MOODY

About

Moody was designed to empower its users by increasing their day-to-day mental well-being, and informing users about mental illnesses to reduce stigma.

Challenge

Giving attention to ones mental well-being is not something that should be limited to people living with mental illnesses. Dealing with emotional challenges, big or small, is a very common thing, but due to lack of education and stigma associated with mental health many people struggle with common day-to-day challenges. I wanted to create a well-being app specifically focusing on mental well-being for this reason. I wanted to increase the mental well-being of anyone, whether living with an illness or not. 

RESEARCH

Secondary research

The research began with reading some online papers about mental well-being, mental illnesses and common mental disorders. According to the World Health Organisation, unipolar depressive disorders were ranked as the third leading cause of the global burden of disease in 2004 and will move into the first place by 2030.

Expert interview

I conducted an informal interview with an expert that works in this field. This helped me get a better understanding of how common illnesses are treated, and what factors would have a positive effect.

Competitive research

To get a clear understanding of what was already on the market I did some competitive research. This was great for seeing what features were already in use and how they were executed by different apps.

ANALYSIS

To make full use of the research, an analysis of the data collected was needed. Not only does this help understand the fine details of the problems, it also proves to be very useful during the development stage.

When reviewing the research I found it very helpful to note down any points I believed to be useful. I then grouped all of these insights on a wall; here are a few examples.

Insights

Everyone can benifit from a depression planner

Displaying progress can create confidence

Being organised will relive stress

Breathing can help with anxiety

Outdoor activity must increase for those who suffer with mental health

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental disorders

Recognising achievements can relive depressive thoughts

Existing solutions

Meditation

Meditation apps are very popular due to its anxiety relief and mindfulness. these will normally include breathing techniques, and sometimes guided thought exercises.

Support

Apps that provide support are usually more expensive apps. Some are simple check ups with a personal professional, others include full weekly schedules and some are emergency hotlines with professionals.

Mood management

Management is proved to be one of the most important areas to focus on when improving mental well-being, yet one of the least developed apps. The most popular feature was mood tracking.

Users

Primary

The app should be aimed at users looking to improve there own mental well-being.

Users with mental illness

Users with common mental disorders

Users seeking mindfulness

Secondary

The app could also prove useful to people who are caring for others or looking to be informed.

Carers

Children

Goals

To improve the users mental well-being

 

To have features that help support people living with an illness.


To have an educational feature to inform and create awareness of mental health to reduce stigma.

Before starting to concept anything, I felt it was necessary to brainstorm a list of problems that might need to be tackled. This helped keeping me on track when concepting.

Problems

CONCEPTING

Initial concepting

To start I gave myself a short period of time to come up with as many solutions as possible no matter how crazy they were. This exercise helps to converge ideas.

Iteration

After multiple cycles of converging and diverging ideas, criticising and eliminating solutions; a clear pattern of solutions start to emerge.

Wireframing

Wireframing is used throughout the development process. It helps give solutions character, it can help you find synergy between ideas and above all help map out your UI.

Site map

Once features were decided on (yellow) it was very beneficial to create a site map and note problems that need solving (green).

User flow

When figuring out how the user uses each feature it was important to keep the user flow up to date. This would let me know if something had too many unnecessary steps or too confusing.

User journey

Step by step user journeys with wireframes or prototype screens for each feature can help give a better understanding of how the users feels when moving through the app.

SOLUTION

Mood tracker

Mood tracker is a simple and proven to be effective technique. The user simply tracks their mood whenever they choose, this is then logged and their mood progression is clearly visible. The user can decide if they would like reminders or not also.

Hobbies

This is an area where the user creates a list of small activities they enjoy doing. These activities are then put into the planner and the user can observe how often they are involving themselves with each activity.

Relaxing exercise

The relaxing exercise is a simple breathing exercise which is proven to be a very effective calming tool. Exercises like this are commonly used in meditation, anger management and recovering.

Educational sessions

The first section is the informative part of the app. Here the user can choose from a range of topics and become informed by engaging with 3 interactive exercises. The first exercise would be learning what its like to to live with whatever topic, second would be how to deal with it and third would be a interactive scenario based on what was taught.

Achievements

There are two types of achievements that a user can have in this section. Something the user feels proud of, big or small, they award this to themselves. The other they achieve after completing a hobby 10 times.

Planner

This is the area where the user inputs their daily/weekly schedule. Every morning the user will receive a day plan notification, and a notification before each event.

TESTING

User testing

User testing had been done on multiple iterations. After each iteration the results are analysed and grouped with previous data, then the concepting phase is repeated. Below are the results of the last user test ready to be brought into the iteration cycle again.

Pros

Calming visuals

The planner, hobby, achievement synergy works well

The sessions sound like a good idea

Mood history is interesting

Cons

What is the help action going to help with

Should the hobby graphs be showing consistency or progression

What gave the user the mood they tracked

Should the image of the session relate to the topic

Reflextion

This is a project that I like to come back to when I have the time for it, meaning it has already gone through enough iterations for me to be happy to display it. In my opinion an app is never 100% complete, there can always be problems with existing features or room for new ones. I do see room for improvement with some of the features and some gaps to be filled if it were to be released to the market, but its just a concept app and overall I am happy with the outcome of this project.