mock-up of website that includes a laptop, ipad and iphone

Participatory Technology Project

Project summary

Client: Realwheels Theater

UX research & workflow design
UI design
Web development

Role: UI/UX Designer & Lead WordPress developer

Team:
Valentina Forte – Project Manager
Rosa Cebolla – UX Designer
Janette Li – UI/UX Designer
Cara Meyers – Developer
Lucas Romanini – Developer

We partnered with Realwheels Theater in Vancouver to create the Participatory Technology Project. This partnership aimed to make the theater production process more accessible.

THE PROBLEM:
People with disabilities find it hard to get involved in theatrical productions due to the rigorous schedules and the analogue nature of the theater process.

THE SOLUTION:
The team created a production website that allows Realwheels’ participants to attend rehearsals remotely, review and upload collaborative content and stay up-to-date with production events.

For a more detailed overview of this project and the team’s process take a look at the case study.

Group rehearsal with a laptop and a remote participant in a live call
files page, community page and live call page in different sized windows

The most important aspect of this project was accessibility. Realwheels is a theater focused on performers with disabilities so it was extremely important that the site be accessible to users with vision, motor and hearing impairments.

We built the site following visual accessibility guidelines, making sure the UI had a high contrast ratio, that the HTML structure was semantically correct, clear and easy to navigate with screen readers. Since contrast settings vary depending on time of day, location or personal preferences we made a light mode and dark mode of the site easily toggled on with a button. The embedded Zoom call for live remote participation can be joined with just one click and users can upload files (create posts) easily from the front-end.

Realwheels participants with final AV iPad set-up and multiple remote participants

In order for our production site to be used in the rehearsal space we came up with an AV set-up using an iPad and tripod and we tested different methods of integrating the remote participants into the rehearsal process.

We wanted to make sure the theater was able to maintain the site, run rehearsals and comfortably include remote participants without us there so we designed workflow guides and tutorials for them to follow and train their staff.