Improving the health and happiness of communities thanks to an open source wellbeing framework

Client: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation

The challenge:

Our work with the Mental Health Promotion team at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) started six years ago when we designed the Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW) brand. Since then, we have helped SLaM to adapt the brand across a range of messages, resources and public interventions to improve the wellbeing of communities and develop a deep knowledge of who service users are and what this means for the design of services. SlaM were interested in sharing this rich material widely for more organisations to use and build on.

What was needed:

In order to make it as accessible and transferrable as possible, SLaM needed expert support to transform the WoW brand into a crowd-sourced, self-sustaining and open source framework for individuals, community organisations and policy makers.  For the digital components of roll-out, this approach needed to be guided by the Government’s Digital Service Standard to ensure a co-designed approach that placed user feedback and open data at the heart of the design process.

What we did:

We developed an end-to-end programme that ensured digital accessibility for the WoW. The WoW website operates as a framework to help raise awareness and changes behaviour around day-to-day actions proven to help people feel happier and healthier. Guided by the Digital Service Standard at all stages, we undertook a detailed programme of work to understand user needs; test and secure feedback; establish a multi-disciplinary team to build and develop an agile digital service;  test the platform; and create an online service that is simple and intuitive enough that users succeed first time. We applied a co-design approach throughout, to crowd-source content and design, test and launch the WoW website in 2014. This helped share the framework widely with interested groups.

The website includes:

We also helped SLaM to develop a business model for WoW to secure revenue, build the capacity of their team to maintain website services, undertake ongoing reiteration of the site, and implement a marketing strategy to broaden reach and impact in line with Digital Service Standard recommendations.

The results:

In the last six years, over 15,000 people have engaged with the Wheel of Wellbeing framework through both online and offline touchpoints. To date, over 20 public and third sector organisations have adopted the framework. These include Kent County Council, the Young Foundation, and the University of Wollongong. WoW has been featured in the AHRC funded study Valuing Design, and by Mind charity as an example of best practice, which you can find here.