Marble: Mental Health Assistant User Research for Mobile App + Web Design
Solo project for Certificate Program
April 2022- May 2022
Marble: Mental Health Assistant is a program that allows the user to explore their feelings to better name them as well as log their feelings, journal about them, access tips, and share their feelings with a mental health professional, if desired.
The problem is that users may not be able to initially name why they are having a certain feeling, so the idea is to break down the general feeling into a more specific one, and then explore why the user is having this feeling through a journal entry. This information can be saved and tracked by the user and then downloaded and shared with a mental health professional or psychiatrist who can then use the information to aid in their assessment to improve the user's quality of life and determine any needed medication or course of action. The user will also be able to access tips, a journal, and important mental health phone numbers. This app is not meant for acute crises where medical intervention must be immediate to preserve the person's life.
The goal is to create an app that identifies feelings, tracks feelings, allows the user to explore feelings and find tips, and then gives the user the option to download and share what they've tracked with a mental health professional.
The target audience is anyone who wants to better understand and care for their mental health. Mental health should be accessible to everyone
Understanding the User:
A survey was created and distributed as a cost-effective method to explore and identify needs of the users for Marble: Mental Health Assistant. It was sent out to 5 different users. Users varied in demographic information, from age, sex, and household status. Questions included:
Do you feel like you are able to name the feeling you are having?
Have you used a mental health assistant app before?
How likely or unlikely would you be to use an app that allows you to track your feelings and share the results (if intended) with your mental health professional?
Do you feel like it would be useful or not useful to be able to track your feelings to be able to share with a mental health professional?
What has prevented you from using a mental health app before?
Have you experienced anxiety or depression from using an app?
If you answered yes, what could be improved to reduce your anxiety and depression from using an app?
User Pain Points:
Pain Point #1: Many users may not have the bandwidth to complete a sign up process. The sign up process needs to be very simple and quick. This issues were all seen in Reflectly, Mental Health Me., Be okay, Fabulous, and Sayana apps that are all for assisting with mental health.
Pain Point #2: There is not a universal way to track feelings that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have easy access to. Often, being able to identify trends in feelings will lead to better treatment and improved quality of life. The app needs to have a way to track feelings to see trends.
Pain Point #3: Colors and wording needs to be neutral and not emotion-provoking. App needs to be simple and easy to use to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
User Journey Map:
Usability Study - Affinity Diagram
1. Based on the theme that: there is not a universal way to track feelings for mental health professionals, an insight is: users like the idea of being able to record and download their feelings chart to share with these professionals.
2. Based on the theme that: colors and wording need to be neutral and not emotion-provoking, an insight is: get more feedback about wording and colors and do research to find best options.
3. Based on the theme that: the app is a mental health assistant and crises phone numbers are helpful, an insight is: to make these easily accessible.
Identifying Feelings Screens
-Angry feelings screens are shown in sequence
1. High Contrast Between Font, Icons, and Background
2. Descriptor words beneath icons
3. Text size for assistive reader devices
1. I'd like to do more research into color theory and psychology to focus on the colors I chose for each of the different emotion screens. I wanted, initially, for all of the screens to remain neutral and not be too bright or happy, so as not to provoke the user who may have anxiety and depression. However, I received feedback that some color would be nice to relate to the emotion at hand, so I used more color on these pages. I am not sure how well it works and would like more data to support using these colors.
2. I would like to do another usability study and another round of mock-ups to make improvements. I removed the page from the original design that generated graphs based on feelings because I couldn't figure out the best way to create a graph depicting all moods. Additional research is needed for this.
3. A P2 insight would be to create "feelings cards" that users can send or download to their family, friends, and coworkers that explain that they are depressed and won't be able to attend dinner that night, for example.