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The OpenLab Student Collaboration
Engaging NHS Staff in Real-Time Listening and Responding to Feedback

The Gaber x Thought Cloud Team

This Maymester project consisted of trying to improve the dialect within the NHS employee environment, about the work environment. I had the opportunity to lead testing and be an advocate for Purdue University.


Project Brief

What is  NHS?


The NHS is the United Kingdoms' healthcare system, National Health Service.

What is Gaber & Thought Cloud?

Gabber is an application that helps users record conversations for feedback and discussion. Thought Cloud is a physical survey, that shows the results online.

The Goal


Use already existing applications and find a way to better engage staff in conversations about their workplace. This includes combining different aspects of applications that will increase the quantity and quality of engagement.  This system would be used to create a toolkit that is scalable to be used with the whole of the NHS.

The Timeline

We divided up all the work we would be doing for the semester, into four sections, which have many objectives (as seen below).

The Design Process











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After running the survey we wanted to understand staff’s reactions to the survey experience. To do this we asked several people that we had noted down that had interacted with our survey during our observations. From this we learned two key things:

  • The survey set up a sparked conversation about the question that we posed in the lab (in person)

  • Staff generally had positive feelings towards the survey setup, as they felt that it was interesting, and made them feel good about the place that they worked


The implication of this is that although we did not get as much engagement with the survey as we would like, this did increase discussion about this particular problem in the workplace. This could potentially help to reduce the missing voice as those who do choose to interact with the survey could pass along opinions of other staff that they could talk to. This could either be informal, or there could be designated staff members who agree to report on others' feelings.


Tool Assessment 

At the start of the project, four different tools were present. Through a set of metrics, the four tools were looked into. After talking as a team, it became apparent that the incorporation of Gabber and Thought Cloud could easily be combined to gauge a larger audience. 

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Taking into consideration all the information that was just analyzed from the tool assessment sketches were created. This was an open-ended phase, as we wanted to keep the combinations with the tools open. After discussing within the group we confirmed one of the aspects we need to consider is situated feedback. This led us to the discussion of how some individuals are not comfortable giving audio feedback in front of others. This would also nullify the anonymous feeling, as whoever is standing next to you would know it was your comment. This lead to the ideation of a private speaking area.  We also figured out how we would want the tools to work together. Gabber and Thought Cloud would work together. 

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Different Ideation Sketches



Taking into consideration situated feedback, and when NHS members would have to best available time to take a part of feedback, the best placement was incorporated to place the ideations talked about before in the break rooms. We didn’t want to place any flyers of invasive materials that the patients can see or that would hinder or impair the NHS members to fully do their jobs. 


Taking the Open Labs facilities as an analogous resource, we developed a situated placement, which was in their kitchen and design space. In this area, we placed a TV with the QR code, and a specialized question for Open Labs (What is your opinion on the milk situation?). Once the QR code was scanned it would lead them to a Google survey, which acted in place of the Thought Cloud tool. The Google survey asked them to select their general attitude towards the milk situation. At the end of the survey, a link to Gabber is shown to them to provide further details. There was also advertising on the fridge along with an email being sent out about the survey. Connected to the kitchen was a private reflection room, where individuals could go and reflect and be completely anonymous, as they use the company Gabber account. At the end of the survey, there was a box that was placed in the kitchen, that asked what they thought about the survey.

One of our most important goals is to get people more engaged with the survey. Visualizing the testing result in real-time for people is one way to achieve this goal. By letting people see what others think about this problem, we’re telling them that their voice can be heard. And we’re trying to encourage them to speak out if they have different opinions or get inspired by some others’ ideas.


The data presentation contains two parts: 

  • A donut graph, which is a summarization of the results of the Google survey.

  • The top and comments and conversation themes.

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Final Design

The final design consisted of hybrid of a personal boothe and a google survey. This would employ Gabber and Thought Cloud. The user coudl scan the QR code and comment on the discusion on hand, or go and make a private record of what they thought. Throughout the day the display would change and show the top comments and a pie chart/staticss on how people around NHS felt.


Overall the testing setup was effective in sparking an in person dialogue about a workplace issue. The staff found that this approach was more engaging and fun than a traditional survey. However staff needed to be prompted in order to participate in Gabber feedback, and there are still barriers for staff to respond to others comments. Based on these takeaways we have recommendations to improve the system to make it more effective. If there was more time then it would be worth while to look into physical reactions buttons and ways to upvote in person.

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