Managed the project and acted on all fronts such as user research, application prototype and evaluation.
Charleen Firlus 🔗
Amanda Kong 🔗
A mindfulness app that provides a safe space through journaling and recommends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based exercises to change negative thoughts into positive ones.
Non-Judgemental Metaphorical Safe Space
Multi-input Journal Entries
Science Backed CBT exercises to restructure thoughts
Gain insights about your emotional triggers and track overall trends
Brighter enables you to transform your negative thoughts into a more positive outlook through certified therapeutic techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Brighter ensures you take small steps towards encouraging positivity. By providing a safe space that can be entrusted and visualizing in the form of a house, users adopt a growth mindset.
Don't settle with first idea, keep questioning "how can I make this better?"
Gamification necessarily does not mean levels & points
Understood the importance of using the correct language
Each User is different, understand and empathize with them not sympathize
Brighter was my first project with a Project Management Role. As this was my first experience, I faced a lot of challenges such as being able to set realistic deadlines. Making sure that I communicate effectively with my team and how to handle accountability. Through this project I was able to develop my own leadership style: leading through support and empathy and understand team collaboration better.
Understanding the problem area
Memories we associate with negative emotions limit our perspective and influence our future life experiences by reinforcing negative thought patterns which shape our daily lifestyle.
For our lower target audience to help instill positivity easier. This version presents a more approachable environment with gamified exercises and made the instructions simpler.
Provision of a safe space that promotes freedom and independence to express one's thoughts, beliefs and feelings freely. To aid transform any negative expressions into positive ones and foster an optimistic attitude.
The Film features the Application features as well as its usability.
brighter Vision Film Credits: Jared Wersota (Editor and Videographer), Aparna Somvanshi (Script and Actor), Amanda Kong (Graphics and Actor), Connor Mclerney (Actor), Nandika Gupta and Baley Firlus)a
Understanding the Relevance of the Problem
How Might We
change the way people perceive their negative memories?
173 User Responses Define a Target Audience Gain Quantitative Data
Gain qualitative insights
4 Subject Matter Experts Gain Industrial Insights Understand Expert Practises
3 Controlled Group 3 Experimental Group Understand daily emotions
The Research Process
Understanding different Coping Mechanisms
We all experience negative emotions to some level and it with every negative experience, people react and act differently. Every person has a different coping mechanism. While some accept and vent, others look from distractions. Through our Survey Insights we looked into some of the most common forms of coping mechanisms, Journaling, Physical Exercise, Talking to people and Music.
Understanding User’s Learning Experiences
57% of the users are visual learners followed by a mix of visual and touch learners (27%)
Frustration, Disappointment and Anger
are three most common negative emotions experienced in daily life.
Survey Results: https://www.iii.org/graph-archive/96433
Upon being asked how people associate happiness, they responded with the people closest to them such as their family, friends, spouses and partners.
Creation of a safe space
”I usually start by building a rapport and creating a comfortable environment”
”Using Cognitive Behavoiral Therapy exercises help clients restructure their thoughts”
Using Sensory Material
”Sensory materials aid to relieve the excess nervous energy”
”Many clients do not prefer using therapeutic toys in their day-to-day life”
Expert Interview Insights
User interview Insights
Common Emotional Outlets include, venting to friends and family as well as journalling and other activities
Positivity and Mindfulness
Mindful Thoughts result in a positive mindset. Therapy and counselling provide reassurance and direction.
Memories associated with friends and family remind people of warmth, safety and joy.
Letter of instructions
Heatable Animal Stuff Toy
Letter of Instructions
The Iteration Process
Defining the problem and affinitizing our data points
How Might We?
change the way people perceive their negative experiences?
How Might We?
provide a safe space that encourages self introspection?
How Might We?
to aid users to focus on the positive experiences?
Aged 12 - 23
Younger individuals started being exposed to traumatic events around the average age of 12
Older audience members were inapplicable due to lack of data and rigid coping mechanisms
Personas and Journey Maps
Our primary persona, Hana Yuki represents a young adult trying to discover her what coping mechanisms fit her best.
Ability to step into user's shoes, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives.
Understanding how well the user's can achieve their defined goals through the product.
The quality and ability of being trustworthy and believable by the users.
Whether the product or application can be used by everyone- however they encounter it.
The extend to which the product or application can be reached; gauging expensiveness.
We first started by researching in Application based competitors. We designed a Likert Scale designed to define and compare on similar grounds based on Empathy, Usalibilty, Credibility, Accessibility and Affordibility.
Determining the Opportunity Area
Although the applications were extremely accessible and empathetic towards the users, none of the applications focus upon complete recovery or improvements.
Ideation and Conceptualization
We came up with multiple ideas in our idea pool. From our idea pool we solidified upon the two ideas: Echo and Elated
An algorithm based iPad/tablet application that allows users to record or write their experiences, using which it identifies negative and positive thought patterns and recommends exercises/activities that assist in coping with the emotional process.
An emotional artificial intelligence robot that provides a safe space and social structure to help people process negative experiences and suggest methods to maintain a positive outlook.
We chose to focus on the first concept but with additional features from the second. Introducing our final concept, brighter.
brighter Concept Sketch
A mindfulness application that provides a safe space to express thoughts through journaling and recommends CBT-based exercises, guided by an emotional voice assistant, to help transform negative experiences and emotions into positive ones.
Visualisation of thoughts and perceptions through growth of house.
A safe space to log emotions & experiences without judgement
Ability to recognise personalised trends in thought process
Usage of Voice AI to assist restructure of thoughts
Creation of Voice AI
We created the persona El to guide our users through their emotional journey, becoming a better version of themselves. We wanted her to be calm, supportive, patient yet persistent.
Using this information that is picked up using AI technology, El recommends exercises that correlate with their negative thought patterns, beliefs, or triggers.
Additionally, El provides customized motivational quotes, to draw emphasis on the positive
In order to create a seamless structure for the application we heavily looked into the system that allows users to understand where they are — and where the information they want is — in relation to their current position with several iterations based on the results. We started by creating the Wireflow.
Round 3 Evaluation
Heuristic Evaluation Method
Round 1 and Round 2 Evaluation
Quazi Empirical Method: Think Out Loud
10 Participants (5 each)
Gather quantitative understanding of app
Completed after other evaluations (all rounds)
We received great positive feedback on the customization aspect of our app. People really enjoyed the rewarding aspect of being able to unlock new furniture or house plants to decorate their safe space. The participants suggested that we add more customization unlockables, and so we delivered!
SUS Results Comparison
After Evaluating three rounds based on the tasks: basic login, onboarding, adding a journal entry through voice or by writing, exploring your trends, playing exercises recommended by El, unlocking a new item and visualizing in the form of a house.
See Full Process
Click to view design process
The CBT exercises were not fully designed & this confused the participants. Our goal was to have El, the emotional assistant, guide users through the exercise, but this was not coming across. We did a complete redesign of the exercises user flow, made it more conversational & added improved the wording of the exercises to make it more empathetic.
A constant point of challenge for our team was figuring out the best way to illustrate journal entry insights to the user that is actually helpful for them. Our goal was to help them identify their recurring & dominant thought patterns & highlight things that helped them feel better. With feedback from the first and second user tests we were able to make this screen much more insightful for the user.
brighter Application Prototype
Click on link to view on Figma
One thing I’m looking forward to today?
Happiness was induced by productivity.
“Writing and doing interviews for seniors.”
”Being Productive and hanging out with my cat.”
Jena Martin, Controlled Group Studies
The use of objects in the Experimental Group
Presence of objects provide comfort yet fail to provide any substantial results.
“It only helped me pass the time.”
”I just like squishing it, but it did not relieve my stress.”
Shan & Anna, Experimental Group Studies
Creation of an application that uses CBT exercises and journalling techniques to help you self-discover
brighter Vision Film by: Jared Wersota (Editor and Videographer), Aparna Somvanshi (Script and Actor), Amanda Kong (Graphics and Actor), Connor Mclerney (Actor), Nandika Gupta and Baley Fi