Introducing a fresher, more inclusive Reason Digital.
The new and improved RD brand and website is our response to research revealing pressing issues with online accessibility.
Practicing what we preach
Working with charities and putting users at the centre of what we build, means that accessibility has always been something we focus on. At the tail-end of the first lockdown, back in July (four months ago – what even is space and time anymore?!) we commissioned original research around digital accessibility in the charity world. We found that our online world is less accessible than our physical world.
Covid-19 already disproportionately affects disabled people so our research investigated how increasingly relied-upon charity digital services were being used throughout the first wave of Coronavirus in the UK. The major findings from our research revealed:
- Our online world is 50% more likely to present barriers to disabled people when using online services, compared to non disabled people.
- For those affected, the two most common barriers cited included online content being unclear (13%) and information online being challenging to see (8%).
- Online support from charities presented barriers for four in ten disabled people.
This accelerated our plans for an inclusivity-focused overhaul of the Reason Digital brand, along with a new, more accessible website. Our design and marketing team used our own sprint-based approach to deliver a new website, all with a view to practicing what we preach and levelling up our commitment to accessibility.
It’s been a long time coming, and we’re so excited.
In truth, we were not expecting the headline from this research. It forced us to make sure our own house was in better order by kicking off a rebrand and a new site build. We did this, not only because an inclusive brand is the ‘right’ thing, but also to show that a brand can be engaging, intricate, stylised and attention-grabbing, whilst also taking non-discrimination laws and best practice seriously.
We know there’s a lot more to inclusivity than a brand palette, so a change in our organisational culture was also facilitated by the appointment of an accessibility steering group, identifying improved usability testing processes and a refreshed recruitment processes that reduces the chance of bias.
A rising tide lifts all boats, and in the same way, we know that baking accessibility into our tools and processes will improve the experience for everyone. We’ve got a lot of work and learning still to do, but this research was certainly a catalyst for positive change.
New brand who dis?
Our new brand and website features contrastive colours, simplistic styling and follows the WCAG 2.1 AA web accessibility guidelines. Our team built the website from start to finish with the four principles that WCAG is built around; to make sure everything is Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust for all users (including those using assistive technology) using manual and automated techniques.
And with that, our new brand and website have been released into the world. Like a proud yet apprehensive parent, we really hope you like them! But more importantly, we really hope you’ll tell us if there’s any part of the site you’re having trouble accessing. This is a journey, and we’re not at the end yet.
If you want to get in touch to report an accessibility problem, or to tell us anything good or bad about the site, please email email@example.com!
What else have we been up to this year?
The smell of Parkinson’s: A design sprint
Walking into a group meeting for people with Parkinson's, Joy Milne, a retired nurse, recognised a smell that she had noticed on her husband 12 years prior to his diagnosis. This was the smell of Parkinson's.
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How can digital help Mind support their vast network of mental health charities amidst the Covid crisis?
Two weeks of focus. One big challenge. The team here at Reason and Superhighways recently joined forces as Collaborators of Catalyst. The goal of this collaboration was to support national mental health charity, Mind, with a hefty organisational challenge, using digital to do so.
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Digital fundraising for small charities (in a hurry)
I’ve put together this handbook amidst the Coronavirus crisis to cover some of the topics of digital fundraising... in a hurry.
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