Bringing Research To Life

The problem faced by PhD candidate Joe Tighe and his project team is one that many researchers face: how to communicate the results of a study so others not close to the project can understand.

The Problem

Suicide rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are among the highest in the world. iBobbly is a first-of-its-kind mobile app designed for—and by—First Nations People. The app was developed as part of a study to determine whether technology could be used to improve the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people.

And it worked! The iBobbly trial was a resounding success. Usage of the app demonstrated a reduction in suicidal thinking, depression, distress and impulsivity in Indigenous communities. As a result, the project team wanted to ensure that these findings were understood by colleagues, funding bodies, and the general public.

At a Glance

  • Project: iBobbly App Research
  • Client: Black Dog Institute
  • Delivered: July, 2017
  • Duration: 3 months
  • Category: Health, Technology, Explainer Video
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A Process For Excellence

  1. Discover

    During this phase, our famous Empathy Forecast workshop will help us understand your audience, your key message, as well as getting everyone aligned.

  2. Concept

    Our professional scriptwriting team will work with you to turn insights from the initial workshop into a snappy script that communicates your key points.

  3. Create

    In this stage, we explore character development, themes, and visual storytelling, captured as a storyboard for you to review and help us refine.

  4. Magic

    Once the words and pictures and signed off, we’ll book a date in our studio where voiceover, music, sound effects, and post-production animations come together.

  5. Launch

    In this final step, we’ll deliver your finished product and any supporting assets, and optionally work with you on a roadmap for hosting and promotion.

Our Approach

Too many research projects culminate in the creation of a lengthy written publication, and key findings are obscured by unnecessary levels of detail and indecipherable academic language.

Black Dog Institute engaged Sketch Group to translate and communicate the iBobbly trial’s research findings and outcomes using a hand-drawn video. Use of the sketch video format, and of Sketch Group as a vendor, appealed to the client for the following reasons:

  • ability to depict culturally sensitive scenes
  • ability to utilise visual storytelling for greater engagement
  • delivery in a format that is accessible for the internet generation
  • ability to be understood by those with lower literacy skills
  • appeal to those who are time-poor

During the Discovery phase, the Sketch Group team collaborated with key stakeholders to:

  • deeply understand the research and the issues related to communicating them in a culturally sensitive manner
  • identify and appreciate the audience, and
  • formulate a plan to deliver the information and messaging in a way that was interesting and culturally appropriate.

Once this initial groundwork had been completed, we were able to craft a compelling, engaging script that not only told the story of the iBobbly app and communicated the most important results of the trial, but also addressed the sensitivities of the topic.

The script went through many iterations, and incorporated feedback from a range of experts spanning the health and academic sectors, from Melbourne to the Kimberley.

This inclusive and iterative approach extended to visual treatment of the script, which resulted in a storyboard that was engaging and appropriate. Our illustrator used a style that was diverse and inclusive, aware of taboo topics such as place and suicide methods.

The team also understood the importance of communicating the fact that members of the local community were actively engaged in the creation of the iBobbly app at every step. The iBobbly app incorporates the work of Indigenous artists. As such, the style of the video borrows elements of featured artwork in a way that is culturally safe, and an Indigenous voiceover artist was commissioned for voicing the video script.

The Solution

The resulting video is a short, compelling summary of the project that helps stakeholders, members of the public, and participants understand the value and importance of the iBobbly initiative.

The Outcome

  • The iBobbly sketch video was launched in September 2017 at a presentation to stakeholders in Broome, Western Australia. The video was hosted on the Black Dog Institute website and promoted via the organisation’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter social media channels. At the time of publication of this case study, the video had recorded over 3000 views.
  • The new trial of iBobbly 2.0 is currently being undertaken to a wider trial across Australia. With the help of this video, the number of participants has increased from 61 to several hundred.

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