360 Degree Wellness App Concept

Client

AURA Wellness

Role

Product Designer

Completion

2022 - 3 Months

Mobile App

Product Design

Concept

Challenge

I was assigned my first comprehensive product design project. This would be my first end-to-end project and I was excited to use my existing graphic design and brand strategy skills. 

I wanted to learn how important health benefits were for employees in the US. I also wanted to learn if companies were actually supporting and promoting healthy lifestyles and if so what those  benefits were. I was particularly interested in mental and physical health, which can often be neglected due to busy work and life demands.

Outcome

In  one month, the AURA Wellness App, grounded in research and user stories, effectively merged health interests with workplace benefits. I was only able to work on the Mental Health sector however I have a couple ideas for physical health and diet that would become a part of the app in the future.

With its intuitive design and even larger ideas, AURA stands as a beacon for a healthy work culture, boosting employee morale and productivity.

Project Overview

I believed that most people would value focusing on their health, especially with support from their employers. However, I felt that a small group might not share this interest. I also made sure to watch out for my own biases.

Objectives for this project included:

What does health mean to people?

Design Process

I used the Double Diamond  methodology to structure and visualize the project.

1. The Foundation

I had to approach this project unbiasedly. I've been a healthy individual to date and hadn't had many health issues growing up.

I began by studying the basic principles of health, focusing on areas such as 'physical health', 'mental health', and 'a healthy diet'. While I understood I couldn't address every concern related to these topics, I aimed to at least have a better understanding of the landscape before working on a solution.

My initial thoughts and focus were on the following: 

2.  Listening To Their Whispers

Wearing my interviewer hat, I spoke to 8 individuals, each sharing their unique experiences and views. I asked questions like "What does health mean to you?" and "What makes you happy", paying close attention not just to their answers, but also to their pauses and uncertainties. Among all the insights, one theme was clear: the importance of mental well-being.

A pivotal realization was the overwhelming importance participants placed on mental health over physical or relational health. This guided my efforts towards mental health solutions.

3. Competitor Analysis: Market Leaders in the Mental Health Space

I initiated a deep-dive analysis into three market leaders - BetterHelp, Talkspace, and Cerebral. This meant studying their user experiences, features, and gathering insights from user feedback. This exploration was vital in understanding AURA's potential market positioning.

4. Data Synthesis

Filtering through the myriad of voices, the patterns began to emerge. These patterns whispered the hopes, fears, and aspirations of our users.

5. Problem Statement

After going over our interview findings, I wrote the following problem statement:

Many employees are experiencing stress and anxiety related to financial instability and economic uncertainty, and basic healthcare benefits are not effectively addressing these concerns.

HMW Ideas:

6. Defining Target Users - Faces of AURA

Meet Catherine, a talented designer from Maine, and Eric, a sports enthusiast from Arizona. Though worlds apart, their quests were similar – a workplace that understands, respects, and nurtures. Through their lenses, the essence of AURA began to take shape.

Meet Catherine:

Catherine is a graphic designer living in Portland, Maine who is transitioning into the field of UX design. She has had a successful career as a freelancer but has always been on the lookout for a company that truly cares about its employees’ well-being.

In the past, Catherine had taken on good-paying jobs, but the stress that came with it took a toll on her mental and physical health. She found herself drinking every night just to cope, and eventually had to quit her job. Now, she wants to find a company that prioritizes her overall well-being and mental health.

Catherine has always been active and has found success with fitness apps like Fitbit, Running Pal, MyFitnessPal, and Noom. She finds that forms of exercise like running, serve as a stress reliever for her.She also has a furry companion, a dog named Bandit, who she would love to be able to bring to work.

Catherine is also concerned about keeping her therapy private and to herself, she wants to work for a company that respects her boundaries and privacy. She is now on the lookout for a company that aligns with her values and prioritizes the well-being of its employees.

Meet Eric:

Eric is a resident of Tempe, Arizona, and currently works at a sports equipment store that specializes in hockey gear. He is passionate about hockey, running, and taking his dog for walks, except when it gets too hot. He is taking a UX Bootcamp and will finish in April 2023.

Eric’s relationship with his girlfriend has been a source of stress for him. She is overbearing and doesn’t allow him to spend time with his friends. He would like to incorporate couples therapy to help improve their relationship, otherwise, he will have to move in a different direction.

Eric is a driven individual, who thrives on sales challenges and likes to get praise for his hard work. He is willing to go the extra mile for incentives and is looking for a company that aligns with his values and can offer him growth opportunities.

He is also looking forward to working in an environment where he can freely express himself and pursue his passion for hockey and running, He values a work-life balance and a company culture that encourages employee well-being.

7. Key Task Flows

In this Miro board, I visually mapped out the streamlined task flows for logging in, finding a therapist, and scheduling an appointment through a mental health app, among other key task flows.

8. Laying Out The Look And Feel

Assembled with care and inspiration, the mood board for AURA was a kaleidoscope of emotions, each hue and image a testament to our vision of an empathetic and empowering journey towards holistic health.

I created this mood board as a tool for inspiration which helped convey the company’s values, direction, and overall look and feel for the branding, marketing materials, and website.

‍Our Brand Personality: We are a supportive, empathetic, and open-minded team, always eager to hear about your health goals, and have a shared conversation about where you are and what aspects of your life you’d like to improve.

Imagery Inspiration: The selected images represent individualized health and wellness, communication, connection, and empowerment. They visually tell the story of a supportive, open, and empowering journey toward better health and wellness.

UI Design – I was looking to take a complex app and simplify it by using as little UI as possible.

9. A Styleguide For Guidance

A style guide isn't just a manual; it's the soul of a brand. It's where AURA's mission found its voice, where its identity crystallized – a beacon of empowerment in a tumultuous world.

Creating a style guide helped me define the brand’s platform, vision, mission statement, personality, and key attributes. It ensures consistency across all marketing materials, from the website to the social media profiles.

The style guide also allowed me to have fun with the brand’s visual identity. Experiment with different color palettes, typography, and design elements to discover what best represents the brand.

Having a style guide in place would also help communicate the brand’s identity effectively to the team, partners and customers. It’s a tool that aligns everyone on the same page and helps others understand the reasoning behind certain design choices.

AURA’s Mission: Our mission is to empower employees to reach their full potential by supporting and promoting their mental and physical well-being.

View Styleguide Here: Figma

10. Assembling the Blocks

Design systems, much like building blocks, are foundational. Step by step, from colors to buttons, the skeleton of AURA took form. Amidst time constraints, the focus was efficiency and relevance.

Design systems are the foundation of a great product design. I started by creating the basics like colors, typography, icons, grids and shadows. These elements were the building blocks to hold everything together. I added the buttons, dropdowns, and forms as some basic components.  With the limited amount of time, I wanted to create the elements that could help with efficiency and most importantly be useful.

11. Lets Test This Thing

With a rudimentary prototype, I ventured into the field. Tests were the crucibles, refining and reshaping AURA based on real feedback.

The idea was to build something quickly and get a working prototype with a general flow.
Test.
Make quick edits then start working on a high-fidelity version.

12. Prototype Test 01

The journey with AURA wasn't linear; it was a spiral, constantly revisiting and refining. With every test, every feedback, the application inched closer to its optimal version, one that wasn’t just user-friendly but also emotionally resonant.

In the high-fidelity phase, I focused on creating a sense of calm and trust through design elements. For example, using a soothing color palette and typography that reflects empathy. I also ensured that the interface elements and content were accessible to individuals with varying levels of digital literacy and cognitive abilities.

I tested it with 5 participants and received feedback on what they liked and didn't like. Usability tests revealed some spacing issues, confusing elements, and grammar fixes.

Some key changes we made:

I switched the grid size from a 35px margin to a standard 32px margin and 8px gutter, giving us more room to spread out the content.I used a 4pt grid system to line up elements and standardize line height spacing.I removed a copy from screens 6-11 as it caused some hierarchical issues and took away focus from the questionnaire, which should be the main focus.

V1 Aura Portfolio Figma Link

13. Prototype Test 02

With the updates from V1, we interviewed 5 new participants and the experience was more linear and flowed smoother. There was less hesitation from the participants and the feedback was positive.

After these interviews the key changes were:

Simplified progress bar, shown during the questionnaire process which helped guide the user through the journey.

And we now had buttons built into our design system with different states, so we only have to create one version of a particular screen instead of side-by-side screens showing the different states in Figma.

In conclusion, through a structured and agile process of prototyping and testing, I was able to design an intuitive and compassionate application for scheduling mental health appointments. By focusing on the users' needs and experiences, this design process ensured that the final product was not only functional but also emotionally resonant with its target audience.

V2 Aura Portfolio Figma Link

14. The Final Brushstroke

The UI Design Concept wasn’t just a culmination; it was a celebration of the journey, a tapestry of insights, feedback, and design thinking.  I really enjoyed the process and discovered that I had a super power that I hadn't explored in interviewing. I was told my multiple people how I made them feel at ease, I was easy to talk to and they felt like I was actually listening.

Reflections

This case study explored the importance of mental and physical health benefits in the workplace, and how they can impact the overall well-being and productivity of employees like Eric and Catherine. I found that when employees are provided with these benefits, they are more likely to bring their full potential to work, cope with higher stress and anxiety levels, and inspire their counterparts, making the workplace a more enjoyable experience.

What I Learned

When I began this project, I thought physical health was the top priority. However, I soon realized the immense importance of mental health for many people, including myself. I've found great value in therapy, and it's thrilling to see mental health gaining recognition. The program should have an opt-in or opt-out option, as I understand that some individuals face health challenges beyond their control.

Why

While the Aura app is a commendable step in prioritizing mental and physical health, true social impact cannot be achieved through technology alone. It is crucial for companies and health insurance providers to recognize that supporting employee well-being is a multi-faceted challenge that requires a holistic approach.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Aura app represents an important tool in promoting mental and physical health. However, for companies and health insurance providers to truly make a social impact on preventable diseases and contribute to healthy behaviors, a comprehensive and integrated approach is necessary. This includes not only technological tools like Aura but also human support, educational resources, incentives, and a compassionate organizational culture.

I understand that some people may have health issues beyond their control, which is why I advocate for the options to opt-in or opt-out at any time. The goal with this project is to empower individuals who want to take control of their health and wellness and to support companies in creating a positive and healthy work culture.

Mike impressed me with his ability to use what he had and push through a challenging space.

Morgane Peng

Mentor / Springboard

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