Mindfull

A mobile app that acts as a personal assistant, providing various exercises and ways to help with your mental health.

Hero Image of Mindfull

Overview

Wanting to combine both my joy for design and my desire to contribute to the mental health realm, I decided to work on a project that I could take from start to finish with the intention of providing possible solutions for problems people may face when dealing with mental health.

Problems

After researching online resources, conducting user research by interviewing friends, and incorporating personal experiences, I narrowed it down to these problems I wanted to solve:

Problems

  1. The feeling of pressure and restriction from openly speaking about mental health because of stigmas.
  2. Lack of accountability when it comes to self-care.
  3. Powerless when going through mentally driven physical emergencies, such as anxiety or panic attacks, especially when alone.

Assumptions and Constraints

There are several assumptions and constraints I worked off while creating this project to help allow me to hone in on specific issues while having limited resources:

Assumptions

  1. People will find an app as a sufficient method for encouraging better mental health habits.
  2. People are willingly seeking better mental health habits on their own accord.
  3. People will have others that they can rely on for accountability, either for themselves or for others.
  4. There will generally be follow through on the accountability measures and schedule.

Constraints

  1. Limiting connection with primary physicians through the application as the goal is for the care to come more casually and comfortably, opposed to a professional routine.
  2. Not allowing for self-diagnosis of the user’s condition through the app as that should be more trusted with in-person diagnosis from a professional.
  3. The app would be more focused on mental health in America, having the voices for the exercise be in english, as mental health stigmas vary by country.
  4. It would be focused on mobile as opposed to desktop since there are portability benefits with the app.

Solutions

My solutions to tackle these problems were to have people partake in mental health exercises. The edge with these exercises is the process of maintaining them, encouragment to stay on track, and becoming proactive about mental health.

Mental Health Exercises

Inspired by Headspace’s mission, I did some of my own research to find out the benefits behind meditation. After finding out that it does help with calming the mind and relieving physical tension, I decided to also incorporate “breathing” and “music” as part of the main exercise categories. This is to give people more options that suit them as well as being able to adjust to the amount of time they choose to spend on the exercises.

Prototype of the home screen and exercises.

Emergency Accountability

The stigma that revolves around mental health and the very nature of the subject makes it difficult for people to reach out to others. When people go through physical emergencies, such as panic or anxiety attacks, many times they are endured alone. When it’s over, the person is usually left depleted and most likely not in the position to want to actively seek help.

Mindfull hopes to give both aid and the push to seek help by having an emergency care exercise that is founded on the 7-11 breathing method which is proven to help people steady themselves during such an emergency, giving the power back to them. The push comes from a prompt, which gives people the first step to seeking out.

Prototype of the user flow for emergency accountability.

Journals

There are studies that show how writing can also alleviate both mental and physical pains. With Mindfull, journals can be created with their own entries to help organize the separate thoughts people have throughout the day.

I wanted to distinguish Mindfull journals from other note taking apps by having the underlying incentive of the journals being about sharing them, emphasizing relational support. I designed the flow to feel familiar so people won’t have to put any extra thought in the sharing process and can focus on the writing itself.

Image of Mindfull emergency accountability screenflow

User flow for creating and sharing journals.

Prototype of the user flow for sharing journals.

Reminders

Emphasizing relational accountability, I created an experience of setting reminders not just for yourself, but for others as well. I believe that having the push not just from a notification but also from a friend can encourage people to keep on track with their exercises.

I envision the reminders being successful if they are relied on consistently for the first few weeks and then end up not being needed because people would have developed the habit to take care of themselves without the need of being reminded or pushed.

Image of various screens of Mindfull reminders

Various screens for creating and editiing reminders.

Prototype for creating a new reminder.

Prototype for editing an existing reminder.

What I Learned

This was the first project I ever did when starting my design journey and it was very enjoyable for me to work on something I am passionate about. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

Intentional Design

When I was working on this project, there was a point when I asked myself why a certain design looked the way it did. I couldn’t answer. From then on, I designed with intentionality, which means to be able to take a stance on all my decisions and explain why I did what I did. I should also be able to answer any questions about why I didn’t choose a different design and made the tradeoffs that I did.

Brute forcing my designs also helps because it allows for the deep exploration of ideas. I also make sure I don’t get caught up with one idea for too long until I have exhausted every other idea and came to the best one.

Feedback is Gold

This project was inspired by personal experiences and from a few friends of mine. I asked for their feedback on my project and just hearing their points alone altered the way I viewed the current and next steps of my designs.

I treat critiques not as attacks but opportunities to sharpen my work. It was a great learning experience for me to just hear the variety of perspectives and thoughts that were shared with me. I also found it was helpful to lay down a foundation of what kind of feedback I was looking for so that they had more direction.