Mindfull

Maintain a healthy mental lifestyle through exercises and accountability.

Hero Image of Mindfull

Overview

Context

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 from start to finish with the intention of providing possible solutions to several problems people may face when dealing with mental health.

Outcome

There's no outcome yet as this is an ongoing side project.

However, this project did provide the opportunity for me to research more in-depth into mental health as well as being able to talk to friends about their mental health habits as part of my research, which I think is always valuable to have open discussions about.

Problems

The problems were found through online research and interviewing friends:

Problems

  1. Feeling restricted from openly speaking about mental health because of certain stigmas.
  2. Lack of accountability when it comes to self care.
  3. Powerless when going through mental emergencies, such as anxiety or panic attacks, especially when alone.

Assumptions and Constraints

The assumptions and constraints were founded on personal experiences and research to both guide the project and emulate real case scenarios:

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.

Constraints

  1. Limiting connection with primary physicians through the app as the goal is for the care to come more casually, as opposed to a professional procedure.
  2. Not allowing for self-diagnosis through the app as that should be trusted with in-person diagnosis from a professional.
  3. The app would be more focused on mental health in America since mental health stigmas vary by country.
  4. It would be focused on mobile as opposed to desktop.

Solutions

My solutions for the problems included mental health exercises that would encourage accountability and being proactive.

Mental Health Exercises

Inspired by Headspace’s mission, I did some of my own research to find out the benefits behind meditation. Learning that it helps with calming the mind and relieving physical tension, I incorporated “breathing” and “music” as part of the main exercise categories. This is to give people more options that suit them as well as being flexible with the amount of time they spend on these exercises.

Prototype of the home screen and exercises.

Emergency Accountability

The stigma around mental health 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 aims 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 mental attacks, giving the power back to them.

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 to help organize the separate thoughts people have throughout the day.

I wanted to distinguish Mindfull journals from other note taking apps by having a big focus on sharing them, emphasizing relational support.

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, you can set reminders not just for yourself, but for others as well. I believe that having the push from a friend can encourage you to stay on track with your 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.

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.

Takeaways

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 I designed a certain feature the way I did. I couldn't answer. From that point on, I always asked myself why I'm creating that particular solution and making sure I had valid reasons for doing so.

Brute forcing my designs also helped because it allowed me to explore a vast array of ideas and abled me to compare tradeoffs for certain decisions.