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As part of a UX Research class, I was tasked with assessing a website or app of my choice. Because of my deep interest in mental health advocacy, I decided to research The University of Chicago's mental health resource website. I set out to uncover how students interacted with the website and resources the university offers. Data from the study supported recommendations for redistributing the mental health budget, editing information, and introducing new information architecture and design.  

Project Details

My Role

UX Researcher


7 Weeks


Key insights, budget and design recommendations  


UChicago is a rigorous academic institution where student support is necessary. 

UChicago carries the stigma of being an extremely competitive and fast-paced environment “where fun goes to die.” Students face multiple challenges including:

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Academic Pressure
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Social Pressure
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Adaptation to Transitions
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Time Management

The process of finding accurate care can often be overwhelming for students who need it, and difficult flows can deter them from seeking help. The institution can build trust and reciprocity with its students through a greater emphasis on their mission to provide mental health care. This is what the current UChicago Student Wellness website looks like:







Do students know how to book an intake appointment?

Do students use resources besides making traditional intake appointments?

Can students tell the difference between the different resources offered?


What is the most important information for students when looking for mental health help? 

Is there anything specific that prevents students from getting the resources they need? 


These research objectives would impact the university in a variety of ways: ​

  • Adapt the website’s structure and information architecture to make crucial information easily accessible.

  • Readdress funding for resources, and place more money and focus on those that are highly used.

  • Understand what students look for when dealing with mental health issues and develop programs that specifically address those needs.

  • End programs that do not meet student’s needs.


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Key Insights


Students were less likely to explore bottom resources because they already know what type of help they want.

Place Student Wellness and TimelyCare front and center. Invest more in these resources and cut less used ones.

Students stopped using their resource because of low quality care and pressures to see external therapists.

Provide more competent providers and extend the length of free care.

Students are confused about differences between resources because of vague names and descriptions.

Students are less motivated to explore other resources because they feel the website is overwhelming.

Edit names and descriptions to make them distinguishable and immediately visible.

Remove unnecessary information and use design principles to highlight actionable links.

Design Recs

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This wireframe incorporates the key findings to better fit students' and the university's needs:

  • Emphasize the difference between the types of therapy offered. 

  • Highlight action items such as phone numbers and links.

  • Condense info on the website so students are aware of the bottom resources.

  • Instead of expandable titles, display descriptive information immediately. 

  • Use a grid format to organize the high volume of resources.


  • Begin with the end in mind! It's important to have your objectives and desired impact in mind so that you can choose the best research and analysis method. Planning everything out will save you so much time and effort later on.

  • Take time to focus on your moderator guide. It's important to check the wording of the questions to remove any bias. Also, it's good to have extra questions in case you need them. 

  • Recruiting participants can be hard work. Despite the fact that I was offering a $25 gift card as an incentive, I really struggled to recruit people. Snowball sampling worked the best for me.

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