Delightful Ethical Digital


Promoting the wellbeing of older people through a user focused, extensible website

Read the HelpAge Case Study

Tackling widespread age-ism

With the global population progressively ageing, HelpAge International’s mission of promoting the wellbeing and inclusion of older people, whilst reducing poverty and discrimination, is increasingly relevant. This organisation has continued to see common issues through a different prism for over 40 years.

Anna Alabau, Fat Beehive’s Head of Strategy, UX, Research and Design, was excited to work with such an important charity, recognising the damage often caused by widespread age-ism. Having seen her grandmother live to the age of 104, she saw how older people, particularly women, often become irrelevant and unseen. Anna says HelpAge really do address the challenges faced by the elderly, genuinely listen to their voice, and are a vital force worldwide for legislation and change.

A vibrant website to address and inform about ageism

A 15 year old website with lost purpose

HelpAge International’s website was 15 years old and had lost clarity on purpose and audience. While there was acknowledgement of the need for a completely new site, sensible key questions were raised before jumping into a development project:

  • how do we articulate who we are as an organisation? 
  • who are our main audiences?
  • what is the purpose of the website/what are we trying to achieve?

The main asset of the old site was it’s vast array of content, but much of this was out of date. A big challenge of the rebuild was how to make the necessary changes without damaging SEO.

Reflecting and including an audience

Prioritising for audience and for budget

HelpAge were keen that the user was centred in the redesign. Consideration of the diverse nature of the website users was therefore crucial: 

  • elderly people
  • legislators
  • journalists
  • the general public

After initial consultations, and with data as the driving force, Fat Beehive:

  • undertook extensive stakeholder research
  • provided guidance on prioritising a large and varying list of requirements to maximise efficacy of budget and time constraints
  • advised on laying down a solid initial build to which future budgets could be applied to achieve additional functionalities

The result was reorganised information architecture with clear, concise and descriptive categories to aid navigation of the wealth of content, and the creation of unique landing pages targeted to specific audiences. Accessibility being paramount, large and more readable fonts plus high colour contrast catered to the needs of the older or disabled user.

Ongoing vigilance to achieve goals

With the new website in place HelpAge has commissioned Fat Beehive’s Quarterly Reporting service. This measures and analyses the website’s performance against established objectives with defined metrics on a 3 monthly basis. This critical ongoing insight into the website’s effectiveness results in advice, recommendations and actions taken on and around the website to achieve the goals of the site.

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