Case Study


Creating a user experience for an audience based on user research and a compassionate approach to the sensitive subject matter.

Case Study


Creating a user experience for an audience based on user research and a compassionate approach to the sensitive subject matter.

SurvivorsUK are a charity dedicated to supporting male victims of rape and sexual abuse by offering counselling and providing information to those affected.

With very few services of this kind available, we wanted to help create a website that could make a positive impact on the lives of survivors.

Following a 3 day workshop with SurvivorsUK, we developed a detailed understanding of their requirements and those of the Ministry of Justice who were involved in funding the project.

Understanding the needs of the user

One of SurvivorsUK’s main requirements was to establish a web presence that met the needs of their users, whilst delivering a chat function that met with the requirements of the Ministry of Justice.

We followed our established UX process but due to the sensitive nature of the subject, speaking to users was a particular challenge.

One way we addressed this was to interview people who worked for the SurvivorsUK helpline. This allowed us to speak to those on the front line and provided an open forum to discuss the difficulties users were having with the website, without breaking confidentiality.

A data review was carried out, in order to understand how users were interacting with the site, but the main piece of research, was a focus group with Survivors themselves, where they were invited to talk about how SurvivorsUK had helped them and what website changes might have made a difference to their journeys.

How research informed the build

Once research was completed, we produced the following outputs based on data and real insights from users:

  • Wireframes
  • A responsive prototype
  • A video testimonial for the website
  • Integration with chat functionality

New designs were then tested with some of the same users from the focus group, to see if the changes met their needs and expectations. This was all done in the strictest confidence and with absolute anonymity.

We also needed to make sure that the website accommodated a solely male audience, as many peer websites are often primarily targeted at women, which was expressed as a frustration by users.

The research showed that the design needed to avoid being feminine or show stereotypes of counselling – as this could have the impact of making the counselling process seem more daunting.

The prototype was received positively by members of the focus group, and it was this approval that confirmed we were on the right path as we moved into the build phase of the project.

Creating a website that was fit for purpose

Once the research and prototyping phases were completed, we had two major tasks to complete – firstly the build of the website itself and secondly the creation of new content.

Early in the project we established that SurvivorsUK needed a CMS that would be easy to use, meaning that going forwards their staff would be able to make any changes to the site that were required.

Building the site in WordPress, we also ensured that SurvivorsUK were trained in how to use the CMS – meaning they had the power to make those changes.

When it came to content we took what we had learned from the user research and produced content that matched those user needs.

Avoiding the aforementioned stereotypes around counselling and language that might alienate the predominantly male audience, we worked closely with SurvivorsUK to create copy that dealt with the issues faced by users both practically and sensitively.

Achieving clarity beyond expectations

With SurvivorsUK, it was never about being flashy, it was about delivering their message and providing the easiest user journey possible for people to find the kind of help they required.

The final product achieved the consideration and clarity that the client was looking for, making it easier for users to find the help they needed whilst also delivering on the chat functionality that was the focal point of the Ministry of Justice.

Coast Digital went beyond just doing what we asked. They were obviously extremely knowledgeable and experienced. We wanted a company that understood the ethics of the charity. What I think impressed us most was the professionalism.

Andy Connolly,
Client Services Director/Acting Chief Executive

Let’s chat

Whether you’ve got a quick question or you want to run through the details of your next big project, we can help. Speak to one of our experts on 0845 450 2086 or send us a message.

Sectors: Charity|Subjects: Analytics, UX