Case Studies

Quebrar o Silêncio

The first Portuguese NPO dedicated to help boys and men to overcome sexual abuse trauma | UX/UI Design and Development

QUEBRAR O SILÊNCIO – in English “Breaking the silence” – is the first Portuguese Non Profit Organisation dedicated to help boys and men to overcome sexual abuse trauma.

The organisation started on January 2017 and on their first week they received close to 50 contacts for help. Only 14 months after that, a few men already had a new life after receiving support.


Ângelo Fernandes is a very good friend who happens to be one of the most courageous people I ever met. He is the one leading this socially ambitious project, to help others breaking their silence.

As the organisation was planned to launch, a website was needed to publish their communication and I was given the opportunity to contribute to the project by helping build their website.


The website would be built using WordPress and I had only one experience with the platform, a few years ago.

I know very little about PHP, the language WordPress is written on.

The deadline was very tight and I needed to articulate with Ângelo’s availability for continuous feedback and approval on every stage of the work.


First we did a workshop with the goal of understanding the content strategy needs.

I’ve listed the key contents in pieces of paper, so they could prioritise the identified elements. This image was the first arrangement.

After that I mapped a homepage wireframe and as they matured ideias, the elements were rearranged.

Next task was to find an adequate theme and find as fewer external widgets as possible that work well together to deliver the content needs.

Turns out WordPress came a long way since I first tried it, and it was easier than I though it would be to create the child theme and to find decent widgets to work with.

When the structure was stable and approved, I designed a very simple UI, with a fixed width layout, as requested.

Ângelo was pleased with everything except the colour scheme. But instead of iterating, Ângelo asked to do it himself. As he is a graphic artist, I prepared a CSS override where I grouped the similar graphic elements, so he could try different tones until he was happy.

In this case, Ângelo belongs to the target audience. So more than building the website with a client, I built it with a user. And my user turned out a good UI designer 🙂

Final product

The client’s feedback

Teresa is one of the most highly professional people I’ve work with, she designed and coded our website’s style. Teresa was always prepared since the first briefing and her responses to our needs were pragmatic and effective.

Not only Teresa understood our needs for our website, but as she also understood the nature and needs of our non-profit organization. Several times she posed us questions that were beyond our initial briefing and that led us to re-think some ideas and that led us to some conceptual growth.

Sadly, we were unable to implement all of Teresa’s recommendations and we might have some usability problems, but those are entirely our responsibility. However, we’re looking forward to correct them, again with the Teresa’s help, once we start working on the 2.0 version.

By Ângelo Fernandes, Founder and Director of Quebrar o Silêncio