In early 2020, Sheffield Flourish and Hive IT collaborated to create a digital ‘Toolkit’, in the form of a web application. MyToolkit integrates with and supplements the Sheffield Mental Health Guide by creating an area for users to create their own space to support their mental health and wellbeing.
- Sheffield Flourish
- Who they are
- A mental health charity that focuses on community, by linking people up with local services as well as running their own.
- What they do
- They are a large directory for mental health services and activities in Sheffield. They run four websites; Sheffield Flourish, Sheffield Mental Health Guide, MyToolkit and Sheffield Suicide Support.
- Develop a ToolKit which integrates with the Sheffield Mental Health Guide, to support users with their mental well being.
Sheffield Flourish runs the Sheffield Mental Health Guide which provides support to local people by helping them easily locate and find mental health services. To add to the support this provided people, Sheffield Flourish wanted to build a digital ‘Toolkit’ to create a safe space for people to; journal, create goals and organise the activities and services that they participated in.
We successfully built a standalone application that helps people manage their engagement with services within the Sheffield Mental Health Guide and creates a freeing, healthy space for journaling, venting, creating goals, planning and expressing gratitude.
“Hive just get it. We wanted a digital tool that felt person centred and accessible so that a wide range of people can use it and get whatever they want out of it that will benefit their wellbeing. We’d just like to say a massive thank you to Hive for delivering this, by taking into consideration all of the feedback that came out of co-design sessions and turning it into something digital!”Robyn Fletcher, Deputy Managing Director
Sheffield Flourish’s Concept
Sharing and exchanging knowledge with Sheffield Flourish on previous projects enabled Sheffield Flourish to run their own co-production sessions, explore requirements and create wireframes to create a strong concept for the Toolkit, before approaching us.
Sheffield Flourish had received feedback from users that it would be highly beneficial to have a space where they could be reminded of what they had achieved, journal and set goals. For example, if a user wanted to create a goal of attending a certain activity or service displayed on the Sheffield Mental Health Guide, they could add it as a goal or add it to their calendar within the Toolkit and then once attended - cathartically mark it as complete.
As well as providing users with their own space to gather their thoughts and track activities, it would help direct people who needed support towards relevant activities and services on the Sheffield Mental Health Guide.
Designing the Toolkit
Blending our understanding of Sheffield Flourish’s vision for the Toolkit with the design of the Sheffield Mental Health Guide, our designer was able to create a design for the Toolkit using Adobe XD.
The key to our designs was ensuring that it would not be overwhelming to users. We designed this visual environment by creating plenty of space on each page, splitting up the pages, and using appropriate wording to clearly indicate to users that it is optional to write in the displayed text boxes.
Following discussions with our software engineers over the viability and practicality of turning such designs into reality and the subsequent adjustments, we presented our findings back to Sheffield Flourish. A few tweaks and iterations later and Sheffield Flourish were happy for us to proceed with development.
The application was built using React for the front-end, Node.js for the back-end, and is hosted on AWS. Activities and services are automatically pulled from Sheffield Mental Health Guide into the Toolkit, meaning that it does not need its own content management (or admin) system.
Throughout development we tested the site internally to ensure it worked and once ready, we sent demos to Sheffield Flourish. Sheffield Flourish were very engaged and provided us with feedback throughout the project.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Flourish and Hive IT recognised that the Toolkit could be updated to reflect this period of uncertainty. We consequently made further changes to make the site more relevant to the situation.
We used the following tools and technology to develop the website:
- Adobe XD - Designs
- React - Frontend web app
- Feathers and Node.js - Backend REST API
- TypeScript - Languages
- AWS - Hosting
- Ansible - Configuration management
the finished product
We successfully launched the ‘MyToolkit’ website in March 2020. Our relationship with Sheffield Flourish certainly helped us build the Toolkit. Our previous exchanges of knowledge helped Sheffield Flourish provide a strong concept to us, reducing our time spent in design and development.
Furthermore, from our experience working with Sheffield Flourish we developed better skills in creating accessible websites and better understood the needs of Sheffield Flourish’s users. Recently we have worked hard to extend the accessibility of the toolkit by introducing “Easy Read” guides to support users in making the most out of their toolkit experience.
Collectively, these two experiences vastly improved our collaboration process with Sheffield Flourish resulting in a site that could significantly help support people in their mental health. We are privileged to continue supporting the Toolkit as we appreciate the hugely positive impact it can have.
MyToolkit now has over 500 registered users. You can register for an account here: MyToolkit Sheffield Mental Health.