Finalist 2022

Rural Women Online

Your Creative Agency / Victorian Women's Trust

Empowering rural women to learn digital skills.

An identity and platform to support Rural Women to connect online and find mentorship to develop stronger digital literacy skills.

Design Brief:

Rural Women Online aims to address a significant issue affecting women in rural and remote areas. The Australian Digital Inclusive Index 2020 & 2021 (ADII) identified three major factors preventing women in these areas from being present online; access, affordability and ability. We were approached by the non-profit organisation, Victorian Women’s Trust to design and develop RWO which would act as a central hub for fast-tracked access to three things; training, support and mentoring.


This project was developed by:

  • Your Creative Agency
  • Victorian Women's Trust

Design Process

From a number of workshops, we learned that since COVID-19, a lot of these women were experiencing feelings of loneliness and inadequacy from not being able to connect with their loved ones or find employment after losing their jobs. In collaboration with the Victorian Womens Trust we ran an extensive series of community-centric workshops aimed at breaking down the barriers that women in regional, often isolated areas were experiencing.

Our project of team of all female designers led conversations far and wide to develop a bank of user-journeys, critical pathways, personas, and use-case insights to develop a strategy and communications framework that was tested with the communities that it represented. This research became the foundations of the online experience, prioritising simplicity and accessibility in the user experience.

Design Excellence

When it came to designing RWO, our brand exploration confirmed that the women who would be using the platform valued simplicity over anything else, so we tried to implement that in all areas of the project. Visually, we ensured the design was far from extravagant. Instead, we wanted to form a sense of familiarity and comfort by incorporating images of the rural Victorian landscape in everything from the marketing material to the website. Establishing this visual connection meant users could relate to the brand and its imagery on a much more personal level. We also wanted the brand to look and feel less masculine and intimidating and more approachable and empowering. This was reflected through the typeface and overall colour palette of the brand.

From a UX/UI perspective, it was important that the platform was easily accessible and navigable for women of all ages and backgrounds. Stripping back the homepage to a menu bar with clear call-to-actions allowed users to find what they were looking for almost immediately. Again, this was further enhanced through the use and contrast of typeface and colour without compromising the quality of design. We also wanted the overall tone of voice to read as though someone was speaking directly to the user. We adopted a colloquial approach to the language to make it friendly, encouraging and easy to understand. The entire user experience is about passive engagement with technology, serving as the first step to bridging the gap in digital literacy.

Design Innovation

The proposition to connect women to technology who have never been connected to technology before is a rare one, so the solution is innovative in the sense that it is helping solve a problem that not many have attempted to solve or even acknowledge. What’s impressive about the solution is that it’s designed to cater to an audience of women aged 18-80, meaning the target demographic was so incredibly broad and diverse that we needed to find a way to connect them using intersectionality rather than segmenting them by age (e.g. by referencing a familiar place through illustration to anchor the brand identity).

Incorporating clear call-to-actions and automated forms to pair participants with mentors best suited to their needs further simplifies and streamlines the entire process for everyone involved. The overall user journey has been carefully crafted to ensure each user feels seen and supported.  Through design, RWO breaks the mould of what we consider to be a typical tech explainer platform. It acts as a conversational space to engage with and encourage users to embark on their own online journey.

Design Impact

As mentioned, RWO is yet to launch, but the initiative aims to address a significant issue affecting women in rural and remote areas. The Australian Digital Inclusive Index 2020 & 2021 (ADII) identified three major factors preventing women in these areas from being present online; access, affordability and ability, and while all three are in need of advocacy, digital ability is an area in which we can make a difference. By working with the Victorian Women’s Trust, we hope to improve the current digital literacy level of all women in rural and remote areas, empowering them to participate online, connect with loved ones, learn new skills and find employment, among many other things.

Transitioning to a digital environment during COVID-19 under the assumption that all Australians had the fundamental digital skills to survive meant many were left behind. RWO considers the population of Australians aged 65 and over who are the most digitally excluded and the one-third of rural and remote women who live below the poverty line. Through our design, we hope to help bridge the 8% gap in digital ability between metropolitan and regional areas, connecting women to technology and each other.

Communication Design 2022 Finalists

Metro Tunnel Creative Program

Cross Yarra Partnership / Rail Projects Victoria / The Place Agency / Global Arts Projects

BETA by STH BNK

Davidson Branding / Beulah

Keep Running

Monash University XYX Lab / Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

Safe and Equal

Studio Binocular / Safe and Equal

EVERYDAY Australian Design - functional objects from the Ian Wong collection

Ian Wong / Jo Pritchard / Dr Indae Hwang / Shepparton Art Museum / Monash University

The Pink Book

Trampoline / Henry von Doussa / Clouds of Magellan Press

Port Melbourne Secondary College Brand Identity

Design IS / Port Melbourne Secondary College

Natralis Product Launch

Nexus Designs / Sally Evans / Myra Murtagh / Georgia Swinbourne

MOST

MASS / Orygen Digital

Great Wrap

A Friend of Mine / Great Wrap

Crushed But Okay

Today / Alannah and Madeline Foundation / Banalarama