Making the council accessible

Cumberland Council is one of the most culturally-diverse councils in NSW, with over half of the residents born overseas. We were tasked with refreshing the current website; to communicate the new council branding, meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements (AA), and enhance the user’s interactions with the council.

The team defined the project scope and wireframes, then I started doing research into accessibility and defining guidelines to keep in mind during design. I also gathered visual inspiration, and worked with the Art Director to generate, refine, and present initial visual explorations to ensure buy-in from the client.

There were many accessibility criteria that we addressed with the new designs, including; altering the current brand colours to ensure contrast between content and the background, maintaining logical content hierarchy throughout the page for the screen-reader integration, and allowing users to tab through the website with clear hover/click states.

The team was to deliver 10 templates, which were then populated and used by the council. These deliverables were completed over three sprints, which included internal and client presentations. I helped with visual and build QA throughout, ensuring a consistent visual language, and that accessibility was considered.

Our visual direction was aiming to show a modern, fresh, and friendly council. We used organic shapes and bright colours to invite people to interact with the site. And we used clean icons to illustrate features and tasks.

The biggest lesson I took from the project was that, the initial scope and build is not always the optimal solution. But it is important to revisit and improve existing sites with insights from data/analytics and user behaviours.

I was the Lead Designer on this project while working at Adrenalin. Thanks to Taryn S & Raj S (Art Direction), Johnny (UX Designer), Sam D & Louis C (Tech), Phil S (Account), Becky H (Project Manager).

You can visit the live website at