Industries Health and wellbeing
Services Branding, Web

Designing a leading database for people with disabilities


Indigo (formerly Independent Living Centre) asked DrawHistory to rethink one of its major online initiatives: the National Equipment Database (or “NED”), Australia's most comprehensive assistive technology database.

Their Problem

While Indigo’s NED has been a go-to resource for many industry practitioners, listing over 10,000 assistive technology products, the team believed that more could be done for users to improve and streamline their marketplace experience. The website’s user experience had been in stasis for almost 10 years and NED itself didn’t have a distinct brand. In years past, while NED was managed by Indigo, it was a shared national initiative that didn’t have its own identity in the market. As Indigo eventually inherited and took ownership of NED, the team identified a need to create and build equity for the database’s own brand.

Our Strategy

We conducted half-day co-design workshops with Indigo’s working group, executives, communicators, and product managers, to understand the activities, behaviours needs and ambitions for NED. After multiple sessions with them, we learned and identified that while NED’s user experience needed to be rebuilt, it also needed to have a distinct, standalone identity to create equity in the industry. We were tasked to ultimately redesign the entire NED initiative online, including creating a brand strategy and developing an identity that would bring it in line with Indigo’s own recent organizational rebranding.

Project Leads

Morgane Guedj

Senior Designer, DrawHistory

Joelle Chan

Designer, DrawHistory

Designing a new identity for Indigo's National Equipment Database.

NED's new identity was delivered in a Brand Toolkit, a document we used to train the team on usage and expression of their brand.
Gathering insights

During our co-design sessions, we encountered and learned from numerous social service providers, volunteers and those who supported older adults and people with disabilities. From these sessions, the team discovered that each stakeholder group, whether clients, occupational therapists or vendors, needed to have their own unique needs addressed. For example, occupational therapists were more likely to be time-poor professionals who would prefer to compare and contrast products quickly for their clients.

Observed goals included:

  • Impartial and up to date information on more than 15,000 assistive technology and equipment products
  • Supplier information, current pricing and item availability
  • An accessible and easy to navigate database
  • The ability to compare and explore technology and equipment options
  • The option to set up your own profile and save your searches
Prototyping the new database

Our team synthesized concepts developed at the workshops into overarching digital strategies. We distilled these findings into simple, meaningful interface designs that would be accessible and inclusive for both web and mobile users constantly on-the-go. This included redesigning the entire NED experience from the ground up, starting with user experience wireframes before developing them into a vibrant prototype ready for development.


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