Duarte Carrilho da Graça

Teenage health website for Camden Council

Redesigning Camden's sexual health website to be more appealing to teenagers, while broadening the content range

Working method

In this project I designed, researched in-person with users, led co-creation workshops, and coded the website.

Working as a graduate-consultant for Central Saint Martin’s Innovation Centre. Project mentoring by Dr. Rebecca Ross.

The starting point

The website before the redesign was not getting through to it's audience, and this was shown by a bounce rate over 85% before the redesign. The new design brough this down to ca. 25% but not before a failed initial attempt…

Project strategy

We invited local teenagers to participate in co-creation processes that framed Camden's teenage health content with cultural references chosen by them, and imagery from places in Camden they feel ownership over.

Initial concept

The content would play itself over direct messaging — a story would be delivered through one of various different characters (each struggling with a teenage trobule the website tackles). Story plays over a day in real time, over a sequence of messages

Research interviews

We joined a youth event promoted by Camden to check what our audience thought of our awesome idea. They hated it — did not want to come even near this, and explained they would never actively sign up on a sexual health website.

Re-focusing on teenagers’ home ground

We then took a step back in the design process. Instead of asking them to sign up on social media, we decided to focus on the idea that young people have a particular sense of the neighbourhoods that they're growing up in and a kind of feeling of ownership and also familiarity and comfort

Co-creation workshop

We met with and invited students from a local high school about the concept and to invite a co-creation a workshop so they could contribute to the design process. In the workshop we sat around a big printed map, and marked their favourite locations in Camden. We would use these locations as key imagery in the website. These are places they like to hang out in, so places that would be recognisable for them on the website

Framing in youth culture

In addition to physical locations, young people also contributed with cultural context and references for the topics in the website

Location filming

Filming with teenagers in Camden in Hampstead heath, Regent's Canal, and streets in Camden. Videography by Franek Wardynski

Interaction detail: Hide button

While initially we intended to remove the ‘hide’ button (bottom right in the screenshot), our reseach pointed to it playing a role in making teenagers feel more comfortable with visiting the website

Interaction detail: Open now

In the section mapping young people’s clinics and services in the area, currently open clinics are marked ‘open now’ to facilitate a spur-of-the-moment and quick decision to seek help