Increasing diversity in mental health research

BAME community
research platform

A platform to better meet the needs of a diverse community of mental health researchers and participants

LovedBy were asked to help MQ take a user-centred approach to building their mental health and BAME community research platforms. The vision was a more user-focused platform, built around needs, to enable MQ to understand the problems and frustrations researchers and participants were experiencing and design solutions accordingly, while speaking to a more diverse range of people affected by mental health.

Our work included:

  • Understanding and documentation of the separate user journeys for researchers and participants including early design fiction and experience vision creation
  • Design and delivery of a more relevant and representative user interface
  • A future-facing ‘service blueprint’ for the platform
  • A prioritised opportunity roadmap supported by mini business cases
  • UX and UI designs for the new platform including high fidelity prototypes


Find a technological solution to improve the quality and diversity of mental health research

MQ’s ambition, and challenge to us, was two-fold. Firstly, design a platform which helps institutions perform better mental health research while improving the experience for research participants. Understand how to increase the diversity of research recruitment – especially within BAME communities.

And secondly, devise an approach to designing better products and services for building a (mental health) research community to recruit ‘high quality’ participants.


A cross-disciplinary space free of existing structures, hierarchies, boundaries and assumptions

Using MQ’s extensive network we spoke with BAME communities and research institutions across the UK to understand the complex barriers to taking part in, and recruiting for, mental health research studies.

The insight informed the design and prototyping of a new platform for both mental health researchers and participants suffering from mental health problems.


A platform designed around the needs of the mental health community to reduce frustration

With a focus on content and UI design we prototyped a platform and experience designed around core user needs. Working with mental health communities we tested and introduced new and relevant content and features to elevate the user experience while reducing friction and frustration. These included 20 key opportunity areas to add to MQ’s backlog.

“LovedBy worked with us to navigate a complex topic and helped us to deliver valuable and meaningful insights to support our ongoing work in the area. From conception to delivery, the project progressed at speed, with significant uncertainty and tight timelines. We were really pleased with the insights LovedBy gathered and the outputs set our project up for the next phase of development.”

Neil Balmer

Director of Strategy, Engagement and Communications, MQ