National Disability Authority Website
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Ed Kelly, Elena Rimeikaite, Tom Gillan
Ed Kelly (Creative Director)
Elena Rimeikaite (Head of Design)
Tom Gillan (Lead Designer)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
National Disability Authority & Kooba teamed up to launch the new online presence for the NDA. The aim was to create the flagship website that would set web accessibility standards in Ireland. Additionally, we delved into the website structure & revised it to better highlight & promote NDA’s own standards, ensuring the site worked as a nonverbal communication tool.
It was important for the NDA that the overall look & feel wouldn’t be sacrificed because the site achieved desired accessibility conformance targets. The design challenge for the project was to curate a site with a dynamic yet attractive appearance that would still adhere to accessibility requirements.
Site content was an integral part of the website redesign with considerations taken for thematic structuring of the site. It was important that the finished product functioned as a key communication tool for the organisation.
How the brief was fulfilled
From the onset accessibility was kept at the forefront. Through an extensive UX process Kooba worked with NDA to identify user pain-points. The combination of qualitative & quantitative research helped us deliver information architecture & wireframes that were based on data.
We started the UX process by auditing the old web presence, this gave us a good indication on how to approach the new site structure, but to really understand the new site strategy we needed to work collaboratively with NDA. We set out remote & in-person card sorting workshops & organised the information architecture based on the analytics & new business objectives. This allowed us to create a version 1 of the site map which we then stressed test with NDA.
The workshop not only required us to work collaboratively during covid using an online collaboration tool miro but also have special consideration for client accessible needs.
The UI stage began with a needs analysis that focused on brand traits, user values & anti-values & NDA’s preferences. From this survey we identified key objectives that guided our creative process: Convey professionalism & trustworthiness. It should feel high-quality, reliable & factual. Usability & clarity were critical.
With data leading us, we began the Homepage redesign focusing first on the mega menu. Our research indicated that the NDA user base would expect more than the normal filtering of content through drop downs. Therefore a browse-by-theme section was introduced to help further funnelling to key information, as well as a site wide search feature to help users drill down to desired content.
It was important that accessibility did not hold back our creativity, but rather, forced us to think outside of the box & design in a new way. Just because the website is accessible, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look great. The use of brand colour is a prominent aspect of any design process & special care was taken to have colour enhance the site rather than act as a blocker to aesthetics.
Language exploration was conducted to enhance site inclusivity. The incorporation of an Irish Language feature as well as Irish Sign Language videos increases user potential and experience.
This site is a great example of user-centric design — in this case, developing their concept, solution, and execution with relentless focus on the needs of people with disabilities. Leaning into those necessary constraints to help elevate their thinking, and deliver an attractive, engaging, and useful platform for Irish audiences."