Well Connected - University mental health
As part of its duty not only to educate, but to look after its students, The University of Sheffield runs a comprehensive medical and counselling service. The service was recently awarded funding by JISC to explore ways in which technology can be employed to help reach more people who may need it, engage users, and guide them to sources of help and information.
Following a competitive pitch process, Rckt were appointed to design and build a website to provide information, guidance and support on the mental health issues which students may face.
A key part of the project was to engage students in the process of creating the website. Rckt hosted a student focus group to test design and functionality options, which helped shape the design direction of the site. We also helped create personas in order to test that the design and structure were targeted correctly.
Although the primary users will be undergraduate students, the site had to be designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, including mature students and university staff. It uses a professional yet friendly style, which conveys an approachability without being too obviously corporate.
The site hosts a large amount of specially written content and advice, which had to be clearly structured, easy to understand and simple to navigate.
An important part of the site is a self-diagnosis test, which asks the user a series of questions, then uses a recognised physiological assessment methodology to provide a personalised score, feedback, information, and where appropriate, further sources of information or referral to a suitable medical professional.
The site uses the latest HTML5 coding techniques, to ensure it is built as efficiently as possible, and features mobile and tablet friendly versions - a critical feature when many of its users may be accessing it via these devices.