July 2016, the Government published ‘Keep on Caring’ to support young people from care to independence. A key policy commitment in the paper is a strategic pledge to introduce a Care Leaver Covenant.
Working with Spectra First Ltd, who were awarded the job of creating and managing the project, Identity Studio has been involved throughout the initial branding concepts to tone of voice copywriting decisions. Helping determine how the information was presented.
The decision to redesign
The original launch website was always intended to evolve as the project grew. We continued working on the site throughout this time, expanding the original design which adapted and absorbed all the new elements. However, the growth was so rapid it got to a point several years into its lifespan where it was becoming cluttered and some areas were awkward to navigate.
We therefore, working very closely with Spectra First Ltd, looked into taking the project into its second phase with a complete reworking of the website look and functionality.
The redesign process
The redesign process began with various discussions, including video workshops with the client, interactions with the actual users of the site and even studies into emotional impact of colours and photography.
First… rework the sitemap
The first stage we worked on was the site navigation and structure. This was completely overhauled and simplified. The organisations needed a focused area, as did the care leavers themselves.
These routes through the site became fundamental to the entire redesign, while enforcing the idea everyone is working together. Small alterations such as changing the section title of the rather cold ‘Case Studies’ to the more inclusive ‘Covenant Stories’ help with this.
Looking at the users of the site, the study made it clear that many care leaver visitors were using old technology with limited data usage. The site needed to allow for this, making it clean, quick and easy to use.
Along with the structure and build of the website, this approach even had an impact on the typefaces used, making it easier to read. All capital letter ‘shouting’ headlines were gone!
Creating the new look
As the Covenant had provided support and hope to so many people in its short lifespan, we needed to express this visually. The original site highlighted the stark realities of the many challenges care leavers have to face. A change of look was required, without leaving the familiar branding too far behind.
The biggest change was the photography style used. Stepping away from intense black and white images, the decision was made to move to full colour, uplifting imagery. We also tweaked the colour palette accordingly across the website design.
This also impacted the ever-expanding social media work which also needed to work in harmony with the new website design.
Making the functionality work for the user
One of the key functions of the site was how to present and access, what was now, hundreds of constantly changing ‘Signatory Offers’ that organisations had created for care leavers.
The search functionality of the original website only needed to cope with a handful of offers. With the huge success of the Covenant over the years, these expanded to several hundred. Although the search element still worked, it had started to become a little cumbersome.
First we changed the wording from ‘Signatory Offers’ to ‘Care Leaver Opportunities’ making it clearer what they were. We also changed the way the offers were listed. Rather than by organisation name, they now appear with the opportunities title, e.g. the job title or discount opportunity available.
And crucially we introduced a carefully considered filtering system. Care leavers are now able to search for opportunities in any particular area of the country, by sector, by type of employment, for mentoring, education and more.
The final design
The Care Leaver Covenant website will continue to expand, however this major redesign helped highlight the tremendous work that CLC does.
The redesign and restructure helped bring in organisations that wished to offer their assistance, whilst also targeting the very people they wish to help.
Not only did the new website offer an enhanced user experience, it has become a place of hope, togetherness and optimism.
“From the incredibly tight deadlines thrown at Identity Studio initially for the launch of the Care Leaver Covenant, Government set timings needed to be hit precisely, taking the entire projects ethos ethically and visually and into the public domain.
Identity Studio did this, and continue to do this, as the project moves from strength to strength.”
~ Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive at Spectra, Delivery Partner for the Care Leaver Covenant