Our client was a Reach out Australia, A government non profit organisation, focusing on Mental health.
Client Brief given to us:
Problem: Since it’s launch at the end of 2015, there has been no updates or refreshes to the Worry time app. The client felt that there could be an opportunity to revamp the App, IF there is product/market fit and/or a driver for their strategy was identified.
Research and recommendation of the problem space, whether there is still a user need for the product and what the competitive landscape looks like.
IF there still is a user need, or have discovered a new user need, what enhancements could be done to the current product, to better meet the market needs (UX enhancement, new features)?
● Research findings (user research, competitor analysis and desk research)
● Clear problem statement and proposed solution based on research.
● Suggested Features & Design recommendations.
● Sketches & Wireframes.
Our Problem statement:
“How do we make Worry time App more useful in managing students’ stress”
no:1 Identify if there is a need for the app.
No:2 What enhancements can be made to the app in the form of features.
I worked collaboratively with 2 other UX designers. Noram and Lakshmi priya.
- We used the existing research provided by the client which consisted of Persona’s, diary studies and Content Interviews: Exam and study stress.
- Findings from previous Usability testing, diary studies, randomised control trials
- We also conducted our own desk research by reviewing online sources provided by the client.
The client identified the primary users of the app to be yr 12 HSC students and other youth falling within an age group of 16 to 25 yrs old.
My personal motivation for doing this project:
Mental health is a topic that is very close to my heart.
I wish, I had this kind of support available to me when I was in my Yr 12 back in the day in India.
Even as adults, discussing mental health issues is not something we can talk about openly. Not matter how deeply I felt attached to the project, I had to make sure that I was not pushing for a solution that I thought the users wanted. I had to stay true to my role as a UX designer and be the voice of the user.
what we did as a part of our own Research:
Falling back on my lean six sigma roots:
As I have mentioned in my other posts that I come from a lean and Six Sigma background. One of the key problem solving principles, that is ingrained in me is Genchi genbutsu: Go and see in English. (the nature of the practice, is to have personal understanding, of the full implication of the problem on the whole environment).
Again I can’t stress enough on the importance of this practice and how it has helped me with gaining my own understanding of problems in the past. Identifying the true underlying reasons for a problem and in this case the users needs.
we conducted a phone interview with a HSC arts teacher – to identify the times when HSC yr 12 students felt stressed during the academic yr.
- We created an emotional journey map based on the findings.
- Conducted a contextual inquiry with a user to observe his interaction with the app. My main goal was to identify usability issues and ease of navigation within the app.
Key quotes from the Contextual Inquiry:
At First, I didnt know what was the app about and how to use it, but after I spent 15 to 20 minutes playing around with it, I knew how to use it.
I would like to be able to add actions, edit them when required.
I would like to be able to draw and write my action plans.
I would like to set multiple reminders.
I would like to be able to come back to my action plans and review them to see how many I have completed and how many are still incomplete
Emotional Journey map:
We compared the app store analytics and our phone interview with the HSC arts teacher and hypothesized that the increase in number of downloads of the worry time App, and the time when HSC students felt stressed were likely at the same time frame. I.e around the time of end of term exams and end of yr exams.
Based on our findings we created an MVP to identify feature enhancements that would provide the most value to the users.
Future user Journey:
Based on the insights that we gained from the personas and the UX needs of the users.
Show me I am not alone
Show me the results
Help me understand my experience
Give me a range of actionable help options.
We wanted the users to go on journey where they could use the app to become self aware of their feelings and emotions. Find tools to help them take control through an Action plan and finally, after completing the action plan, feel happy.
From the many conversations that I had with my peers who have seeked help in the past. she told me that the brain needs to be retrained to a new way of thinking. I found that fascinating. I felt that instead of let the users be in a state of having to come up with ideas to face their own worry, “ How about we train users’ into taking actions, asking for help instead of trying to solve problems on their own, that is out of their capacity” ?
In some cultures like Indian, I am Indian and hence, I am going to speak about a culture that I know about more deeply about. However, I am sure that people from other cultures can relate to what I am about to say as they are reading this — In some cultures, asking for help is considered as a sign of weakness, especially for the male child. There is a certain level of standard you are expected to live upto and any sign of vulnerability is treated as a weakness, which later leads to parents and society looking down at them.
The personas and previous research provided to us also reflected that males 17 to 18 yrs did not feel the need to ask for help and wanted proof that they were not alone, they felt that they did not feel the need to ask for help. Among the participants that were interviewed one was even identified as suicidal.
On the other hand, the female participants were more open to talk about their feelings, were more open to giving support to others, but less open to asking for help. I found this difference in the behaviours of both male and female personas a bit strange. I asked myself, what is that we are missing in this picture? what needs of our users are we not able to identify?
As we were talking about this, it suddenly dawned on me, that there was a pattern there and we just didn’t see it initially. None of the participants wanted to be seen as weak or get judged for talking about their feelings and anxiety openly!
I proposed my idea to the team and we all agreed that as parents we would like the yr 12 students to not only take action, but the App could be the safe place where they could voice their own thoughts and have resources to know what they were feeling and that they were not alone.
That it was ok to feel what they were feeling and even more ok to ask for help in a safe environment like a moderated forum or a community?
Ideation and Basic IA:
We took the approach of co-designing the app. In line with the theme of the creating a journey for the users from feeling weak and vulnerable to feeling empowered and in control — we wanted to move away from the current name Worry time app to soemtime more positive and as a team we brainstormed with the name Take Control.
In some sections we had information readily available, but in some, we wanted the users to tell us what were their expectations ? what did those particular sections mean to them and how they wanted to manage those areas of their lives.
Our thought process with Basic IA:
- We wanted the user to understand and get educated regarding what they were feeling and what they were going through. This was in line with the objective to make them aware, that they were not alone.
- Exams — help users get more exam related information that is already available on the OrgX site.
- Uni/ future options.
- Personal — we wanted the users to tell us what kind of information they wanted to see in this sections and what resources they needed to help them in this area of their lives.
- Work- life balance: Since some students would be doing part time work, we wanted to have a section, where they could not only have resources to learn about work life balance, but also set professional goals.
- Support — we kept this page blank, with the purpose of asking them what they wanted in the form of support.
- Action plan — this page would display the Action plans pertaining to the different sections of the app e.g exams, personal, professional
Assumptions and hunches:
- In order to allow users to set goals we came up with the idea of using google calendars as it allows to set reminders and add guests.
- We wanted to give users the option of downloading the .ics files.
- Based on the insights from the personas, we found that users had difficulty setting action plans and needed some kind of examples or directions on how to create an action plan. But, since we were designing for a mobile screen, we weren’t sure how a table would look and if we would be able to fit it in. So at that point, as a team, we made the decision to leave it out.
- Finding and understanding what “Take Control” is all about
- Find and Understand about self awareness
- Find and Understand how “Exam” option is going to help you
- How would you find information about Tertiary education
- What do you think is in work life balance.
- Review Action plan.
Other questions asked as a part of usability testing.
- What kind of information would you like to see in the Personal section?
- What kind support would you like to get?
- Do you find Tertiary education section relevant to you?
- What did you think of action plan?
- What did you think about the app?