Welcome to our ‘new digital home’!

Graphic showing a seated person conducting a remote video meeting with two other figures.

From a simple word document to a fully functioning website and Instagram profile…. Our new identity and ‘digital home’ was a team effort. This is a short blog about two young people’s experiences of designing and co-creating a communication strategy and website for their first time! (It’s not all about analysing data).

Between February and April this year, the YPAG got together on Zoom with the researcher, Vanessa, and chatted about how we’d like to move the YPAG forward: to develop our identity (and logo) and connect with more young people. We talked about describing our experiences and stories about how we started and how we’ve been involved, with the aim of helping other young people to feel more confident. The process started by developing our strategy in a Google doc, followed by brainstorming our web site and Instagram a programme called Miro. We’d really like other young people to have the opportunity to make a difference to them and others by getting involved in research. You can read about our strategy here.

Sophie’s experience …

YPAG member Sophie Pannett-Smith
Sophie Pannett-Smith

I never thought I would be involved in something like this. I have loved being part of the whole experience from start to finish. It has been amazing watching all our ideas form to create this new and exciting website. The highlight for me has been seeing our simple initial ideas, our Miro brainstorm and shared google doc grow into a website aimed at informing everyone on the NeurOX young person’s advisory group. 

We were involved in zoom calls to brief the web designer, Alastair, who listened to our thoughts and opinions and was able to transform them into wonderful images and plans, and our new Logo! We provided information on everything including fonts, colours, and the key information we thought should be included. Meeting regularly, and emailing, to review and develop the ideas and discuss what we loved alongside what we thought could be edited and changed to make the website more young people friendly. 

It has been a really enjoyable experience particularly working with and getting to know the team better. There have been many zoom calls with other members discussing the YPAG and creating podcasts and videos to be added. 

I loved how much freedom we have had in developing the website and how all our ideas have been included. The whole process has been such a rewarding and satisfying experience. I have learnt so much!

Caitlin’s experience …

We wanted to create this website separate from the researcher website to accurately reflect our YPAG identity. This is a quick blog detailing my experience with the process.

Caitlin Brookes

First, we split into two groups, the Instagram and website teams, so that we could talk in smaller numbers about what we wanted to achieve with the project. I was in the website group; we discussed some our ideas for the website and decided that we wanted to aim it at young people rather than for researchers. Based upon this we chose out green, yellow and, grey colour scheme in order to make the website less boring and therefore appeal to the younger audience. Later, we spoke with the Instagram team to coordinate design ideas and discuss how the content would work across both of these types of media to help us connect with more young people. We then worked to finalise the ‘vibes’ of the website into a design brief and started to think about the content that we wanted and how that would work with our practical website development. I developed a site map from the brainstorm to help with this process.

We also got the chance to talk about podcasts with Eve, who runs the podcast ‘How are you? (Really), about how she records & edits her podcast. It was really interesting to hear about the behind-the-scenes making of a podcast and I feel as though I really gained from the experience.

In the next meeting, we spoke with our website designer, Alastair. It was great to speak to him directly, in order to ensure that the website came out how we envisioned. Talking about the website brief was really enjoyable as he was very kind and seemed genuinely interested in our ideas and design.

I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this project. Chatting with other young people about topics within the YPAG has been a fun way to spend time, and developing the content and design we have learned skills that will be useful in the future.