When Covid-19 forced a practice of counsellors to put their new building on hold, Glasgow-based IT company Buttered Host stepped in to provide them with a digital alternative instead.

While every project with a client is akin to a journey, this one contains more landmarks than most, said Buttered Host founder Gill Wilson.

“We are building them a digital wellness hub, which embraces a tremendous range of functionality – from the integration of Zoom to the inclusion of games packages and animations to the incorporation of classrooms and one-to-one spaces.

“We are on a really exciting journey with this particular client, Healing for the Heart, creating what I’m pretty sure is a unique website.

“I have never seen another website as interactive at so many levels as this one will be.”

Gill had already put her two-decades worth of experience in the IT industry to good use furnishing Healing for the Heart with an app.

Functionality was key there too, giving the counsellors the means of doing everything from writing up their session notes to gathering feedback and measuring client progress.

Now the website is taking users on a different route, this time in through the front door and round the rooms of a digital hub that recreates, as closely as possible, the warmth, welcome and feel of the real McCoy.

Therein lay the challenge for Buttered Host. “Users have to feel comfortable in an online setting too,” said Gill.

“For example, if someone would usually enter a building, go through reception and then into a meeting room, you wouldn’t expect them to do that alone – a member of staff would greet them and take them through.

“So what is the digital equivalent of that? How do you make a user feel like they are in good hands in a digital hub?”

The answer, in this case, begins with a chatbot called Rosie, who meets users the minute they enter.

Rosie then takes them into a room that, typically, will have a rug on the floor, pictures on the walls and a television that ‘works’, showing videos.

It is the digital equivalent of a home from home.