Empowering and supporting survivors of sexual assault, domestic and family violence.
Senior UX Researcher and Senior UX Designer
Experience research piece
Redesign and rebuild
How might we allow survivors of sexual assault, domestic and family violence to find information and support in a safe, trauma informed environment?
This was a powerful project. The client offers information, phone counseling and support for survivors of sexual assault, domestic and family violence. The previous website had been pieced together over years of growth, as a result had lost direction, and was missing some of the nuance required for such an important space.
Many of the people (mostly women) accessing this site are doing so from dangerous situations, often needing to hide their internet usage from perpetrators, which was taken into consideration. The information on the website needs to be found fast, and needs to be AAA accessible.
This organisation is government funded, therefor the entire project and research process needed to go through rigorous approvals, which we passed with flying colours, in fact it was the first project to ever pass the Australian approvals.
The entire project and website was required to take trauma informed design into consideration, which is very new in the digital space. Trauma informed design is well research in the architectural space, and in some aspects of service design, but we were unable to find any examples in the UX space, we were leading the way.
Below is a little insight into the process for this project.
This was a 12 week research piece which I led as Senior UX designer. The product is now complete and live.
Throughout the research phase, we conducted workshops with the client and with special interest groups, including women with disability and trauma specialists.
I interviewed dozens of of survivors of sexual assault, domestic and family violence over the span of this research phase. Their stories and knowledge were invaluable.
Trauma informed design
Trauma informed design is a relatively untouched space in the digital world. We dived deep into reforming and rethinking many of the trauma informed design pillars from the physical world into the UX world.
We studied the analytics from the current version of the website to find where users were getting lost and frustrated.
We looked into who was leading the way in accessibility, usability and inclusiveness. We were unable to find digital example of trauma informed design.
This is a website with a massive amount of content, all of which is important to different types of users. We completely restructured the IA, and A/B tested every decision along the way.
Ideation and sketching
We did lots of sketching in workshops to bring out as many ideas as possible. We also user-tested some paper prototypes for quick insights.
Wireframes and prototypes
Once I had some results from paper prototypes, I created wireframes and and clickable prototypes for user testing.
We tested the wireframe with participants and iterated based on the results. We also tested photography examples, colour palettes, voice and tone, language and other inclusive aspects of the site.
”This website needs to feel like a digital cup of tea.Survivor of sexual assault.Trauma informed design workshop.
The user journeys.
There are 3 primary users of this website; women experiencing (sexual assault, domestic or family violence), friends and family and front-line workers. The journeys below were constructed after dozens of interviews and workshops.
Click images for a larger view.
Trauma informed design
Accessibility and inclusiveness
Quick exit and hiding usage
”Adopt a universal assumption of inclusion; that is, assume that all consumers receiving services are trauma survivors.Harris, Maxine and Roger D Fallot.Using Trauma Theory to Design Service Systems.
A few more screens…
All of the screen below were designed by myself, this was a large content piece therefor the screens were created as templates to be used throughout the website. The UI (not shown) was completed by another designer.