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NSPCC appoints Zone to create ‘relevant and accessible’ ChildLine website as online overtakes phone contact for first time

The NSPCC has appointed Zone to deliver a new ChildLine website and user experience as the company saw online contact to the website beat calls to ChildLine for the first time.

Helena Raven, ChildLine head of development communications, told The Drum, that does not mean the number of phone calls which the child support network receives has fallen, but rather that online has risen dramatically: accounting for 59 per cent of contact versus 41 per cent coming from phone calls.

The first phase of the work handled by Zone will be an overhaul of the ChildLine website and content management infrastructure.

Raven said: “The first step of our development is to undertake thorough research that will include children and young people in the UK in terms of research, design and to create a clear content strategy based on their needs.”

This content strategy will be managed by Zone, with Raven pointing out that it is important that the site is accessible to all. By this, she means “by their stage of literacy, their cognitive development and how they are coming to us, so what device they are on.”

While particular figures for numbers of those who come to the ChildLine site through mobile are unknown, Raven suggests that ChildLine is no different to any other organisation, stating that 46 per cent of children now access the internet via mobile. The ability to access the website through a mobile device provides young people with a level of privacy and portability that could not have been achieved through desktop computers.

The overall aim on the revamp is to make ChildLine services as “digitally accessible" to children and young adults as possible, according to Raven.

“We already have a rich body of content that helps people no matter what their issues are, but for us it’s about making it more accessible and connecting them with the right sort of help and support based on their needs,” she added.

Zone was chosen to handle the brief due to their “experience working with young people, combined with their digital, UX and social media expertise,” according to Peter Liver, director of ChildLine, who appointed the agency following a seven-way pitch.

Jonathan Simmons, board director at Zone, said the opportunity to rebuild the ChildLine website, which has not been overhauled since its 2009 launch, was a ‘dream job’, adding it “goes beyond just building a new website – it’s about re-imagining one of the UK’s most important charities for a digital world.”