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Student Advisory Group - termly catch up 25/07/22

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Project overview

Jemima gave an updated overview of the project with news of progress since our March meeting. PDF of slides below.

Meeting slides 250722
Download PPTX • 1.74MB

There were 3 primary areas of discussion.

1. ‘Digital Wellbeing Tool’ – name and content


We’re unsure what to call the Digital Wellbeing Tool. Its official name is i-Spero, and it’s not technically an app as it’s web-based.

We suggested ‘Wellbeing Tracker’, but as the tool also signposts people towards advice and support, we’re not sure if this truly reflects its purpose.

Group feedback:

- ‘Tool’ didn’t resonate with the group at all.

- ‘Tracker’ much preferred:

o More relaxed, doesn’t seem like hard work/training.

o But, doesn’t fully encompass everything it can do.

- Nurture Tracker, Nurture Tracking – might be a better name and more self-explanatory than Wellbeing (which might put people off).

- Wellbeing toolkit

o Popular idea.

o Works well with the idea that you’re ‘creating your toolkit’: building up tools and advice that you can get use out of.

o It feels like you’re getting prepared for when you might need to use it.

- Wellbeing advice / advisor could also work.


We wanted to check the content with you one last time before the final push with the development.

Current questionnaires (i.e. things you can track. All of these are opt-in except the core research questions):

- Core research questions (mood/anxiety/emotional self awareness),

- Stress

- Worry / Brooding scale

- Coping skills

- Academic study

- Sleep

- Diet / Eating concerns

- Exercise

- Socialising

- Energy

- Engagement

Current wellbeing plans (i.e. types of advice/support):

- Managing anxiety (physical activity, university-specific links, wellbeing support)

- Boosting your mood (same as above, online therapy)

- Improving your sleep (sleepio, sleep hygiene, physical activity, wellbeing support)

- Feeling connected (university-specific links, wellbeing support)

- Striking a healthy balance (physical activity, online therapy, university-specific links)

- Relieving academic stress (university-specific links, learning support)

- Enhancing mental health care (online therapy, wellbeing support, university-specific links)

Group feedback:


- Presentation:

o This will be very important for how people feel about the Tool. For example, some of the questionnaires (e.g. diet/eating concerns) might be triggering for some people but helpful for others.

o So how best to opt in/out? Wondered if a whole list of options at the start of using the tracker might be a bit overwhelming and difficult to parse.

o Suggestion that it could be the same as TikTok. When you sign up to TikTok it says ‘What are your interests?’ and then there are little bubbles with just one or two words and an emoji that represents those things. That would allow someone to really quickly narrow it down.

o A format that lots of people will be familiar with, will make it more relaxed

o So, could be something that says ‘What do you want in your Toolkit?’ and then you can just quickly parse through the questionnaires.

o Emojis could also make it look less clinical, more positive, and easier to read and select.

- Other points:

o Questionnaire list seems very general, needs specifying (Jemima: it will be more specific in the Tool, it was just too much to show you all the detail!)

o Academic Study needs to continue through the holidays for people revising and PhD students. (Jemima: you will be able to choose what to track and when so this works!)


- Additions:

o Tracking ADLs like showering/toothbrushing could be useful, especially people for with depression/anxiety.

o Would be good to include a way to record general thoughts or updates from the day.

o Add a tracker for meditation/mindfulness/breathing.

o Weekly tracker for chronic illness. But no one has the same chronic illness so it would be good if there was a way to personalise it, use your own words rather than a questionnaire. This could also work for people who are living with mental health conditions.

- Frequency of tracking:

o Can you change how often you track certain things? For example, you could track academic study daily in exam periods but weekly or monthly the rest of the time? (Jemima: will ask the software engineers!)

o Exercise daily might be better than exercise weekly.

o Same with sleep, sleep changes throughout the week so doesn’t make sense to do it weekly.

o Important to have mood daily as that also fluctuates through the week.

- Things to take out:

o Not sure what ‘energy’ and ‘engagement’ means? Might not be needed, especially as there are already ways to track ‘socialising’ etc. Not mutually exclusive to other questionnaires, so could add engagement questions to the others (e.g. academic study).

o Could combine mood and energy.

o Would be good to streamline questionnaires as much as possible so people aren’t overwhelmed. Also, might make the research more difficult as too much data.

- Wellbeing plans:

- The wording of the plans that we showed are good, but need a good definition and explanation of what wellbeing plans actually are, and what each plan involves. (Jemima explained that this should be built into the Tool, and when you get a chance to look through the prototype you’ll be able to see if the explanations are sufficient).

- In wellbeing plan ‘Enhancing Mental Health Care’ need diagnosis-specific advice: PTSD, ADHD, autism, bipolar, anxiety, eating disorders etc.

2. Terminology for trials

Some of the trials are comparing therapy apps that have therapist support to those that don’t. The one’s that don’t are often called ‘self-help’

What do you think of the term ‘self-help’? Would ‘training’ be better?

Does the term ‘support’ work for you? Would ‘advice’ be better?

Group feedback:

- ‘Self-help’ puts too much onus on an individual, an unsaid implication that it’s your problem to fix and if you’re still struggling it’s your fault.

o So overused it’s lost its meaning.

- Some debate over the term ‘support’ – whether it’s friendly or whether it can make you feel like a burden.

o Makes it sound like you already have a problem, whereas advice could be something anyone could use.

o Also similar to ‘self-help’ in that if you don’t get better you feel like a failure.

- Suggestions:

o Guided or independent advice.

§ Puts onus on the user of the app, but also suggests they’ll be supported and not alone. Also says ‘support’ without actually saying ‘support’.

§ Words like ‘Guidance’ or ‘Advice’ are more neutral and general.

o ‘Self-directed’ or ‘self-guided’ seems less isolating.

§ Sounds like person-centred therapy, which is appropriate.

§ Self-directed therapy

§ Self-directed guidance / advice

§ Self-directed support.

o Self-guidance, wellbeing guidance

3. Website – all thoughts and comments were welcomed!

Group feedback:

- Readability

o Not that the information is bad it’s just that it’s a lot to look at in the way that it’s currently formatted.

o There should be more of a gap between the different size and colour font on the home page. The two bigger fonts should be separate from the images.

o Find a way to design the text to make it more interesting, break it up a bit more, make it easier to manage. Too much text and not enough images.

- Mental Health Advice page – too much information displayed in the same format.

o Difficult to find specific things, you have to parse through a lot of information to get to what might be useful.

o Some of the most triggering things are at the top, i.e. suicide help.

o Should move it next to ‘Studies’ on the menu bar because it’s important.

- Different pages under the study tabs look too similar – almost thought there was something wrong with the website. They display the information in exactly the same way so they start to blend in together.

- Home page:

o Like the mood and feel of the home page.

o Would be good to have the option of the video playing, it might be a seizure risk for it to just start when people log on. (Also some concerns re TikTok and data stealing!)

- Colours

o Much prefer the colours of the home page over the other pages. Easier to read.

o The ‘Student Advisory Group’ page is red and green, which is a big ‘no-no’ for people who are colour blind.

o Colours in the top bar is the same as the body of the text on some pages, need to have distinction.

- Accessibility

o There is a flash when you go on a new page, that might trigger seizures.

o One some pages there are big gaps between the lines, e.g. ‘Reducing Worry’. This makes tracking really hard, especially for example with people with dyslexia.

o You can add an accessibility feature that could change the colour/make the screen as possible. Might also be good to slow the movement of the slides and starting the video.

o (Jemima: I’ve had lots of accessibility tips in email since, so thank you! And keep them coming if you notice anything else)

- Other

o When you hover over studies they should light up more because it’s hard to tell which one you’re clicking.

o Video was cut off by the side of the screen for one person.

o Should be able to press logo to go to the home page.

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