Ensuring safer outcomes for vulnerable young people

The Client: Spectrum

Details: Launched 2019

Awards: Won a 2020 National Learning Award

  • Digital Design
  • UX and UI Design
  • Discovery Workshop
  • Brand Discovery
  • Market Focus
  • Visual Identity
  • Brand Assets

The Challenge

Spectrum was just a concept when I was first approached to join the project by Jane Saggers, the founder. The premise behind the concept is to create online training courses for Taxi Drivers and Support Escorts to enable them to offer the best possible outcomes when driving and escorting children with moderate to severe special educational needs to and from school.

At present, in the UK, there is no formal training for these drivers and escorts. Many of the children and young people they transport have complex physical and mental challenges and without correct training both parties can be at risk. Spectrum was the first organisation that has come up with this initiative.

The main challenge was that the brand needed to be clear, attractive and scaleable as it would need to appeal to a number of stakeholders and relevant bodies – including taxi drivers, SEN escorts, investors – and eventually become part of a government initiative. The digital aspect of the brand needed to be extremely easy to use, accessible, inclusive and overall an empowering experience.

The Solution

I began the project with extensive user research, fact checking and focus group discussions – all of which translated to fully understanding the project, the end users and the desired outcome for the project.

During this stage we undertook a number of exercises. These helped to:

  • Identify Spectrum’s communication objectives
  • Analyse and understand their target audience
  • Understand any prospective brand challenges
  • Define their brand values, brand story, and their brand personality.

At the end of this process we had a clear vision of the Spectrum values, mission, brand tone of voice, and brand narrative.

We also had qualitative data around challenges we needed to consider with the functionality of the website that would assist us when it came to the UI and UX design.

Creating the Brand Assets

Once the discovery process I began creating brand assets including visual identity, photography style, copywriting guidelines, and tone of voice.

Spectrum has empathy, accessibility and inclusivity at the heart of the organisation. They are there to assist and educate drivers and support escorts in transporting children with complex needs. They are sympathetic to the challenges the drivers and escorts may face as well as to the children and young adults and they also celebrate and understand the amazing job the drivers and escorts do.

This celebration of diversity is at the heart of the Spectrum visual identity.

The logomark represents a destination map icon representing the end point of the training and the physical journey – the safe delivery of the children and young people to their homes. Through its rainbow colours it represents the spectrum of challenges and needs that the drivers and escorts may face along the way as well as the beautiful complexity of the children they are transporting. The heart at the centre of the logomark represents the kindness at the heart of these drivers and escorts.

To support such a strong and colourful logomark I used a simple Sans Serif font that sits below the map marker logomark, I have amended the ascender of the T in the word spectrum to reflect the angle of the base of the logomark which lends cohesion and flow to the logo and work mark when used together.

The logomark and wordmark are designed for digital use first and foremost. They lose none of their impact when viewed on smaller screen sizes. The logomark is distinctive and recognisable so is perfect for use on social media.

The colour scheme is colourful, bright and happy. With rainbow colours reflecting the spectrum of needs and challenges that the children and young adults may have. The logo is always used on a white background.  The main colour is dark grey as reflected in the word mark but the various colours of the logomark can be used as accent colours or overlays.

The clean bright blue used within the logomark is the main accent colour used on the digital designs. Blue has been shown to have a beneficial and calming affect on the mind by slowing the human metabolism. We wanted the experience of using the website and taking a course to be as stress free and enjoyable as possible.

The yellow and the dark pink are also used sparingly on the digital designs as calls to action.

The site needed to be accessible and easy to use as it would be used by people of all abilities and education levels.

The site structure is pared down to a minimum with large calls to action displayed prominently on the site to assist users in completing and finding the information they need.

Throughout the online courses the users are provided with feedback and progress. All questions are supported with video and imagery.

Communication was key and the language and tone of voice needed to be clear and simple without being patronising.

The users may have cognitive, language, and/or learning disabilities, so the language structure used simple sentences, short paragraphs and bullet points. The information was also delivered in a logical order with an emphasis on clarity. We avoided using idioms, jargon and acronyms, and complex terminology.

Buttons and calls to action were descriptive and an active voice was used throughout.

Iconography was used to support text to assist users with language or learning disabilities. These icons are simple and clear and provide context to the text they are shown with.  

Results

Spectrum’s first digital learning courses launched successfully, having won support from parents, carers, headteachers, SEN specialists and local authority transport teams.

Taxi drivers and pupil escorts welcomed the initiative to make journeys more successful with SEN pupils. In some areas, children are on journeys lasting 90 minutes each day.

Working in conjunction with leading SEN industry professionals, Spectrum produced the UK’s first certified & accredited training course for SEN taxi drivers and escorts.

Spectrum won a National Learning Award in 2020.

Let’s work together

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