Mental Health is a prominent issue in today’s society. According to the CDC website, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.” Those struggling with mental health often find it difficult to make healthy choices and take care of their well being on a day-to-day basis.
I created an app that provides users with an easy way to track moods, monitor habits and triggers, and have a space to be aware of their well being via mindfulness exercises. This project included discovery research and finding user goals, as well as creating a minimum viable product on the MindFull mobile app as a solution to the users goals.
Discovery Interviews & Surveys
To begin the project, I knew that I needed to understand my target users and determine the problem I needed to solve. To do this, I conducted ten user interviews with individuals who have had a history of struggling with mental health, ranging from ages 25 to 47. I went into the interviews with these three goals in mind: 1) Understand the struggles of maintaining a habit, 2) Understand patterns to practicing mindfulness and 3) Understand the need for a support system. Key Findings: • Most popular mindfulness exercises are breathing (3 of 10) and meditation (3 of 10) • The most difficult part of keeping their mindfulness practice is lack of motivation (3 of 10), not having it part of a routine (4 of 10) and being overwhelmed by mental health (5 of 10)3 of 10 participants would prefer to track triggers rather than habits/tasks • Tracking moods/triggers on an app would be beneficial to show psychiatrist/therapist data and write notes to share during appointments
Market Research & Competitor Analysis
Next, I took a look at some apps mentioned in the user interviews, along with related apps, and assessed their strengths and weaknesses. Some of the best practices I found were Initial surveys before signing in to the app followed by personalized recommendations based on user goals, self check-in exercises, and stats pages on the user profile to track Mindful Days streaks. Although there were many strengths behind these apps, one big weakness was that many of the apps required a premium subscription to access most, if not all, content on their platforms.
Identifying the Ideal Persona
From my research, I created a persona that reflected the goals and needs of an ideal user. I also created an empathy map to further dig into our user persona’s mind and better understand who I am designing for.
I also created a site map to illustrate the different ways that users can navigate through the app, ultimately showing the high-level structure of the app. I considered the main tasks and goals, and incorporated the most important content and interactions for the app. I then created a user flow demonstrating how the app might be used by a user navigating through the journal feature of the app.
With the information architecture finally laid out, I grabbed my iPad and drew some wireframe sketches. I explored different layouts for the various pages I envisioned for the application.
Low Fidelity Wireframes
I took all the initial sketches for each screen and recreated them in Figma. This allowed me to start visualizing what flows and designs I wanted to move forward with.
High Fidelity Wireframes
I thoroughly refined the low fidelity mockups to create my high fidelity screens. I stayed with a mostly blue color palette, but needed additional colors to use for the mood icons, so I ultimately stuck with colors around the same brightness levels but different hues that were appropriate to use for each mood.
High Fidelity Prototype
For my final deliverable for this project, I created a usable prototype showing how MindFull would look and feel as an actual product. I focused on two main flows: onboarding and mood check-ins and tried to make it as close to how it would feel on a real app as possible.
One thing I learned from this project was about microinteractions and how to get a user to be “hooked” on your product by using a triggers and rewards system. Although I didn’t design out the trigger interaction that I intended for the app, I was able to design a rewards system that would resonate with users and hopefully cause them to keep coming back to use the app. If I had more time on this project, I would have designed other flows of the app for the different features. I would probably also build out and prototype more of the stats page, since research showed that having data was important for users to have to show their physicians. The biggest thing I am left with is how vast mental health experiences are and the knowledge that I couldn’t design for every user. I ultimately had to pick and choose what was most important from my research and produce that first in order to get a minimum viable product (MVP) in the midst of various constraints.