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spudbud avatar (cartoon potato with a notepad that says "It's Okay To Ask For Help") on a colorful background
Spud.png

SPUDBUD

PROBLEM SPACE

Potato is a digital product design agency with a strong focus on employee wellbeing. They were looking to implement a digital tool for internal use to actively monitor mental health amongst their workforce.

TIMELINE

5 Weeks

January–February 2020

TEAM

This was a solo project completed as part of an internship at Potato.

KEY GOAL

Monitor the wellbeing of employees and encourage the use of existing resources.

RESEARCH

INVESTIGATING THE PROBLEM SPACE

 

I began the research process by looking into existing resources both at Potato and on the market, and brainstorming potential workplace issues and mental health app features.

Potential Workplace Issues

  • Stress

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Workplace Bullying

  • Workplace Dissatisfaction

  • Unhealthy Work-Life Balance

  • Presenteeism/Absenteeism

Common App Features

  • Mood Monitoring

  • Check-Ins

  • AI Monitoring

  • CBT

  • Bespoke Plan

  • Meditation/Mindfulness

Existing Wellbeing Resources at Potato

  • Support & Wellbeing Wiki Page

  • Anonymous Wellbeing Issue Form

  • The People Team

  • Employee Assistance Programme

  • NABS

  • Headspace

SURVEY

 

I used this initial research and ideation to inspire questions for a survey that I sent to everyone in the studio. I received 20 responses in total.

Depression &

Anxiety

were considered to be the two most

pressing work-related mental health issues

65% of

Respondents

were aware of the company's "Support and Wellbeing" wiki

Osteopath, HR & Headspace 

were the most commonly used work-sponsored resources, though they were not used by many

Calm, My Possible Self, WYSA & Silver Cloud

were some of the pre-existing mental health apps that respondents used, though very few used apps

Professional Help, HR & Mindfulness

were some features that respondents wanted to see in a mental health app

Exercise, Mindfulness & Coloring

were some in-office group activities that respondents would be open to

Exercise, Mindfulness, Journaling & Self-Help

were some of the wellbeing activities that respondents did in their free time

"prefer physical activities to apps"

"would like to track mood"

"important to help people feel comfortable opening up"

"mental health could be incorporated into "flexible working" policy

"concerns about data privacy"

PROTO-PERSONAS AND EMPATHY MAPS

 

Based on the data I collected from the survey, I generated two proto-personas in order to focus my thinking and design with a more targeted approach.

Proto-Persona 1: Lucy

Stock photo of woman drinking coffee while working on her laptop; represents the "Lucy Wilson" persona

LUCY WILSON is a 27-year-old developer at Potato. She enjoys running and often takes part in the London Marathon, but is not typically able to run during the week as she gets home so late and has been spending the weekends planning her wedding. She is also finding the stress of balancing wedding planning and work very overwhelming. As a result, she has started experiencing tension headaches.

Proto-Persona 2: Jimmy

Stock photo of man working on her laptop; represents the "Jimmy Doctor" persona

JIMMY DOCTOR is a 35-year-old UI/UX designer at Potato. He struggles with social anxiety and, as a result, has found himself taking advantage of Potato’s flexible working scheme and working from home on a regular basis. He has previously attended mindfulness classes to help with his anxiety and found them extremely useful, though has fallen out of the habit of meditating as he is preoccupied with work.

CONCLUSIONS

 

I drew some final conclusions, which ultimately guided the ideation process.

Depression &

Anxiety

were considered to be the two most

pressing issues, although serious mental health issues were not prevalent

Not Seeking 

Help

was common among respondents

Mindfulness and Group Exercise

were of interest among respondents, but few participated in the relevant activities offered by the company

No Singular

Portal

collating mental health resources, which likely contributed to the ignorance of certain resources

Don't Want to Download a New App

Respondents did not express an interest in downloading an entirely new mental health app that required dedicated attention

I ultimately decided that I needed to design a tool that would collate the existing mental health resources and lead people to those which met their specific needs

DESIGN

PRODUCT PROPOSAL AND MOCKUPS

 

​Below is the section-by-section product proposal, accompanied by stills from the final prototype. The initial wireframes can be found here.

For the visual design, I took inspiration from the company's existing branding. With regard to the chatbot avatars, the 'doctor spuddy' character was a fully pre-existing illustration used by Potato, while the 'spuddy' holding a notepad is an edited version of one of the other 'spuddies'.

spudbud avatar (cartoon potato with a notepad that says "It's Okay To Ask For Help")

App Overview/Flow

Upon launching the app for the first time, users will be invited to fill out an initial questionnaire, during which they will establish a personal wellbeing plan and set reminders.

 

Users will subsequently be able to access their plan, settings, and pinned resources (such as the anonymous People Team Form, the Support and Wellbeing Wiki link, and a list of wellbeing-related clubs, talks, and activities) in the ‘About’ section.

Having these resources easily accessible and in one place is likely to increase use and compliance.

 

They will also receive notifications, messages of encouragement, and invitations to fill out periodic check-ins.

Slack integration screens

Slack Integration

  • Potato employees already use Slack for communication 

  • Many respondents indicated that they did not want to download a new app

  • This is a good place to collate links to Potato's existing mental health resources

  • Naturally set up for reminders and messaging

  • A familiar interface for the target user group

  • A lot of existing development and prototyping documentation

Onboarding Questionnaire

  • Asks users to indicate their general mood and well as provide some background information regarding their mental health

  • Good way to train the bot and will help to tailor the user experience

Onboarding questionnaire screens
Observations and recommendations screens

Observations & Recommendations

  • Daily, weekly and general suggestions will be provided, as well as additional online resources

  • Recommendations will mostly be centered around encouraging the use of existing Potato resources, e.g. Headspace

  • Users may also be encouraged to join certain clubs within the company or attend relevant company-sponsored wellbeing events, such as NABS talks

Edit Plan

  • After their plan has been presented to them, users can:

    • delete activities

    • edit activities

    • add activities

    • set a schedule

    • set reminders

Edit plan screens
Weekly check-in screens

Check-Ins

  • Users will be sent a message via Slack inviting them to fill out a weekly check-in questionnaire

  • Once again, they will be invited to indicate how they are feeling, after which they will receive advice based on whether or not their mood has improved since last time

  • They can also update their information, change their plan and settings, and view a chart of their mood history

  • This data can also be collated anonymously and sent to the People Team, so that any necessary changes can be made to the work environment

V2 FEATURES

 

These are features that I came up with but did not feel needed to be factored into the design and prototype as urgently as some of the others. However, I do think they could potentially be added in future versions of the app.

Paired People Team App

this would allow easy access to the responses sent via the anonymous People Team Form as well as the data collected from the mood reports and check-ins

Schedule

Organizer

an AI-powered schedule organizer could help users to balance work, breaks, and wellbeing activities, which would help with time management and relieve stress

Contact with a Mental Health Professional

the ​ability to contact a mental health professional directly through the app for  text-based therapy sessions would be useful for users who are particularly struggling

FINAL DELIVERABLE

INTERACTIVE PROTOYPE

 

Below is a walkthrough of the final prototype, which was created in Figma.

USER TESTING 
& REVISIONS

FEEDBACK SUMMARY

 

I also conducted a round of user testing within the office, which I used to inform subsequent revisions. Below are some of the key points raised.

Onboarding Questionnaire

‘About’ Section

  • Questionnaire is the right length

  • Options should be less black and white

  • Recommendations should be presented at once so that the user does not have to click through them

  • Multiple options should be given and not just a top three

  • Resources should be in the ‘Home’ section, rather than the ‘About’ section as it is not obvious that there is important information there

Weekly Check-Ins

  • The ‘Mood History’ feature is strong and should be visible immediately with the progress report

  • Wording could be more emotionally driven

REVISIONS

 

Below are some of the revisions I made in response to the user testing feedback.

The Resources Are Difficult To Find

I moved the resources to the app’s ‘Home’ tab and simplified the ‘About’ section.

GIF showing updated 'Home' tab in Slack
Updated 'About' tab in Slack
GIF showing condensed recommendations section

There Are Too Many Pages In The Recommendations Section

I put all of the recommendations onto a single page, with the ability to add, delete, and edit right away.

The Mood History Is Not Immediately Visible

I moved the most recent mood history information to the ‘Observations & Recommendations’ page, with the option to view the full report. I also put the additional links/settings options into categories to reduce visual clutter.

GIF showing updated check-in observations screen with visible mood update

KEY TAKEAWAYS

REFLECTION

 

During this project, I gained new insights into how wellbeing is managed within the workplace, as well as how to design a Slack-based integration. This was also my first time designing a conversational interface for a chatbot, which is something I would like to continue exploring.

IMPACT & NEXT STEPS

 

The overall response to the design was very positive, with the integration of existing resources as opposed to reinventing the wheel and the mood tracking feature being standout elements.

Moving forward, I would focus on refining the actual copy and conversational tone of the application.

Like what you see?

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