Refuge launches new website with 'quick escape' button

03 Aug 2022 News

Refuge, which works against domestic violence, has launched a new website following a consultation with survivors. 

Survivors and supporters provided insight into the design of the redeveloped website and Refuge partnered with the agency Reason Digital which adopted a trauma-informed approach to the redesign. 

As Refuge’s website is accessed by women-in-crisis predominantly using mobile devices, who are looking for instant support, the website has been formed with this in mind.

The result is the new website features more white space to reduce cognitive load, has an improved search function, and has no images on pages aimed at supporting women-in-crisis so that it is quick to load and access. It has also been made more mobile-friendly.  

The website has a “quick escape” button which is always visible at the bottom of the screen for safety and does not show up in the browser’s history. 

Refuge has included this as those experiencing domestic abuse often experience tech abuse and may have their devices monitored by their perpetrator.  

It has also created an information hub area on the site both to validate experiences of women-in-crisis and survivors but also to encourage public education on domestic abuse. 

Supporters can stay up to date with charity fundraisers and events through a new search feature for events, which uses filters based on type and location.

The project took around eight months. That period included consultation with supporters and survivors, research, and the re-design.

‘We prioritised the needs of survivors’

Gabi Field, director of fundraising and communications at Refuge, said: “Refuge is thrilled to be launching our new website, which we hope will help more women feel able to access the information and support they need. 

“The website was created following consultation with supporters, survivors and design experts to ensure it is as user-friendly and accessible as possible. 

“Our new website will make it quicker and easier for women in crisis to find the help and information they need and for people to learn more about domestic abuse and get involved in supporting Refuge on our mission to end domestic abuse.” 

Jane Murison, design & UX director at Reason Digital, said:  “We had the privilege to interview domestic abuse survivors at the start of our work on the new Refuge site and had their voices represented throughout our design process, so we were able to build a design with them and their stories in mind. 

“We prioritised the needs of survivors - the site has extremely clear navigation, concise language and simple imagery, all to meet the situational access needs of someone who might be in crisis.  This serves the needs of not only survivors, but every supporter coming to the Refuge site.” 

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