Case Study: The Chicago Lighthouse

Case Study

Design for the Visually Impaired

The Chicago Lighthouse is a visionary organization that provides vision rehabilitation services, education, employment opportunities and assistive technology for the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities. When the organization engaged Briteweb to do a brand strategy, accessible visual identity and website redesign, we were excited to take on the challenge.

Services

Brand Strategy & Communications , Logos & Visual Identities , Brand Guidelines / Style Guides , Mobile Responsive Websites , UX Strategy & Design , Content Strategy , Copywriting

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THE PROJECT

Applying Accessibility

Despite being a beacon of hope for the blind and visually impaired, The Chicago Lighthouse’s website was not accessible to their most important stakeholder groups, making it impossible for them to navigate the site or read any of the content. And speaking of content, the tone of Lighthouse’s communications didn’t match what it felt like to interact with them. So, we started with (blindfolded) research, collaboration and landed on a new visual identity and website with accessibility in mind that was a ‘big hit,’ in the words of the client.

OLD NEW

Before & After

PROCESS

The Process

  • Blindfolded Research
    To better serve their audiences, we wanted to understand the perspective of people who are blind and visually impaired, and how they experience and navigate the digital world. Our Lead Strategist was blindfolded and shown how navigation tools for the blind work. Tools like screen readers and magnification aids affect a user’s experience of a website and needed to be considered by our design and development teams.

  • Audience Profiles
    After interviewing representatives from each of Lighthouse's many audiences to understand what they needed and wanted from the website, we created audience profiles for three important target demographics.

  • Crafting Communications
    Like many organizations, the tone of Lighthouse’s communications didn’t match what it felt like to interact with them. Their new brand archetype helped them move their tone of voice from cold and clinical to warm and welcoming.

  • Content Strategy
    Understanding these audience groups helped Briteweb create a content strategy that funneled users to sections of the site that were appropriate to them and their needs. The new strategy allowed users to self-identify where they fit within the organization, and quickly and intuitively navigate to the content appropriate to their needs.

  • Beautiful and Functional
    Our designers and developers needed to produce a site that was appealing to both sighted and visually impaired people; it had to be attractive to someone who could see, and functional to someone who couldn’t.

  • Logo Design
    When redesigning Lighthouse’s logo, we selected a font that was circular, bulbous and open, which had high natural legibility for anyone, and high legibility for the visually impaired. We kept the lighthouse but updated it for increased visibility by using high-contrast shades.

NEW IDENTITY