Young Women’s Trust are on a journey to transform our website. Our ambition is to create a digital space that’s easy to use, accessible and is created in collaboration with the young women that we work with.
In this blog, 2 young women, Anna, our Services and Participation Intern and Ruma a Work It Out Ambassador, write about how they have contributed and why it’s important for young women to be involved.
Getting started with workshops
Ruma: My recent interest in coding sparked my motivation to participate in these workshops. I knew I would learn much from the discussions.
Anna: In the initial workshop, we met with the digital agency, Fat Beehive, a lovely bunch who we are collaborating with to create the new Young Women’s Trust website.
It was a chance for me to learn more about how people are using websites at the moment. We had a discussion about what types of websites we all use, whether they are successful or not and we also spoke about how design makes information stand out and easy to access. This was a very interesting exercise for me as it made me think about how I take in information and the ways that I like it to be presented.
Working on a new sitemap
Anna: We all participated in an exercise called a card sort, which I have never done before.
We all got up on our feet and congregated around a table. We then used small coloured cards to represent different pages on the website to help us figure out the structure of the new Young Women’s Trust website. I really liked using the cards to map this out as it was so visual and it gave everyone in the workshop a chance to voice their opinions. We discussed at length the language, accessibility and the journey we wanted our users to be taken on. This took a lot of discussion and debate which was all very interesting and supportive.
Ruma: I dived into a card sorting exercise, led by Anna and Ben from Fat Beehive, and I found it particularly useful because nothing was set in stone. You could move the cards around as your ideas and thoughts developed. I found it intriguing listening to different perspectives and their analytical way of thinking. The card sorting exercise helped us to accumulate what we would expect under the navigation tabs eg ‘About Us’ or ‘News & Blogs’, and all the pages that would come under it, and in what order.
This was a new experience for me and I felt I was able to contribute to the discussions, especially from the perspective of a young woman who uses the Work It Out services.
Why working like this is important
Anna: For me it is was vital that young women’s opinions, ideas and vision were expressed in this workshop as it is young women who will be using the website and should feel like it was made for them. I really like a collaborative approach to any creative project and that the voices of many different people are heard.
I learnt the importance of telling a story to engage with your audience and the amazing ways that you can use digital to your advantage to do this.
Ruma: With young women being its focal point, what better way to ensure young women have their say in shaping the new website and making it accessible to all than getting them involved right from the start?
I have felt welcomed and included in all the discussions and I have been impressed by the transparency and the open learning environment.
I would encourage other young women to get involved in shaping the website, primarily because we are its users, and it is being designed with us in mind. Your thoughts matter!
Got a really good idea for the Young Women’s Trust website? Put it in the digital suggestion box.
The website workshops discussed above took place in January 2020 before lockdown restrictions were brought into force.