I’ve been incredibly proud to support the Miscarriage Association and the fantastic work they do for several years now, so when they asked me to design and build their new website I jumped at the chance.
We worked closely together to gain insight from their users, analyse and audit the existing site content and produce a set of underlying principles that would ensure their new site offers the level of support required with a strong and clear user experience.
We then took what we learned and delivered a site that both they and their users absolutely love. With several thousand visitors every day we’ve been delighted with the fantastic feedback we’ve received from users and stakeholders alike.
It was imperative that the site had an understanding and sympathetic voice and content that was informative as well as emotionally helpful and supportive. Our aim was to bring a strong human element to the site design via the use of voice, photography, video and personal stories.
These elements work together to reinforce the message that ‘there are other people who have gone through this’ and that the user isn’t alone. Visual treatment was focussed on being authoritative whilst remaining approachable, friendly and understanding.
Our aim was to allow users to find the information and support they need as quickly and easily as possible using strong, clear calls to action throughout. We restructured the site and built in intelligent cross-promotion so the user has clear signposts to relevant pages, leaflets or patient stories that are directly related to the content they’re viewing.
Our homepage design is focussed around a central quick links menu allowing the user to jump directly to the most common reasons for arriving on the site. This is especially helpful as many visitors arrive at the site for the first time in a highly emotional state.
The combination of clear, simple navigation and thoughtful, accurate cross-linking serves to further support the user in finding the information they need. At every point of their journey we have clear calls to action to the helpline for direct, personal support if needed.
After a miscarriage or ectopic or molar pregnancy many people like to find a way of remembering their baby and marking the loss of their brief life. To meet this need we developed the ‘Stars of remembrance’ – an online memorial to babies lost in pregnancy. It provides a special place to mark a brief life with messages attached to stars in the night sky.
The stars are randomly distributed across the sky and as well as browsing the messages, users can also quickly search for their own specific star among the many.
The Miscarriage Association have an online shop carrying a small range of products that support the work they do. This has always sat away from the main site as a standalone shop but as part of the redesign we integrated the shop fully into the site. This allows simpler management and offers full shop administration directly from the main site admin.
We also shot new product photography to ensure the products were shown to their best light in a consistent fashion.
We heavily customised the site administration to ensure it was as clear and simple to use as possible. However, as a charity with a small group of staff and a number of volunteers it was vital that new administrators could be trained quickly and efficiently if needed.
To meet this need we produced a detailed, bespoke user guide that documents how to manage and maintain every area of the site including basic page and news editing, leaflets and patient stories and shop products and orders. This shows step by step illustrated instructions for every common task and serves as a vital document for staff and volunteer induction as well as acting as a handy reference for the more experienced staff.
“We wanted a site which would immediately make people feel they’d come to the right place, whatever their situation, somewhere they would feel comfortable and understood and where they’d find the information and support they need. Throughout the design and build, Simon radiated those very qualities, alongside huge creativity, technical expertise and oodles of patience.”
Ruth Bender Atik, National Director – The Miscarriage Asociation