Following a full website refresh for Victim Support’s main website in 2013, Reading Room worked with Victim Support to create a platform targeted towards children and young people that have been affected by crime, providing them with them guidance and empowering information.
Victim Support came to us with the challenge of creating a website that explained all types of crime and the criminal justice system to young people. One of the main challenges was to design something that is visually engaging for children, though won’t appear too childish or patronising- particularly hard given the age bracket.
Both the website and interactive courtroom came to life off the back of research completed around the behaviours and needs of young victims and witnesses. This involved talking to multiple support workers, children of different ages and at various stages of the criminal justice system. From the insights gained, we were able to shape an incredibly effective solution. This approach is a delicate one that begins with capturing the frustrations, worries, attitudes and behaviours of an extremely vulnerable audience group. By carefully conducting face to face interviews with children, accompanied by their support workers, we were able to identify the key areas that we should focus on. The results of this research shaped the solution, for example:
- Children’s experiences and the journey they take could lead them to enter into the journey of getting support at any stage. This completely shaped our information architecture and helped us to identify the stages that young witnesses are at during their journey. Our solution allows users to identify the supportive information that’s right for them, rather than being prescribed to a linear journey that would detract a young person’s explorative mind.
- Children were extremely worried about going to court, leading to the development of the interactive courtroom
- Children had varying attitudes and often a negative response to the police, leading to the removal of reference to the police throughout the site. We also made it clear from the home page that You & Co are not the police.
- Children often feel ashamed of what has happened, or isolated. Picking up on this, we made case studies of other people’s experiences extremely prominent. Victim Support also then produced video content of young actors to accompany these case studies. This process allowed us to produce user personas that captured the key goals and objectives of all the different users of the site, including various age ranges and even parents.
After audience research, persona development and the creation of a digital strategy, we created a website and online interactive courtroom where children could easily learn about the effects of crime and prepare themselves for court. The site was developed to be intuitive and easy for children to use, offering a seamless and user friendly experience on mobile, tablet and desktop devices using colour coded information and iconography.
The site uses a completely mobile first approach, fully responsive and with a menu designed to allow users to easily explore the whole site content without clicking to reload a page. They can easily keep track of where they are within the site and be guided towards the other sections where they can find support and advice without getting lost. This is done by the colour coding and iconography for different areas of the site so that users always know what section they are clicking into.