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 with specific questions on how they approach their mental health.
To synthesize my interview findings, I extracted insights and patterns from each question.
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.
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
“It manifests by creating scenarios that aren’t realistic, I get upset with my partner because I overthink their actions.”
Number of Participants: 5
Age Range: 23-36 years old
Location: Vancouver & Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Mental Health Struggles: ADHD, Anxiety, Depression & OCD
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can cause overthinking and thoughts to spiral out of control.
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?”
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 built by real user data.
“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
Not being able to focus on simple tasks
When people close to her think her inattention means she doesn’t care
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 began creating a potential solution to the problem space.
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.
Moods & Emotions
Tracking & Reminders
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.
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.
Users were asked to:
Have a chat
Practice Mindfulness but doing a breathing exercise
Track their mood
View their past conversation
Round 1 Results
Confusion around what users were tracking
Users didn’t understand what the chat was about and who they might be chatting with
Including information on the conversation cards
Added conversational text with options for users to express how they’re feeling
Round 2 Results
Users not familiar with cognitive distortions
The cards on the tracking page we not easy to scan
Rename to thinking traps and add a set of slides explaining each distortion
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 contemporary and functional.
For my primary colours, I decided on bright yellow because it represents happiness which is the ultimate goal for our users. I complimented 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 emotions and analyzing their thoughts. The gears represent the movement of exercising their brain.
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 Megan opens the app she has two clear CTA's. When she needs to work through her thoughts she can Chat and when she needs to further reduce her anxiety she can Breathe.
Referring back to my persona Megan Jackson I will review some key features of MoodShift
The Final 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?
By relieving the pressure of working through tough emotions alone. The product could free up quality time for more enjoyable activities.
THE SUPERFAN: How would a community of your most passionate users behave?
In an empathetic, and understanding manner. The app iteaches users reasonable ways to manage their moods and emotions.
THE BACKSTABBER: What could cause users to lose trust in your product?
If the user's information was not private and confidential. To prevent this we guarantee users information is completely confidential.