Changing Lives

Design and development of a digital platform for a North East Charity

Changing Lives website

Understanding your audience

Back in 2013, Cargo won a competitive tender to design and develop a new website for Changing Lives.

Changing Lives – previously named The Cyrenians - is a national, registered charity which provides specialist support services for thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable people and their families.

Part of the challenge Changing Lives faced was the continual expansion of their range of services. Originally set up to help homeless people, the charity was moving into areas that were quite literally changing the lives of a wide range of vulnerable people including drug addicts and ex-offenders. We quickly established that in order to ensure that the site informed, educated and directed people to the right place, we would need to do some extensive research ?into understanding the variety of audiences and their requirements.

Changing Lives workshop

Gaining insight

As part of our research and analysis of user groups, we ran a number of workshops.

Each of the interactive workshops split the main website users into two groups; the first was made up of Changing Lives staff and workers on the front line, and the second comprised of a variety of external audiences, including local government, users of the service and corporate sponsors.

The results were fascinating and provided an incredible insight that changed the focus of the website, and from this point the home page was split into three key funnels. The first providing direct access for help ‘Get Help Now’, the second explains what the charity does, ‘How We Change Lives’ and the third enables people to help support the charity through volunteering and fundraising, ‘Support Us’. These three sections help us meet as many users needs as possible in the most prominent area of the home page.


Changing Lives website designs Changing Lives website tablet view

Delivering results

Users are encouraged to scroll through the long pages and discover further content.

Despite the large volumes of content, the new site feels effortless to use and is clear in signposting.

The home page in particular is simple, directing every type of audience to where they need to access required content. The brand is strong and distinctive, and communicates the breadth of specialist services through emotionally connective imagery and directional navigation.

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"The Cargo team are a pleasure to work with. They are friendly, quick to respond to queries and are full of suggestions and good ideas on how to fulfill our wants and needs. I’d happily recommend them to others, they’ve done a great job for us."

Carrie Brookes - Changing Lives
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