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Role: Designer, Researcher & Asst. PM

Time Frame: 2 weeks

Industry: Mental Health

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Make Mental 
Health a Priority

Challenge:

We have been tasked with designing a mobile website in the social impact space. Individuals who struggle with mental health conditions have a hard time finding communities that really understand their condition and therefore sometimes feels overwhelmed and isolated.

Our Goal:

Understand what the pain points are for individuals who struggle with their mental health. We are aiming to create an online space for individuals to come together and feel supported in the ways they need.

Hypothesis:

People with mental health challenges will sometimes feel isolated and will want somewhere to connect with others with shared experiences.

Assumptions:

  • Those with mental health conditions will want to hear about and share experiences regarding their own mental health challenges

  • People will want to connect with other people going through similar experiences

  • Those with mental health conditions will want to be anonymous as they share experiences related to their health

  • People want to hear about how others come up with treatment plans/strategies

  • People with mental health challenges feel isolated in their physical communities

Problem Statement:

How might we create a supportive and caring online community for individuals facing mental health challenges to feel heard and understood while staying anonymous?

Studying Minds

Purple Flower

Screener Survey

The people we were screening for had been diagnosed by a doctor with a mental health condition. We asked if people were being treated for their mental health condition and if they’d be willing to talk about their mental health with us for 20 minutes. 

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Green Leaves

User Interviews

In order to understand the needs of our target audience we conducted 5 moderated interviews. The insights we received from our user interviews turned into phrases we used to create our persona.

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Mental Health Concerns

"I have tried medication to treat my mental health condition."

"I think online support would be helpful if it was right for me."

"I know there are some resources in my community to support my mental health."

"I’m not completely comfortable opening up."

"I have experienced challenges when trying to address my mental health concerns."

"I consider finances when addressing my mental health plan."

-Interviewees

Discovery

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Amy Lawson

Hardworking ADHD Mom

Age: 36
Location: NYC
Family: Married with kids
Occupation: Lawyer

  • Maintain mental health and wellbeing in an affordable way

  • Mental health wellbeing through a support system of other moms

  • Get mental health help on her own time

  • Anonymously share her experiences with others with like conditions

 

  • An affordable support system and coping skills that work for her

  • A safe space where she can relate when seeking help with her condition

  • Reputable information that she can trust

  • A safe and supportive community for her to share what she’s been through

  • Find the right resources in her community that fit her budget

  • Can’t connect with people around her bc they’re not in the same shoes

  • Doesn’t have time to meet with a group; wants info she can digest a-synch

  • Usually sharing info online invites trolls.

Goals

Needs

Frustrations

Design Development

We used our problem statement to ensure a focused and user-centered design process. We used it to clearly define the problem we aimed to solve, identify user needs and motivations, guide our decision making, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solution once it was created. The use of the problem statement was essential in achieving a successful and user-centered design outcome.

Sketches

We used the crazy 8 method to generate innovative design solutions that prioritize the user's needs and align with business goals. This method encouraged us to think outside-the-box, collaborate, and iterate quickly. We brought together individuals with diverse skill sets and perspectives to develop comprehensive solutions.

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Using the key insights and takeaways we gathered from our participants, we were able to design paper sketches and create mid fi wireframes. We used our persona and journey map as well to create tasks and a flow for what the users would be looking for on our mobile site and created other tasks and pages to represent people with all different mental health conditions and experiences.

Mid Fi Wireframes

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Hi Fi Design

Our testing results from both mid fi and hi fi wireframes and user feedback helped us with our color palette and design. The users felt our color scheme and typography gave off a relaxing and inviting feel and felt calm navigating our website. The tasks were self explanatory and all information was backed up by mental health professionals. Users enjoyed the option to stay anonymous while on the site because they felt for those users who are not comfortable talking about their mental health could still receive the information they needed.

Did we validate our problem statement?

How might we create a supportive and caring online community for individuals facing mental health challenges to feel heard and understood while staying anonymous?

Final Prototype

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  • GroupTalk: Anonymous mental health voice discussions moderated by professionals, organized by topic.

  • Networks: Connect mentally in online networks that bring people with commonalities together (plus forums for online discussion!)

  • Resources: Podcasts, Videos, and Blog Articles written by mental health professionals 

“I love that you can choose passive or active mental health solutions on this website.” -Quote from User

Mobile View Tasks

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Desktop View Tasks

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Takeaways

With this project, I learned about the different ways people deal with their mental health struggles. How hard it may be to get information and what challenges they frequently encounter in person and online. Umatter is an alternative to learning more about mental health and understanding the resources you can access. Our goal was to provide an online experience where users struggling with mental health can broaden their knowledge and get the services they need while staying anonymous online.

 

When it comes to further improving this experience, some next steps would be:

  • Expand networks worldwide

  • Book one on one sessions with professionals at an affordable cost

  • Have the option to attend in person mental health events

You are not alone and as a daily reminder,

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