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The situation

Perinatal Mental Health problems impact up to 1 in 5 mums

Up to 1 in 5 mums are affected by perinatal mental health problems during pregnancy up until one year post-birth, and NHS support is often insufficient. Voluntary charity support (VCS) groups step in to fill the gap in support, each with different offerings, different levels of experience, and varying levels of quality. 

The task 

Design and build a platform for parents and healthcare professionals to easily find nearby, trusted support 

Rocketmakers was asked to create a platform to help users find support groups as easily and intuitively as possible. The platform would need to cater to a wide range of users, including parents, healthcare practitioners and VCS groups.

Our approach

Research phase to uncover important insights 

Leveraging Hearts & Minds’ extensive network of contacts and their deep expertise, Rocketmakers quickly defined the user’s journey, needs, and goals. Over three weeks, we carried out eighteen interviews with parents and healthcare professionals, analysed the results, and produced a report for use during the design phase.   

Our brief to Rocketmakers was to develop an innovative, interactive map and website showcasing the voluntary perinatal mental health services across England. Rocketmakers provided excellent development and design work and made the interactive map as user-friendly as possible with functional search terms. Rocketmakers supported us throughout the successful launch of our site with consistent communication and they troubleshooted any teething issues.

Hearts & Minds Partnership

H&M app

Our discovery

Up until now, the process for finding support has been far from optimal

Parents suffering from perinatal mental health problems tend to be unaware they need help and often downplay their symptoms. Partners and healthcare practitioners are often regularly needed to identify the need, and convince the parent to seek help.

VCSs vary in terms of parent groups they support, the level of support they provide, and their referral processes. Each organisation provides this information in different formats, which makes finding the right VCS for a parent in need a sub-optimal experience. 

Healthcare practitioners are hindered in this task by a lack of time, and knowledge. Practitioners are reluctant to recommend a VCS to parents unless they are familiar with its work and are confident in its ability to provide quality support. Learning about a new VCS and vetting its level of care requires an investment of time many practitioners simply don’t have. As a result, most practitioners only have the confidence to recommend a small number of VCSs to parents. 

The systems that drive Hearts and Minds were designed to reduce time and cost as much as possible using innovative solutions that lean on various third party and in-house technologies rather than building much bespoke. For example, we used geohashes for location searches which dramatically simplified the backend compared to using real geolocational queries, allowing us to use a simple CMS as our database.

Patrick Benjamin

Software Engineer

The solution

Create two separate, optimised, user experiences

The two primary user types, parents and healthcare practitioners, have radically different needs. We made the decision to split the user experience in two, enabling the optimisation of the journey for each type of user. 
The parent user experience design focused on recognising symptoms of perinatal mental health problems, and how to quickly and easily find support. 
The healthcare practitioner user experience design focused on efficiently identifying and learning about CVSs.

The result

Trusted support, which is easy to find, and easy to understand. 

Over ten months, Rocketmakers researched, ideated, designed, tested and released a mobile and desktop app to help make finding and discovering CVSs as straightforward and easy as possible. 
Parents are now able to learn about their own condition and locations of local support groups from a single, trusted site without fear of misinformation. 
Healthcare professionals can now rely on a single platform to keep up to date on local services, and broaden their awareness of new options to recommend to parents.  

The Impact

The Hearts and Minds platform is now helping 10K users.

Released in August 2021, the Hearts & Minds platform gained over ten thousand users in its first six months of use, and has received positive feedback from both parents and healthcare professionals. 

How the brand and designs evolved

Take a closer look at our creative process designing Hearts & Minds' original web presence, laying the infrastructural foundations to then build a platform with an array of different features, page layouts, and functional components.

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