Rufus Leonard has created the Royal Mail’s first dedicated website for disabled users, which launches today (Wednesday) and which could set a precedent for other high-profile companies.
The site, www.royalmail.com/ access, is designed to be accessible for people with all types of impairments, including people with visual, hearing, speech, mobility and learning difficulties.
A Rufus Leonard spokeswoman refuses to disclose the size of the fee for the work, but says it is a ‘significant investment for Royal Mail’.
The site is currently an abridged version of the core Royal Mail site, but will be developed to include more content in the future, says Rufus Leonard senior designer Alex Treadway, who led the project.
‘There are several issues facing disabled Web users, from colour and text size to background colour,’ says Treadway. ‘The real challenge was to make it look good as well,’ he adds.
The website will allow users to customise it to suit their needs. Visitors will be able to change the size of the text and also control audio levels. The site features few graphics because disabled people have problems reading them, adds Treadway.
Rufus Leonard undertook months of research and testing among disabled users prior to the launch of the site. ‘Able-bodied people do take for granted how easy it is to use websites,’ says Treadway.
Rufus Leonard was appointed to the project without a pitch as a member of the Royal Mail’s design consultancy roster.