Irish youth information website Spunout.ie wins prestigious award
Published 09/10/2016 | 13:08
Spunout.ie has just beaten off some of Ireland’s most established businesses and organisations for redesigning their website in a way that is easily accessible for the visually impaired.
The Irish based, not-for-profit, youth information website provides information on a range of different topics such as education, employment, health, life and opinion.
At the recent 2016 Dot IE Visionary Awards, Spunout.ie managed to win the Best Use of Technology to Make the World a Better Place award, but the real highlight of the evening came when they triumphed in the Best in Universal Design category.
Executive Director of Spunout.ie Ian Power told Independent.ie that web developer Cian O’Mahony and his team of volunteers worked so hard throughout the year to make the site as assessable as possible for the visually impaired.
“We’re delighted to have won two awards on the night, but in particular the one that the team was most excited about was winning the best in universal design website, which was a category that all entrants were judged on,” he said.
“I think one of the most important things for us was to make sure the site was extremely clear, particularly for those who have limited vision.
“The complex aspects of the site were removed so that the people using screen readers don’t have to listen to repetitive and intricate language. It was about making sure that everything was clear and written in plain English.”
Ian added that during the design process they worked with a group of young people to help steer them in the right direction, including one visually impaired young man.
“We were able to understand exactly what aspects of the site needed to be improved for people who are also visually impaired. One of the things in particular was that every word on the site needed to be dramatically increased in size.
“We also use a lot of colour throughout Spunout.ie, but in a way that makes sure that anyone who is colour-blind won’t lose out on any information. Our high contrast mode also further assists those who have poor vision.
“For the team to have taken on this redesign by themselves and delivering it with zero budget was such an amazing thing to do,” he said.