Completed for Dubhacks 2016
Role: UX Designer & Visual Designer
Those with mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, can often have difficulties finding successful and positive coping strategies or skills. There are many different strategies out there, for example:
- Physical exercise
- Time with friends and family
Source. Finding the motivation to search for and utilize these coping strategies can be difficult for those with mental illnesses and they may need help.
Our team created a high fidelity prototype of a phone application that gives the user a coping strategy every day and tracks their favorite activities as well as their mood over time. This data can be found in two visualizations as well as a list of the user's favorite activities. The suggested strategies are meant to provide motivation for those who have trouble motivating themselves. The focus of this project was on the idea and the UI design, rather than the code. You can find the prototype here.
Over 24 hours our team went through ideation, research, sketching, prototyping, and presenting.
Our team of five, two developers and three designers, decided on the topic of mental health. We wanted to create a phone app because it seemed to be the most accessible for users. We were excited about the idea of having tasks for the users to complete so they would be more motivated, productive, and accomplished.
Our first thought was to game-ify a list of tasks that the user could complete by giving them points. The problem was we weren't sure what to do with the points. We thought about having a character, either themselves or a pet, that points could get clothing and accessories for, a health bar for the character, or a "love" bar if the character was a pet. We also had to be sure that if the user failed to complete an activity, it wouldn't be detrimental to their mental health and that we could complete this within the 24 hour time frame.
We realized that we were going overboard with the number of parts, and wouldn't be able to complete it within the time frame. So we simplified this idea and decided to have one activity per day, with no game-ification, a way to track favorite activities, and a way to track the user's mood.
To determine what different coping strategies we wanted to include, we researched on a variety of websites. We then decided to split these strategies into three separate categories; Physical, Mental, and Social.
- Go to the gym
- Take a walk
- Spend time in nature
- Take a bath or shower
- Take a nap
- Breathing exercises
- Do laundry
- Read a book
- Watch cute cat videos
- Listen to music
- Write in a journal
- Draw or paint a picture
- Write down your strengths
- Watch a movie at your local theater
- Talk to friends and family face to face
- Play with a pet
- Volunteer in your community
The designers worked on sketching the information flow and the rough layouts of the screens.
After we had finished sketching, all three designers decided on a style guide. We started with color and then moved to the fonts we wanted to use. We wanted the app to look happy and inviting, so we used bright, warm colors.
Meanwhile, the two developers were trying to learn how to program an android application.
Two of our designers were working on the Adobe XD prototype. This included placing the visuals, inputting text, and working on the layout of the screens. Meanwhile I was creating the visuals. This included the logo, badges, buttons, and data visualizations.
Overall, this project went well. I believe our team addressed the problem we set out to solve and worked well together. There was a lot of collaboration and overlap in what we worked on. However, there were some difficulties related to technological decisions that lead to problems throughout this project.
Our team was made up of two developers and three designers. Neither of the developers had prior experience with mobile android programming, which is what we decided to focus on. This lead to the developers having to learn how to code an android application in 24 hours which did not happen. It also lead to one of our developers leaving about 6 or 7 hours into the project. We ended up with a high fidelity prototype on Adobe XD, and the first, "how are you doing today", screen. Looking back at this, it would have been much smarter to design around technology that our developers had prior experience with rather than trying to have them learn in 24 hours.