Late last year saw the launch of the Autism Bucks website. This was a very unique project for us as we were asked to design and develop a website that was accessible to users with Autism.
As with all our projects, we carried out extensive research in to the target audience and by doing this research we were able to identify exactly how we needed to go about designing this unique website.
Commissioned by Carers Bucks and Bucks County Council and supported by Aylesbury Vale National Autistic Society and the NHS, we quickly went to work on identifying the target audience and the possible obstacles the users of the site may face.
We started the process by conducting a survey with various types of users. The survey was completed by over one hundred individuals who all gave feedback on what they found to be beneficial in a website. Some of the questions that were asked as part of the research were as follows:
- What resources/information on Autism / Asperger’s do you find lacking in Buckinghamshire?
- How do you usually access information about local services and support available in Buckinghamshire?
- What information would you want on a website to help you to gain the correct support for your autistic spectrum condition or your child/relative/friend?
- What information would be helpful to you to have available on the new website?
The responses we received back really helped shape the website design process. This was not like any other website that we had designed before. One of the first items we focused on was making sure the website was easily accessible. So allowing the user hands on control of their very own user experience was crucial. We included options within the site to easily increase font size as well as customise the website colours.
After the site was designed, we worked closely with the eventual target audience to further increase it’s use. Features such as a virtual tours of key areas in Aylesbury were developed and included, resources that were previously difficult to come by online were added and weeks of user testing was carried out to further enhance the site.
The end product is a site that will without question be of huge benefit to the Autistic community. In their own words:
This site has been developed and designed in consultation with a representative sample from the Buckinghamshire Autistic community
We are very proud to have been involved with this project, as the website makes such a difference to many online users who are seeking resources and support relating to Autism.
Westfourstreet played an integral part in our Autism Bucks on line resource project – www.autismbucks.org – Their efficiency, professionalism and creative talent, hit the spot! I would highly recommend Westfourstreet – Clare Samways – Carers Bucks