How Kidscape used VideoAsk to support parents in need, even when their helpline was closed

Worried parent looking at their phone in the dark.
Photo by Freepik

Kidscape, a bullying prevention charity joined the Designing Digital Services course to rethink their Parent Advice Line. One problem the team faced was that the Advice Line was only contactable for a few hours by phone on Mondays and Tuesdays due to limited resources. Kidscape wanted to explore the challenge “How do we help people who want to get support when the advice line is closed?”

Throughout the course, they developed a new way to provide that support through a video platform called VideoAsk. In this article, we will discuss how they focused their research and came up with a solution to best suit their user's needs. 

Discovery

At the start of their project, the team began the discovery phase by trying to understand the problem their users were facing. The team conducted seven interviews with parents/carers and one interview with their Parent Advice Line Manager. The aim was to learn more about service users’ needs and opinions of the service they currently offer and what service users were looking for when they contacted Kidscape. 

The advice line is open between the hours of 9:30 and 14:30. During their user research Kidscape learnt that a parent or concerned adult would often look for advice during the evening, triggered by their child coming home from school and feeling distressed after experiencing bullying. The parents told Kidscape that they would search for answers often late into the night, but this was when the helpline was closed.

Define

Following the discovery phase, the team synthesised their user research and came up with one key User Needs Statement: 

As a parent/carer when I see my child come home from school upset from bullying, I need to fix the problem and help my child feel better so that my child feels happier and can go to school, and so I can stop worrying about it.

To help address the problem their service user was facing, the team came up with three How Might We Statements:

  • How might we help parents to get support in helping their children who come home after being bullied?
  • How might we provide the support that parents need when their child is experiencing bullying?
  • How might we make the answers to the most commonly asked questions easily accessible?

This process really helps define the problem for the user and choose an area to focus on without jumping to a solution.   

Develop

In this phase of their project, Kidscape focused on the question, ‘‘How might we help parents and carers help their children who come home after being bullied?’ and began to test a solution. 

They started to map the journey of how a parent would move through their website to get the answers they were looking for. They began to develop a signposting system that can give parents and carers the support they need, even when the advice line is closed.

They came up with scripts for commonly asked questions and created some video responses. The helpline advisor helped to script the responses, giving the same information she’d advise people over the phone. 

They felt that videos would add a human element so that parents feel supported even when they were unable to be there. These videos would focus on the common questions asked by parents and carers.  

Testing and iteration

After completing the scripts, the team began testing with their users. One key piece of feedback from a parent was that, although the scripts are supportive, they also wanted help to manage their emotions. This led to the team working with their Parent Advice Line Advisor to create a new script designed specifically to help parents manage their emotions to meet that need. The idea is that the resource continues to grow and develop based on feedback.

The digital tool they used 

There were two tools the team considered to create their out-of-hours video support: Microsoft Forms and Video Ask.

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a free tool that can be used to create online surveys, forms, and polls. Within this tool, you can integrate videos. It was a great, free starting point for the Kidscape team to use as their prototype for ‘How can parents get support when the advice line is closed’ to test if it helped solve the problem. 

Video Ask 

VideoAsk is another platform that can be used to create video forms. It is a no-code tool that allows you to create a more personal response to a question through video. Their website provides templates to get you started and case studies to help you learn what's possible on the platform. It’s price ranges from £0 to £38 per month. 

VideoAsk provides a 25% discount to registered non-profits on all of their monthly plans. To access this, all you have to do is contact them and provide a link for them to learn about your organisation and documentation verifying your organisation's non-profit status.

Example of VideoAsk in use. To the left, is a screenshot from a video of a white woman asking a question. To the right is five options to answer the question.
Example of VideoAsk in use.

Deliver

They tested and reviewed both tools and decided to use Microsoft Forms to test their prototype to see how well it works and keep iterating. Their plan is to present to their senior team and secure funding to use VideoAsk in the future.

Feedback from the team’s experience on the course:

“I loved how supportive it was, and how we were given a range of amazing tools which we can apply again and again in our work. The fact that I developed free/cheap ways of building my 'prototype' was excellent, too.”

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