Building on the success of their new website launch in 2018, Hft tasked equimedia with a unique and challenging project. The re-design and build of a virtual house to help professionals, carers and individuals with support needs discover and learn about assistive technologies to help them to improve their independence, quality of life, and increase their safety.
Hft previously maintained an online Smarthouse. However, due to its age and the way in which it was built, it quickly became out of date and no-longer fit for purpose. They needed an up-to-date, future-proofed version that could achieve several key objectives and requirements.
- Must be interactive
- Present information in a clear and visually striking way
- Must be accessible on all devices, therefore fully mobile responsive
- Indexable for search engines
- Future proof the solution so content can be more easily updated
- Contain filters and categories for easy navigation
- Highly accessible for all user groups (those with learning disabilities, support workers, statutory bodies, professionals, carers)
Prior to the project starting, we conducted extensive and in-depth research to discern the best way to present the house in line with the client’s accessibility and functionality needs. The key consideration throughout all of this was a simple and intuitive layout with accessibility being paramount.
Our proposed solution was to create a visually striking, isometric Smarthouse based on the use of SVGs which are small to load and infinitely scalable. Drawing on inspiration from point and click adventure games, the UI was designed to be intuitive and provide multiple ways to access the content to ensure accessibility. We ran a workshop with Hft’s core stakeholders to gain feedback on the findings and proposed solution, which helped us to better understand and define their needs.
The finished product was a fully interactive Smarthouse consisting of:
- Five interactable rooms
- 41 interactable items of personalised technology created using SVGs
- Subtle animations to bring the house to life
- House and List view functionality to provide different options for accessibility
- Intricate filter capability allowing for filtering of items by rooms, device categories and support needs
Additionally, as Google Certified Partners, equimedia created bespoke GTM and GA profiles enabling Hft to assess the performance of the house against their KPIs.
“Re-designing and re-building the Hft Smarthouse was a large project with numerous complexities, but we’re delighted to have worked closely alongside equimedia once again as, having built our main Hft website previously, we knew we were in good hands. They worked closely with us to determine the look and feel of the Smarthouse while simultaneously ensuring maximum accessibility. We now have a vibrant, unique and fully accessible Smarthouse that’s invaluable in showcasing personalised assistive technologies to help individuals to improve their quality of life. We’re absolutely delighted with the end result and look forward to using it for many years to come!”
Nick Smith, Digital Communications Manager