Digit Agency

Ellie’s Angels


  • User research
  • Research-led UX
  • Mobile app

The Journey

The initiative is named after Ellie – a teenager from Kent who, after experiencing challenges with her mental health, developed her own system for journaling her thoughts and feelings on a daily basis, writing positive notes of self-love to encourage her recovery. Over the course of a year Ellie’s mental wellbeing drastically improved through these techniques. Tragically, Ellie lost her life when she was hit by a car whilst out running. Ellie’s Angels was founded to create a legacy for Ellie, and to share and promote the wellbeing system she had created with other young people.

Ellie’s Angels approached Digit to help develop Ellie’s system into an app that would help other teenagers facing personal struggles, depression and anxiety. The process started with engagement research, specifically with the charity’s group of 10 Youth Mental Health Ambassadors. We held multiple sessions to identify functions and features that would resonate with young people and create a functional, positive user experience. Our findings were then combined into an app called “better u”.

We also nurtured a strongly supportive relationship with the client, establishing concise lines of communication to ensure the concept of the app could become reality. “Digit were able to look at our aspirations and not only understand them but build on them and offer more creative input,” says Mark Foster, from the charity. “This has undoubtedly resulted in a fuller, better app that young people want to use.”

“From day one we have had a professional but relaxed relationship with Digit,” he continues. “We engage regularly, and always find the team quick to respond, friendly and knowledgeable. We see this as a long-term partnership as better u continues to grow and develop. We have aspirations to build a Primary version for young people under 11 and an SEN version for people with special needs or learning difficulties.”

Outcomes & Impact

  • 7k+ app downloads so far
  • Films to promote the app commissioned by the NHS
  • App used by NHS departments to bridge the gap between young people presenting and receiving professional care