MoodShift guides young adults through overwhelming situations using simple mental exercises to shift their moods and emotions.
MoodShift is a digital tool focused on improving the mental health of young adults. It uses cognitive-behavioral methods and simple breathing exercises to help users rethink tough situations.
UX Researcher, UX Designer, UI designer
Figma, InVision, Principle
Gen Z and Millennials mental health has been on the decline since COVID-19 began. In the Harris Poll for the American Psychological Association shows that young people are feeling the stress of 2020 most acutely.
Area of Focus
Improving the mental well-being of young adults by assisting them in developing a mindfulness practice using technology.
To inspire young adults to put more focus on taking care of their mental health by making it accessible and easy to navigate.
How Might We
assist young adults to improve their mental health in order to reduce their stress and anxiety?
I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of user’s needs, frustrations, and goals by conducting secondary research and user interviews.
Secondary Research Findings
During our secondary research we notices these themes:
of people ages 20 to 37 feel comfortable discussing their mental health at work, compared with about half as many people ages 54 to 72.
of millennials said they had voluntarily or involuntarily left a job in part because of mental-health reasons
of millennials vs 68% of non-millennials view doctors as the single best source of information, and they are unlikely to rely on a doctor as their sole advisor
This leads us to believe younger generations are more open to seeking mental health support outside of the traditional methods and they are comfortable advocating for their mental well-being.
After exploring the problem space using secondary research I gathered qualitative data through 1-on-1 interviews to help me better empathize with potential users.
To prepare for the interviews, I drafted up a script. To get to know each individual, I asked specific questions on how they approach their mental health and how their symptoms impact their lives. I took detailed notes during each interview and ended up with a number of useful insights.
To synthesize my interview findings, I extracted insights and patterns from each question.
Number of Participants: 5
Age Range: 23-36 years old
Location: Vancouver & Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Area of Mental Health Struggles: ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Disordered Eating & OCD
Insight 1: Living With Anxiety
Living with ADHD makes simples tasks extremely difficult and if it is not properly managed it can lead to anxiety, depression, and OCD.
Insight 2: Affecting Relationships
Living with a mental health disorder has the power to affect every aspect of your life, it can negatively affect both personal and professional relationships.
Insight 3: Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can cause overthinking and thoughts to spiral out of control.
Insight 4: Open to Solutions
Millennials are more open about their mental health struggles and try to approach their overall health holistically.
“My grade 2 teacher pulled me out of the class and asked me why I couldn’t be like the other well-behaved kids in class. Why am I not normal, what is wrong with me?”
“It manifests by creating scenarios that aren’t realistic, I get upset with my partner because I overthink their actions.”
To grasp secondary research and qualitative information in order to define high-level goals and identify the opportunities for MoodShift’s key features.
After synthesizing the information from the interviews and revealing participant's goals, behaviors, and frustrations I developed a persona based on the qualitative data that was collected. The decisions made when considering the needs of the users will focus on this persona.
“I’ve experienced symptoms of ADHD and anxiety for my entire life. When I’m not managing my ADHD properly I find my anxiety gets worse and I can experience depression.”
Wants to find a way to calm her mind in order to focus on starting up her small business
Wants to keep a record of her emotions and thing steps she took to improve her mood so that she can reference it when she’s feeling down
Finding a way to avoid having her negative thoughts spiral
Forming better relationships with her partner, family, and friends
Stay on top of her ADHD symptoms to reduce her levels of anxiety
Not being able to focus on simple tasks
When people close to her think her inattention means she doesn’t care
Trying her absolute best but not being able to make it places on time
Possible Pain Relievers
Have a digital tool available when she needs it
Save money by skipping expensive therapists appointments
Gaining more insights about her thoughts to obtain a deeper understanding of her emotions
Archetype: The Anxious Millennial
After exploring the insights found during the interviews, and developing a persona I felt it was worth creating a potential solution to the problem space. My design intervention is to create an app that guides young adults through overwhelming situations using simple mental exercises to shift their moods and emotions. It was now time to visualize how MoodShift would come to life.
A total of 28 user stories were created to help map out the tasks users would perform while interacting with the app. These stories were categorized into four distinct epics.
Once I had decided on a core epic, I translated all the user stories within that epic into tasks and picked one task to focus on. The core epic focused on creating a supportive interactive experience within the app.
A young adult experiencing mental health struggles.
As a young adult, I want to be able to do something to reduce my anxiety so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Talk to an AI chatbot, practice mindfulness, and track their mood.
After choosing the core task flow, I began sketching design solutions. This was followed by low-fidelity wireframes which were turned into a prototype to begin conducting user testing.
Prototype of my first greyscale wireframes
Using my greyscale prototype I conducted two rounds of user testing. After each round of testing, I updated the app to improve the overall information architecture. The next section outlines some of the most important iterations made during the evolution of the greyscale wireframes.
Users were asked to:
Have a chat
Practice Mindfulness but doing a breathing exercise
Track their mood
View their past conversation
Round 1 Results
Users didn’t understand what the chat was about and who they might be chatting with
We solved these issues by adding conversational text with options for users to express how they’re feeling to give more context.
Confusion around what users were tracking
We solved this issue by including information on the conversation cards informing users which mood they started with and how they felt after using the app.
Round 2 Results
Users did not understand/were not familiar with cognitive distortions and thought the big words were too clinical
Rename cognitive distortions to thinking traps and add a set of slides users can scroll through to read more about each distortion and select the ones that apply to them.
Users felt the cards on the tracking page we not very easy to scan
Introduce characters for different moods so users can review their history
at a glance.
After completing two rounds of user testing and evolving the usability of the app I was ready to establish a visual identity. A visual identity is a unique set of visual elements that represent a product’s vision and values.
After reviewing our research and persona I developed a list of adjectives my brand embodies:
Using these adjectives, I search for inspiration and created a mood board that inspired the colour palette and typography choices.
When considering the type choices I was looking for something legible, modern and functional. I decided on Proxima Nova because it has a large font family. Geometric sans serifs are not only legible, they feel modern, friendly, and functional.
For my primary colours, I decided on bright yellow because it represents happiness which is the ultimate goal for our users. I complemented it with a rich turquoise because it is calming yet sophisticated.
After exploring some different concepts and iterations I landed on the final logo. The outline of the head represents the user working through their emotions and analyzing their thoughts. The gears represent the movement of exercising their brain and shifting their mood.
High Fidelity Prototype
After ideating the visual identity it was time for the fun part: injecting colour! Below you can view pages from the final UI design and watch a video of the task flow in the final high-fidelity prototype.
Simple & Effective
When users arrive on the home page they have two clear CTA's. When they need to work through their thoughts they Chat and when they need to calm down they Breathe.
The Mobile Prototype
MoodShift on an iPad
After wrapping up the final prototype I thought it would be fun to try building an iPad app for MoodShift to see how it would translate on another platform. Below is the result.
The iPad Prototype
Product Marketing Website
In order to effectively promote MoodShift I needed a product marketing website. This was a great opportunity to practice my responsive web design skills. It was a good challenge to see how it would translate from mobile to desktop while staying aligned with the MoodShift brand.
To explore some ways my design could impact the world around me I picked some questions from the Tarot Cards of Tech.
THE BFFs: If two friends used your product how could it enhance or detract from their relationship?
MoodShift would enhance friendships and relationships by putting less pressure on people to work through tough emotions alone. The product could carry some of users emotional weight and free up quality time for other more enjoyable activities.
THE SUPERFAN: How would a community of your most passionate users behave?
They would behave in an empathetic, and understanding manner. The app is designed to teach users reasonable ways to manage their moods and emotions, top users would have excellent coping skills.
THE BACKSTABBER: What could cause users to lose trust in your product?
If the user's information was not private and confidential. Mental health is very personal and I imagine users would be quite upset if they found out their thoughts and feelings were not safe. To prevent this we guarantee users information is completely confidential.