My Role

Managed the project and acted on all fronts such as user research, application prototype and evaluation. 

Tools

Figma
Adobe Illustrator
After Effects
Adobe XD

Showcase

Overview

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.

Time Frame

Winter 2020
10 Weeks

Home

Non-Judgemental Metaphorical Safe Space

Write

Multi-input Journal Entries

Exercises

Science Backed CBT exercises to restructure thoughts

Trends

Gain insights about your emotional triggers and track overall trends

Value Proposition

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.

Never Settle

Don't settle with first idea, keep questioning "how can I make this better?" 

Gamification

Gamification necessarily does not mean levels & points

UX Writing

Understood the importance of using the correct language

Empathize 

Each User is different, understand and empathize with them not sympathize

My Takeaways

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.  

The Research

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.

Brighter Kids

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. 

Objective

To design an interactive service, product or mobile application that emphasizes human memory.

Goal

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.

Vision Film

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?

User Surveys

173 User Responses
Define a Target Audience
Gain Quantitative Data

User Interviews

8 Interviewees

Gain qualitative insights
Deeper understanding

SME Interviews

4 Subject Matter Experts
Gain Industrial Insights
Understand Expert Practises

Journal Studies

3 Controlled Group
3 Experimental Group
Understand daily emotions

The Research Process

Key Findings

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


Survey Results
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”

Transformation Process



”Using Cognitive Behavoiral Therapy exercises help clients restructure their thoughts”

Using Sensory Material



”Sensory materials aid to relieve the excess nervous energy”

Therapeutic Objects



”Many clients do not prefer using therapeutic toys in their day-to-day life”

Expert Interview Insights

User interview Insights

Coping Mechanisms

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.

Emotional Association
Memories associated with friends and family remind people of warmth, safety and joy.

Journal Studies

Experimental Group
Journal

Letter of instructions

Hand Grip

Stress Ball

Heatable Animal Stuff Toy


Controlled Group

Journal
Letter of Instructions

Candy

Emotion Stickers

The Iteration Process

Defining the problem and affinitizing our data points

PRIMARY HMW

How Might We?

change the way people perceive their negative experiences?

SECONDARY HMW

How Might We?

provide a safe space that encourages self introspection?

SECONDARY HMW

How Might We?

to aid users to focus on the positive experiences?

Target Audience

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.

Empathy

Ability to step into user's shoes, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives.

Usability

Understanding how well the user's can achieve their defined goals through the product.

Credibility

The quality and ability of being trustworthy and believable by the users.

Accessibility

Whether the product or application can be used by everyone- however they encounter it.

Affordibility

The extend to which the product or application can be reached; gauging expensiveness.

Competitor Analysis

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

 

Echo
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.



 

Elated

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.

The Solution

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.

Insights

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

Information Architecture

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

2 participants

Round 1 and Round 2 Evaluation

Quazi Empirical Method: Think Out Loud

10 Participants (5 each)

SUS Questionnaire

Gather quantitative understanding of app

Completed after other evaluations (all rounds)

Home

Lo-fi Prototype

Mid-fi Prototype

Hi-fi Prototype

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!

Lo-fi Prototype

Mid-fi Prototype

Hi-fi Prototype

Write

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

Exercises

Lo-fi Prototype

Mid-fi Prototype

Hi-fi Prototype

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.

Lo-fi Prototype

Mid-fi Prototype

Hi-fi Prototype

Trends

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

Key Findings

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

Vision Film

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

See Full Process

Click to view design process