Digital design agency Project Simply has created a website that will help national homelessness charity Emmaus to positively change the lives of thousands of people by becoming more accessible to customers, fundraisers, donors and those needing their services.

Launching this week, the website will replace Emmaus’s existing site which had become outdated and clunky. The new site focussed on the journey and requirements of the user and will help encourage donations and raise the profile of the charity at a time when the total number of UK rough sleepers is 165% higher than in 2010.

Emmaus is a federated charity with 35 local branches across the UK. Emmaus communities support formerly homeless people by giving them a home for as long as they need it, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives.

The Project Simply team was appointed following a tender process to lab test end-user experiences, evaluate the customer journey and create a new all-encompassing website that meets the varied demands of people engaging with Emmaus. Users of the website vary in age and ability, so a simple interface was required despite the large-scale functionality of the website.

Project Simply Strategic Partner, Christian Hill, said:

“Using our unique digital design skills at Project Simply to help vulnerable people has been extremely rewarding. The team at Emmaus are great to work with and committed straightaway to making fundamental changes to their online presence.

“We engaged with all their audiences to find out to what each user group needed from the charity’s website and we believe that Emmaus’s new home on the internet will be accessible to all, from homeless people to donors, fundraisers to support services and those looking to donate their old sofa. Because of this new website we look forward to seeing Emmaus become even more successful in helping the homeless and the raise the funds needed to achieve their ambitious plans.”

Dan Booth, Individual Giving Manager for Emmaus UK, said:

“Working with Project Simply has been a collaborative, flexible and insight-driven process. The new site has to be user-led and work for 35 independent organisations within our federation, so this approach has been essential.

“Project Simply have been engaged with Emmaus’s work throughout the development process and undertook thorough research into our work and what our needs were, which included visiting one of our sites. Our new website will really help drive engagement and our improved user experience will mean more people can access our services, visit our shops or make a donation. In the long term, the website should also continue to deliver as our federation grows and changes.