Kelty Mental Health

Empowering the caregivers of youth in BC

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The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, is mandated to help support those who support children and youth with mental health issues. They do this by curating hundreds of peer reviewed resources, videos, and articles, building connections between them so visitors can easily navigate the site and find what they are looking for.

Identifying the problem

One of our longest client relationships, we have worked with BC Children's Hospital for over eight years. Having built the original Kelty Mental Health website, we were asked to work with the team on the redesign and redevelopment of a new website in the Spring of 2017. The site had been built on Drupal 6, but had now reached end of life and an upgrade was needed.

Over the years we had continuously improved the existing Kelty website, but there were some changes that would need a complete re-architecture and re-design. Rather than do a straight upgrade to Drupal 8, this was our chance to look at the site as a whole and build new user workflows and experiences.

The core value of the Kelty website are the 600+ vetted resources that have been organized and categorized by the Health Literacy staff at BC Children's Hospital. We believed that there was still more ways that we could help the team organize that content, but more importantly, we believed that there was a way we could empower site visitors to curate that content as well.

Empowering users

We believe in building lasting value into our products, and that the best way to grow traffic on a website is by building the best tools that solve a real need that people have. Another insight that we love to bring to our clients is that they are one of the primary users of their website, so while we focus on the external users through our extensive user research process, we also believe that we can learn a lot from the website content curators and want to make our technology as transparent as possible.

The support workers at the Kelty Mental Health centre take phone calls from worried parents, school counsellors, doctors and nurses and help direct them to the right resources. Often, they will ask for the callers email address and send them a list of websites or PDFs so they can learn more.

Over the years we had built administration tools to help these frontline workers build resource lists or email tools but there had been little to no uptake, they had a system in place that they were happy with, or they felt there were security issues with adding a callers email address into a web form.

We felt we needed to explore this user interaction and build a new tool that any website visitor could use, and hopefully eliminate the need for a user account or any user-identifiable information that would be stored on the server.

Building the tool

We wanted to start on this problem as early in the process as we could. Where normally we would work through a website redesign step by step, we split off a group to work on user interaction experiments that we could present to the BCCH team as well as our UX researchers and designers on the project. 

Once we had approval from the various teams on the project, we built a working prototype using the resources and site content that we had imported from the Drupal 6 site into Drupal 8 (which had its own set of problems and solutions).

We settled on a solution a few months later that achieved everything that we set out to do:

  • no user identifiable information is stored on the server
  • collections can be added, edited and shared quickly and easily
  • secure process was built to move editing capability for user collections from one computer to another using magic links

Once we had a working prototype that was feature complete, we had our design team skin the tool and iterate through tweaks to it, as well as our UX researcher collect valuable real-world experiences from users and report back on recommendations.

Lasting Results

Kelty Mental Health is a perfect example of the type of digital approach that can evolve over time to address diverse needs as they are identified, developed and launched on a feature-by-feature basis.

We could have just redesigned the site with feature parity and move on to our next project. Instead, we were able to take the time to add a new layer of interaction to the resources, information pages and tools on the site, empowering users to create their own curated lists of content.

These user interactions feed into analytics data, giving us another dimension of understanding in how visitors interact with the content on the site, which will feed us with a direction on what tools to build next.

Check back often to see how the site continues to evolve.