The new St Davids Hospice website was launched today. It’s been nice to do a website rather than an e-commerce store, and an interesting exercise in designing for the different requirements such a project has. The site is also one of the first bi-lingual sites the team at Karova have put into the wild.
St David’s Hospice are a charity that provide care for people with terminal illness’s in the North Wales area.
Goals for the website
St David’s wanted to raise their profile online, in order to provide a single source of information for sponsors, fund-raisers, potential patients, and those with existing interests in the hospice. The objective for the visual design was to keep well away from a ‘charity’ feel with the idea of avoiding any of the negative connotations this sometimes brings. The desired feeling of the site was to be friendly, warm, comfortable, and vibrant.
Achieving the goals
The site itself has a wider diversity of audience than many other sites I have designed, needing to be informative and useful to numerous groups; casual visitors, people with investments in the charity (e.g., those who have relatives who are housed there), fund-raisers, and active supporters. This mix of target audience led to a need for the homepage to serve more functions than usual. It has therefor been split into two functional strips which are further sub-divided. The top strip functions as an introduction for all new visitors, and a place where the very latest hospice news is conveyed. The second strip is more focused on generating revenue, both by informing new visitors of the ability to make donations or contribute by helping to raise funds, and to regular visitors by way of an entry point for the local lottery St Davids run.
The site was then broken down into the various aspects that needed comunicating to visitors, including information about; the history of the hospice and nature of their work, care services on offer, the St Davids lottery, the ways in which people could raise funds or contribute financially, and reporting recent events and news.
The look and feel are largely taken from an existing water-colour that was hanging on the wall in the hospice itself. The painting depicts the hospice and it’s surrounding environment, the west shore of Llandudno. I felt that this image encapsulated a lot of the required feeling and was very suitable for being a prominent feature of the website. The image is colourful and engaging without being too vibrant, and as such gives the required feeling but also keeps a note of seriousness which I felt was required given the nature of the site. I then worked the design itself around the feel of this image.
The site itself is also bi-lingual, and the control panel allows staff to enter all information in both English and Welsh.