Myful Process: Intro

With the “burnout generation” experiencing major depression diagnoses rates higher than any other age group, the mental health forecast doesn’t look bright for millennials.
We then framed a question:

How can an app help students learn how to deal with their stress and anxiety effectively through mindfulness practices?

< Back to Myful (Summary)

Research 

These research questions were framed to contextualize the problem at hand.
-How are young adults coping with mental health issues?
-How much do young adults know about self care and mindfulness?
-What would be needed from an app to aid in improving the state of mental health?

Selected Research Methods:
-Secondary research for what should already be known
-Competitive analysis to discover gaps and successes in mental health tech
-Interviews to understand personal experiences with mental health issues

Research Results

Five participants, three women and two men, ages ranged 20 to 25 years old. All have experiences using a mental health application. 

Frustrations.
Young generations are suffering due to pressure to be perfect. Current apps don't consider that people are different from each other.

Needs/Wants.
Contentedness and to stop chasing happiness. An affordable application.

Suggestions.
A personalized app that recognizes individual coping mechanisms. An app that connects users to others of the same experience.

Mindfulness apps have been helpful in past research in improving and attention but only acceptance training.

Smartphone based mindfulness training have reported results in increased social contact & reduced lonelinesss.

Interviews:

Secondary Research

Long term studies have yet to be conducted.

Headspace has pleasant UI and a variety of exercises but a hefty price.

Calm is resourceful in its collection of nature sounds and sleep stories, but at a hefty price as well.

Buddhify lacks guidance for first time meditators, but has personalized sessions for activities conducted throughout the day.

Takeaway: Young adults want an app that understands them, and that also connects them to others who have the same experiences.

Competitive Analysis

"I just want a peace of mind for the next semester."

Empathize.

After the problem was well-scoped, a persona was created to further empathize with people that would be using Myful. 

Damion is a rising undergraduate junior at The Ohio State University, studying computer science. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to succeed, being the first-generation to go to college in his family.

- To feel mental clarity for the next school year.
- To learn how to effectively deal with being overwhelmed and stressed out.

Goals/Needs

- Fears that this semester will cause a downward spiral in his mental health.
-Fears that his family and peers will judge him for struggling.

Fears

Ideate

To gain a deeper understanding of student needs a guide of point of views and possible solutions was created. This uncovered insights in the persona and helped narrow the focus.

Framing the Problem.

A side exercise to understand the value of the product to businesses and the people using the product.

Finding the sweet spot.

To understand how the user would organize information, a card sorting exercise was conducted, consisting of cards of meditation exercises and resources. Five participants were gathered.

Result? Participants organized the cards similarly, resulting in a fortunately simple structure.

Defining the Product: Information Architecture

For understanding what expected paths will be taken by people that will be using the application.

Userflows

Design.

To gain a deeper understanding of student needs a guide of point of views and possible solutions was created. This uncovered insights in the persona and helped narrow the focus.

All wireframes were drawn on a personal whiteboard.

Wireframes.

Branding.

Myful's brand had to represent the words: inviting, calming, friendly, and approachable. I drew the illustrations for consistent style in color and imagery.

User Testing & Iteration

Methodology: Had some sweet treats on campus in exchange for 10-15 minutes of time.

Procedure: Gave participants a Maze prototype and provided an Invision prototype to look through during the Q&A.

Results: 7 participants total, 4 women and 3 men.

-All participants liked the overall UI design, chosen color palette, and font. 
-5/7 participants found the app simple and straightforward. 
-Changes will result of the user testing: wording in update process, spacing on homepage.

Based on the user testing results, the prototype was redesigned to fit the users needs. Most changes occurred due to A/B testing.

These designs include:

-Word changes: Users found the question, “What are you feeling in this moment?” grounding (versus “What are you feeling today?”).

-Brand color changes: Users found a turquoise Myful logo more captivating and uniform with theme versus the original blue Myful logo.

-Color choices in check-in process: Users were confused by different colored buttons and tags, thinking there may have been a color value system. A consistent turquoise was chosen to avoid this

Iteration

Introducing Myful.

Under Myful’s Resource page, recommended resources (customized based on the daily check-in) are provided. 

Below are resources beyond the app:
-Campus Forum
-Podcasts
-Articles
-Therapists near you
-Programs near you

Tapping on the phone icon results in a list of call-lines.

Under a chosen #forum, students can post to their #department or #studentorg about their experiences. 

Myful allows students to reach out to others who may be sharing the same experience. 

The forum gives students the option to go anonymous when posting

Sharing Experiences: Campus Forum

Myful features reflection, not competition or progress. Practicing mindfulness means acceptance, rather than labeling what experiences and emotions are good and bad. 

Myful doesn’t want to encourage a competition with yourself. Instead the profile shows what entries and emotion tags were submitted in the history, and shows exercises and resources that were favorited by the user.

Profile: Reflection, not progress

Beyond the App: Resources Page

Once users submit their input in the daily check-in, Myful provides a personalized homepage of today’s mantra, recommended exercises, and resources. 

Along with recommendations, users can choose their frequently visited exercises and all practices (that include guided meditation, live virtual sessions, and nature sounds).

Homepage: Customized for the Individual

The daily check-in allows users to identify their emotions, understand the causes, and recognize the thoughts that gave rise to their emotions. This feature encourages mindfulness and emotional regulation. The question, “What are you feeling in this moment?” aims to be grounding in the present moment for users. 

Daily Check-in

We must remember that humans are our users when designing technology for healing and coping.

There are many aspects of this product that can improve, as I could have created more emphasis towards students in an onboarding process. More precision in logo meanings and conducting A/B testing.

Overall, I call Myful a success for now. I don't believe an application will save the future of mental health, but we can certainly attempt to design technology that heals rather than do the damage it has already done.  Thank you to my wonderful co-designers—Natalie and Koi—in hacking the foundation ideas with me in DC. Natalie for her awesome research skills and Koi for her ideating and brainstorming sessions. 

View Myful Prototype

Future iterations

Back to Myful (Summary)

Through this project, I was reminded that people have different problems and different emotional reactions. 

And while introspection and self awareness is advantageous, I also found that relating to, practicing compassion to, & empathizing with others is important in learning mindfulness.

Conclusions.