Unlock is a charity with a unique perspective: founded by former prisoners, its goal is to leverage their personal experiences to provide better opportunities for people with convictions. The organization understands firsthand the challenges faced by individuals with a criminal record, and their mission is to help them reintegrate into society and move on with their lives.

Despite the importance of Unlock's work, their digital presence was fragmented across six different websites, making it difficult for users to navigate and find relevant information. Recognizing the need for a more unified and user-friendly online platform, Clear Honest Design partnered with Unlock to transform their digital presence.

  • Client : Unlock
  • Website : unlock.org.uk
  • Issues : Human Rights, Prisoners Rights, Just Society
  • Services Offered : Branding, Design, Consultancy, Development

The brief

Unlock was in a difficult situation where its digital presence wasn't supporting its amazing and vital work. Information, advocacy and advice were disjointed and spread between six different websites, making users' journeys and experiences complicated and frustrating. We were asked to combine the largest of these websites into one new digital experience to help create an easy-to-navigate and straightforward experience for Unlock's users, who most often need information quickly, clearly and intuitively.

Mapping and testing navigation

Our team started by analyzing the existing websites and mapping out their content, identifying redundancies and opportunities for improvement. We then designed a new navigation structure based on these insights, ensuring that users could easily find the information they needed.

To ensure the usability of the new structure, we conducted multiple rounds of user testing with real-world users. Their feedback informed our decisions, allowing us to refine the navigation and create an intuitive and accessible experience.

Creating a new design and brand

With the navigation in place, our designers crafted a fresh, modern look for the updated website. The new design incorporated elements from Unlock's existing brand while introducing new visual elements that better reflected their mission and values.

We also developed a set of brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all touchpoints, including typography, colors, and imagery. This comprehensive approach helped create a strong visual identity for Unlock, reinforcing their message and making it more appealing to users.

Developing the Disclosure Calculator

One of the most significant features we developed for the new Unlock website was the custom-built Disclosure Calculator. This interactive tool helps people with criminal records find out when their record is spent and what they have to disclose, providing invaluable guidance and support.

Our development team worked closely with Unlock to understand the complex legal requirements surrounding disclosure, ensuring that the calculator's results were accurate and reliable. Mapping out all of the different routes and options on a flow chart allowed us to start to visualise a user's journey.

We designed the tool to be user-friendly, guiding users through the process step-by-step in a clear and simple to understand way. The entire tool was built with anonymity and data-privacy in mind, providing Unlock with top level data that helps them refine their offering, yet never gathering any data that is personally identifiable.

Ensuring accessibility and mobile-first approach

To create a truly inclusive digital experience, we prioritized accessibility and mobile-friendliness throughout the project. The new Unlock website was designed to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG), and going further wherever possible. Ensuring that users with disabilities could easily access information and resources.


The new Unlock website successfully consolidated multiple existing websites into a single platform, making it easier for people with convictions and other stakeholders to access vital information and resources. The modern design, streamlined navigation, and custom-built Disclosure Calculator contributed to the website's success.

Clear Honest Design continues to work closely with Unlock, maintaining the website and collaborating on new features to further improve the user experience for people with convictions.

The revamped Unlock website is a testament to the power of clear, honest design in creating.

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