3 min to read
Talk with Tigger
As beginner coders, we were very limited in what we could do. However, it was that limitation that allowed us to think outside the box. When it comes to technological solutions to healthcare, sometimes simple is better. That’s why we created Talk With Tigger, which walks users through a perceived stress test and offers them stress-relieving methods at the end.
A huge issue with today’s youth is the amount of stress that they face. We tend to focus on physical health, but mental health is just as important. There is an insurmountable amount of research indicating that the mental health of children during quarantine has been negatively impacted. Isolation, loneliness, low-motivation, and increased stress are just a few of the issues that our solution addresses. In fact, it really doesn’t take a lot to feel better. We feel better just having someone to talk to. We feel better taking some time to put on relaxing music. We feel better when we read a funny joke. These simple actions can make a huge impact on our overall well being.
The way we chose to tackle stress and mental health was by creating a chatbot using HTML/CSS/JS. The user gets to “chat” with Tigger, our chosen mascot. Tigger asks the user about how they are generally feeling, then asks them to answer a series of questions based on the Perceived Stress Scale, which is one of the most widely used psychological instruments for measuring the perception of stress. It calculates a score from a standard algorithm based on the user’s responses, and finally tells the user if they have low, moderate, or high stress levels. Afterwards, it provides the user with some research-backed options to relieve stress, such as a 10 minutes meditation video, funny memes, and an article about stress management.
We were very deliberate about the user interface. We included 2 second delays for the chatbot’s responses so that it would seem like the chatbot was “typing”, and thus conversing with the user. It makes the user feel like they have someone there to listen to them. We also used a blue background, which has been proven to calm people down. You can either press the “send” button located to the right of the input box or press the enter key on our keyboard to send your response. When a new message is posted to the conversation, it automatically scrolls up, letting you see the newest message.
Furthermore, our algorithm employs basic artificial intelligence principles to simulate a realistic conversation that reflects on the input. Our decision making algorithm utilizes a bot function that accepts a key-word parameter to continue the conversation in the most logical manner following the user input.
With our hack, we really focused on simplicity. Everything from the UI to the code itself was designed to make the biggest impact with the seemingly simplest idea. However, there is a lot of room for improvement that we could work on in the future. For example, we could work on better error catching for the user’s responses, or changing the website into an app that could check send alerts to check in with the user everyday.
We hope that through our website, Talk With Tigger, we can help users acknowledge and reduce their stress.
Creators: Tejal and Angela