Although a version of The Buzz previously existed as a website seeking to serve a similar purpose, it took the format of an online news blog or magazine and so didn’t engage with the young audience. As a result we effectively started again, with a blank sheet of paper and a lot of imagination to create an online home for young deaf people where they could safely engage, build a community and have a fun experience all at the same time.
Seeing a need for future growth into an app, it was agreed that starting as a web app would let the younger audience have an ‘app like’ experience on mobile whilst allowing NDCS to refine, test and shape the product for its future as a fully realised app. Based on this insight, we implemented one of our most collaborative approaches to designing ever, moulding our process to provide the client’s youth advisory board with opportunities to review, trial, test and feedback on everything we created, from scoping to final delivery. This shaped the functionality and what the site would do for its users.
From a safeguarding point of view, we worked through each of the interactive feature ideas and planned every potential risk for a young person. Then, in collaboration with the client, defined clear management protocols that NDCS would own and divided the site into two age groups allowing content tailored to age to exist. The result is an information rich, interactive fun experience for young deaf people, created by deaf young people.