Sexual Health Scotland

A new look for a touchy subject - sexual health

The background

The Scottish Government had been a client of Story UK for a number of years preceding the work that was carried out on the Sexual Health Scotland site. They were aware that the appearance of the website was affecting the user experience, due to the dark colours and less than appealing clip art being used throughout the interface.

As part of their end goal, they wanted to increase the number of users accessing content about visiting a sexual health clinic. It was up to us to try and present the content in a more relaxed, appealing manner resulting in hopefully, users feeling more comfortable when coming for their appointment.

Getting started

We began the process by analysing the existing site to see if there was anything that would be worth keeping as part of the design overhaul. The colour scheme was pretty nasty, and the fonts were uninspiring choices of Georgia and Times Roman. The content was narrow and generally the interface had the appearance of appearing quite ‘seedy’. Not exactly the look the Scottish Government were after.

As a result of the analysis, there was not much in the way of elements that we wanted to keep for the new look website. Purple was to be the preferred option, but we were open to tweak this slightly if needed. The design started.

Design concepts

Visiting the basics first – updating those fonts. By using such unimaginative options, the interface instantly looked dated. I proposed the use of a more relaxed, informal Google font called Raleway which is quite commonly used across a number of websites. Available in a variety of weights, it was a solid choice for the website.

Next up, I tried to tackle the purple problem. It was being used far too often in the previous site, and it was felt as though it were having a negative effect on the overall UX. By removing the dark background and replacing with a lighter option, we allowed the main body of content to stand out a little more clearly. I also opted to increase the width of the site and reduce the amount of clip art that was being used.

Working within Story, we came up with the option to use pop art style imagery to try and reduce the formality and ‘scary’ nature that is often associated with sexual health. The client loved this idea, and as such, the pop art formed a large part of the visit a clinic section, as well as allowing the homepage of the website to appear a little more friendly.

The build

Once signed off, the build could start. Enhancing the interface also allowed me to enhance the code behind the scenes so that the structure of the site was more solid than previously.

By using knowledge built up, I was able to implement the changes that we’d suggested to the client effectively, whilst also being able to remove many, many lines of unwanted code. The end result is a much faster delivery of content to the user

The results

The end results were pleasing. Engagement increased dramatically, with a high number of people visiting the clinic section on the website. Physical visits have also gone up since we enhanced the interface, with the client directly attributing the statistics to the element that maybe a clinic doesn’t seem to be as scary a place to come as it once was. some of the key metrics included:

  •  25% increase in pages visited since the redesign. People are finding the content more engaging
  • Significant bounce rate decrease indicating clearer use of signposting
  • 31% of all users are heading to the clinic, a section of the site that the government were keen to highlight
  • 18% increase in mobile users, along with visit duration and pages visited going up too. An enhanced mobile UI is key for this

All in all, whilst the subject may have been tricky, the outcome and statistics as a result were positive, and that’s always a bonus 🙂