EmotionWell Mobile App
Client: The National Wellness Institute is an organization founded in 1977 with the mission of providing health promotion and wellness professionals unparalleled resources and services that fuel professional and personal growth.
Goal: To conduct user research to understand people’s relationship with mental, physical, and emotional well-being in order to develop a digital tool for the NWI that will drive them to action.
Google Survey Forms
Competitive Feature Analysis
The competitive feature analysis involves heavy market research in order to understand user mental models and typical features that are used in other mental health apps in the market.
What are apps lacking
A physical coach or therapist figure
A personalized lesson/course plan
A feature that held users accountable
What are people used to seeing
A feature that allows user to track their emotions, feelings, and thoughts
A library feature that allows users to learn more about emotional well-being topics
A feature to help users track their progress or entries
Market Positioning Chart
The market positioning chart is used to help me identify a potential opening in the market, called a “Blue Ocean.”
Most apps that offered professional therapy had a very serious and clinical design, that could potentially feel intimidating to users.
Other apps that felt more fun and inviting only offered basic meditations and forms of self-therapy, which might not feel as effective to users.
So, my blue ocean potential was an app that could encompass that fun and inviting feel to it while also providing effective forms of professional therapy.
I conducted quantitative research by creating a survey that had users answer questions about their experience with emotional wellness apps and their mental health.
38% of users rated their current emotional well-being state a 3/5
44% of users who downloaded a mental wellness app said they rarely used or kept up with it
70% of users wanted someone to talk to in order to improve their emotional well-being
62.5% of users said they wanted a tangible practice or form of improvement - like weekly well-being exercises or assignments
I expanded upon my original survey questions to create interview questions that would evoke more rich and in-depth responses from users. I wanted to understand the "why" behind users' decisions.
Topics to address:
What factors are affecting users' mental health?
Why aren't users keeping up with mental wellness apps?
What will actually work to improve users' mental health and help them see results?
Making sense of the data
Affinity Map + Value Proposition
With the insights from our user and market research, the next step was to analyze and make sense of the data.
I used an affinity map to organize ideas based on emerging themes and trends about users. I used a value proposition canvas to identify user gains, user frustrations, and user jobs to get done (functionally, socially, emotionally).
Some themes I observed from my affinity map were what draws users to certain apps, what deters them from apps, what factors affect their emotional state, and overall user goals.
User Persona + Journey Map
The user persona is a tool that helps designers and stakeholders put a name and face to the typical user. I created Self-Care Sophia as my primary user.
After creating my user persona, the next step is to invent a user journey based on my research. This tool is extremely helpful in understanding when and where users are experiencing their biggest pain points and frustrations.
I created a journey map that follows Sophia throughout her everyday interactions with friends, family, and work. From here, we can identify her main problems by looking for the lowest emotional points in her journey:
1. Sophia feels frustrated when she can't understand her emotional triggers and reactions and ends up lashing out at her loved ones
2. Sophia feels defensive when she is confronted about her behavior and her inability to change it
3. Sophia feels discouraged when falls back into her old behavioral patterns because she can’t stick with her learnings and enforce healthier habits
So, how can we define our problem?
Once I identified the lowest points in the user journey map, I could transition into defining the most prominent problems my users faced when seeking to improve their emotional wellbeing.
Problem #1: Users are unhappy because they don’t have a way to learn about understand their emotions and how to cope with them
Problem #2: Users are anxious about addressing and acknowledging uncomfortable emotions and behavioral patterns
Problem #3: Users are frustrated with their inability to enforce what they learn and stick with healthier emotional practices
How-Might-We... solve our problem?
The first step in the Develop stage involves transforming our problem statements into how-might-we questions that help designers think of ways to solve the problem(s).
In this case, I asked myself:
1. How might help users understand and learn about their emotions better?
2. How might we create a more approachable way for users to address uncomfortable emotions?
3. How might we help users hold themselves accountable to enforce their learnings and implement healthier habits?
The MoSCoW method helps us identify the absolutely essential features needed to solve our problem, before adding other features that would support our main features but are not necessary for solving the problem at hand.
My MUST-HAVE features directly addressed all three of my problems:
(1) A personalized lesson plan that incorporates effective, psychology-based tools
(2) An accessible library of videos, podcasts, and articles on emotions that users can comfortably explore
(4) A wellness progress coach to motivate users, create user accountability and allow users to track their progress
So, what is our final solution concept?
After piecing together the insights gathered from each stage, my minimum viable product will be a mobile app that targets addressing and improving users' emotional well-being.
In addition to three must-have features declared in my MoSCoW chart, my MVP will include a playful and inviting user interface with gamified elements while simultaneously incorporating psychology-based tools and clinical features that will be effective in helping users retain their learnings and see results.
Wireframes to Prototypes
Lo-Fi Concept Sketches
I created my lo-fi prototype using pen and paper for quick and rapid iterations. This helps designers not get attached to any one design.
When I tested this with users, it was mostly easy to follow but needed improvements and clarity on some pages.
I moved onto my mid-fidelity prototype, made in InVision, which brings more structure and clarity to the app.
After testing this prototype with users, I got a much better usability rating. Users also expressed that the app structure felt more intuitive to them.
Before moving onto my high fidelity prototype, I did some visual benchmarking with other mental health apps on the market.
Branding and Moodboard
The next step after visual benchmarking was to create my brand attributes, which are the characteristics I want users to observe from my brand. These attributes would drive design decisions and be accurately reflected in my hi-fidelity prototype.
These attributes were: friendly, approachable, trustworthy, fresh, inviting, and joyful.
I also created a moodboard to set the tone for my user interface design. I tested my moodboard with users to ensure my design would reflect my brand attributes.
I was finally able to move on to my hi-fi prototype, which included the entire design completely laid out. You can view snippets of my prototype below or click on the interactive Adobe XD link below.
Thank you to the wonderful illustrators on Behance whose work I used in my prototype: