Making the News Accessible for All

Ziggy was recently tasked with redesigning the 8sidor.se website. 8sidor is a newspaper written in easy to read Swedish, published by Centrum för Lättläst for the last 30 years. 8sidor’s website offers similar content to the subscription publication, while offering digital tools such as language translation and the ability to listen to the news.

The current website needed to be updated and simplified, allowing for ease of use for all of its visitors, including those with physical or developmental disabilities, immigrants, elementary school students, and other people who have difficulties reading traditional newspapers.

The website is still under development, but several key points emerged early on in the design process.

Keep design patterns consistent

One issue with designing a website for such a varied group of users (some of whom may have developmental disabilities) is to keep the layout predictable and easy to understand.

  • The side column is always present on left side of page, and only shows news stories (as opposed to promotional content or internal links)
  • The right column was eliminated to keep distractions to a minimum for users who have a hard time concentrating while reading
  • News category color-coding was carried over from print edition, and is consistent throughout the site

Delete, Delete, Delete

The existing website, while functional, has a lot of material which would benefit from better organization. In addition, helpful tools such as translation assistance or being able to listen to the news, are placed in the header of the site, as opposed to being closer to the content where they can be used. In our design, we have:

  • Removed visual clutter
  • Removed or relocated unnecessary functions and navigation
  • Group similar information together
  • Moved relevant tools close to the content

The footer was redesigned to contain a denser amount of website-specific content (as opposed to distracting from the news stories themselves):

Content is King

In order to focus the user’s attention on the news stories, we have redesigned the header of the site to be simpler and less distracting, while still maintaining a familiar look and feel.

The overall design is still in development, but we are exited to move forward with user testing and the eventual launch of the new site.