ReachOut NextStep:Making sense of mental health

N11 : ReachOut-Mental_Health

One in five Australians will experience a mental illness, the NextStep tool hopes to help those in distress by providing tailored (and anonymous) support options.

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OVERVIEW

ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation, providing invaluable support for young people through a range of online resources and tools. With a vision to help an additional one million people by the end of 2020, we partnered with ReachOut to reboot their NextStep triage tool. The existing tool was clunky and not intuitive, and therefore not helping as many young people struggling through tough times as it had the potential to.

  • 100 SYMPTOMS TO FILTER DOWN
  • 40 HOURS OF USER TESTING
  • 7 ROUNDS OF WIREFRAMES
  • 4 DESIGN CONCEPTS
  • ONE INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Large group of people putting their fists together as a sign of solidarity
CHALLENGE
Increase uptake of the NextStep tool by users, decrease drop-off from Step one, and ultimately help more young people get the right support.

The existing NextStep tool confronted the user with a wall of 100 symptoms to choose from - extremely overwhelming for someone already in distress. We needed to break down that first barrier to ensure people flowed through each step of the tool, to help diagnose their issues, the severity of their symptoms, and provide the appropriate support recommendations.

Working with young people suffering high levels of stress means ReachOut is strictly governed by duty of care frameworks and every UX, copy and design decision needed to be approved by ReachOut’s clinical advisory board.

Next step tool on a mobile screen with a blue background and yellow cubes bouncing
SOLUTION
By moving NextStep to a conversational, chatbot-like experience, accessible from anywhere on ReachOut.com.au, we could engage users earlier and keep them constantly in the flow.

Looking at the data, we figured out where young people were bouncing, and then reduced the number of steps the user needed to take in order to get help. Knowing that looking for mental health support can often be deeply personal, the chat window was easily minimised. With the list of 100 symptoms unable to be condensed in order to comply with the clinical advisory board’s recommendations, we added search and simplified filtering.

Two mobile screens showing Next Step intro and issue selection

Reduced the number of steps the user needed to take in order to get help.

Mobile Step 3 of Next Step, user confirms from a list what they would like to work on first
Mobile Step 3 of Next Step, an emoji with a slider from 'bad' to 'it's a huge deal'
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Mobile Next Step filter and search
Mobile Next Step final step screen, showcasing Kids Helpline assistance notes
Mobile Next Step your plan and urgent help screens
Three popups from Next Step, ensuring the user is always safe
Simplified filtering

Design was also re-thought to increase warmth and friendliness, utilising card-style layouts and chat bubbles, while adhering to strict brand guidelines. The use of emojis also tested strongly with young people, so the parts of the conversation that might be difficult to put into words, used emojis as signifiers instead.

Next Step cards showcasing the Beyond Blue Chat support option

“The use of emojis also tested strongly with young people, so the parts of the conversation that might be difficult to put into words, used emojis as signifiers instead.”

Next Step mobile Step Three, a sad emoji with a slider underneath with emotional ranges
Next Step mobile Step Three, a crying emoji with a slider underneath with emotional ranges

The new version of the NextStep tool has tangibly proven that more young people are actively engaging with the tool, and getting the help they need.

Nadine Raydan, Product Mananger, ReachOut

Mobile Next Step Your Plan and Set a PIN screen
5 Next Step mobile screens, showcasing various screens across the application
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