Maintain a healthy mental lifestyle through exercises and accountability.
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.
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.
The problems were found through online research and interviewing friends:
The assumptions and constraints were founded on personal experiences and research to both guide the project and emulate real case scenarios:
My solutions for the problems included mental health exercises that would encourage accountability and being proactive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.