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Creating and achieving an accessible higher education for young people

Having the opportunity to work with organisations that are implementing and driving for positive change is one of the reasons we at Sysdoc are proud of what we do. Causeway’s mission statement is to support young people in overcoming barriers to accessing higher education, apprenticeships, and early careers. They design and deliver programmes to ensure that applicants from less privileged backgrounds get the support they need to produce outstanding applications to Higher Education. Bridging that gap is crucial to the trajectory of a young person’s career path.

Causeway provides:

  • Expert support - giving teachers the skills and resources they need to ensure all their students can navigate HE applications effectively.
  • Transformational outreach - Helping universities, charities, and corporates develop initiatives that inspire and equip participants to take their next steps.

Causeway realised that their online presence did not effectively attract the proper engagement from their target audience and, as such, enlisted our help. Given our new way of working, having visibility and connectivity online is essential to the sustainability of a business and the breadth of people it can reach.


Causeway requirements:

  • A UX audit of the Causeway online website
  • Recommendations on how to improve accessibility and the overall user experience
  • Content analysis and proposed storytelling techniques (to drive engagement)


The Sysdoc approach

The human-centred design team in Sysdoc adopted a robust methodology to review the user experience of their website. The methods and approach incorporated three main frameworks for analysis, underpinned by the following actions (simpler, smarter):

  • Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics
  • Accessibility principles
  • Content and messaging principles
  • Linking storytelling recommendations with digital/ social media concepts (through an understanding of their target audiences)
  • Using design techniques to problem-solve, always incorporating the questions; ‘Why are we doing this? What will we achieve?’
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The best way we can demonstrate the value and unique impact Sysdoc delivered is from the client testimonial that accompanies this work:

“I was so impressed with the energy and enthusiasm from Robin Ridgley and Sam Osys in engaging with a ‘Sysdoc favour’ to help out Causeway Education, a charity which helps young people from less privileged backgrounds to overcome barriers to get into higher education. Their enthusiasm and willingness to help the charity was infectious, and their superb technical skills have not only helped the charity to achieve the goal of clarifying its story to stakeholders but has really helped them to come together as a team to tackle a difficult strategic challenge. Sam and Robin are real models for Sysdoc’s value of integrity.”
A quote from Sam Holmes, CEO from Causeway Education: “Robin and Sam gave invaluable support to Causeway as we work on telling our story. They got us thinking in a new way and this will have a direct impact on our ability to get our message across to partners, and therefore grow our impact. Aside from this, they were both an absolute pleasure to work with and we greatly enjoyed the sessions they ran. A massive thank you from everyone at Causeway!”


The measurable and legacy outcomes?

  • A thorough set of recommendations that were listed and prioritised by impact
  • Review and analysis of the aspects of their webpage that were poorly designed followed bad practice, or had possible usability problems (working to achieve an inclusive platform for all young people)
  • Looking ahead to the future, what else should be assessed in the future for continued improvement
  • Established a strong working relationship and trust with the client that allowed them to come on the entire journey with Sysdoc


Working with Causeway incorporated specialists within Sysdoc from the People & Culture team, alongside the Human-centred design consultants. There is no sustainable way to implement new designs and outlooks without evaluating how your people will join the journey with you to act as true advocates for your organisation.


If you need analysis, evaluation, and a combined approach that tackles more than one element of your business, reach out to us directly for more information.