While I was observing the Social Apps, most of the people are sharing only good things and happiest moments such as their travels, parties, and expensive gifts from their friends or family, etc. This experience makes me think that people hide their sadness and pretend they are happy, so what if there is a social app which people can share only mournful and distressed things.My primary role was to start research on how people can overcome their daily life stresses with using the application, so people can do the self-treatment, help others, or relief themselves.
Research, User-Interview, Ideation, User-Testing, Wireframe, HI-Fidelity
Alone; Personal Project
Most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress, with 44 percent reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years. I started to research what kind of people should I focus on for my target, and how to reduce stress.
I found that college students are feeling the strain of our busy modern world. In fact, 45% of college students said they experience "more than average stress," and 87% said they felt overwhelmed by all they had to do at least once in the previous year, according to the American College Health Association-2017 National College Health Assessment. Thus, I found potential target market from this research.
There are lots of mental health cares method and service in the world. However, most of the techniques are challenging to do themselves. So, I narrowed down to two simple ways which are entirely free and easy.
The first method is writing the stress diary, and the second method is sharing stress with other people as group therapy.
When people open up privately about a traumatic event, it allows people to receive the support and encouragement of the other members of the group. People participating in the group can see that others are going through the same thing, which can help them feel less alone. Group members can serve as role models for other members of the group. By observing someone coping with a problem, other members of the group can see that there is hope for recovery. As each person progresses, they can, in turn, serve as a role model and support figure for others. This method can help foster feelings of success and accomplishment.
I interviewed Trainee Counselor. Her name is Amy, and she is 27 years old Berkeley University student. She has studied psychology for four years. I explained my idea, and she thought it is a beautiful idea and has great potential, but she worries about internet trolls and how to make a clean social environment. Also, she feels that Trainee Counsellors won’t join this because most of the university has a system which is connecting students with agencies to build their career. However, she suggests me to create a group chat system as a one-on-one or even number of members; thus no one feels left out. She wants me to think about how the user reacts the posts and how to avoid trolls.
My target audiences can be everyone, but I will focus on 18 to 30 years old college students who are suffering from depression or stresses.
Defined Pain Point
From my research and the interviews, I realized there are some pain points. I found that males feel more afraid than females to share their emotion with others because they worry about other people find their weakness. People have difficulties in finding a place to share their problem with others who have the same suffer or overcome the same problem. Furthermore, People feel afraid they won't be getting feedback or support from others when they share the problem. At the same time, people worry about other people think them strange.
With my research learnings and interviews, I created two personas that typified the archetypes of my user group. Then I created a user journey of my personas, including their behavior, thoughts, and feelings. From these, I am able to find out a better solution for the users.
Defined Pain Point
Using the research and synthesis as a guideline, I was able to summarize my findings with a problem statement for my potential user group.
People with high-level stress need someone or somewhere that they can share their depression with others and get support from others who overcome the same problem.
I identified a list of design requirements to address the problem statement. Most of the solution needs to:
1. Lead people with stress and depression to the healthy way of self-treatments such as writing and sharing.
2. Help people with stress and depression to feel comfortable of doing to share their mind.
3. Help people with stress and depression to refer to others who overcome the same problem.
4. Make people with stress and depression to help others and make sure people don't worry about other's thinking.
Throughout my research and interviews, and with the design requirements in mind, I decided to create a social application platform which aims people write and share their depression or daily anxieties as anonymity.
Before I started to design the wireframe, I created the information architecture for the form of the app frame with the design requirements as feature components.
I created wireframes based on the IA and used them to quick test general usability. This testing helped me to pick out which elements made the user confused. After that, I created several key path scenarios to analyze the interaction flow of the app, based on the users’ feedback.
After I got several valuable critiques on the wireframes, I created high-fidelity designs of my app and tested it again. From the users’ feedback, I decided to relocate some elements and add several functions to the app.
The motivation of the visual design was to create a readable and comfortable mood for my target user. The low saturation green color is used as the primary color to associate the app with mental stability and health. Bebas Neue is used as a title text, and Montserrat -an emotional typeface- is used as the body text.
I tested the high fidelity wireframes with several users, and I found some processes needed more development and the new functions didn’t match in my original idea. So, I went back to my original design, added several steps of screens and changed some of the design elements. Also, I wanted to improve the visuals, the information hierarchy, and overall experience of the app, so I decided to redesign it.
The icons were redesigned to create better consistency, and the typography was revised to provide better information hierarchy. I kept the title typeface, but I changed the body text to Helvetica Neue, an objective typeface which helps the user focus on the emotion of the post itself.
I used the verification code to user identification because I wanted the ultimate anonymous. And the user doesn't have a user name, so I used the coloring Avatar to allowed expressing their mood.
The user can check how many posts, and comments they wrote, and how many hearts(Likes) did they get from other users. I used the medal system to demonstrate which user gave useful and helpful feedback to others.
From my user-testing, and observing, I realized many users only used the emojis instead of wrote comments. So, I decided not to use the emojis as reactions.
The biggest challenge was how to avoid internet trolls. I put the warning sign on the top, so the user avoided writing abused to arouse the other users. Also, I used the filtering system when the user used profanity on their comments or posts. These kinds of warning sign remind the user should be nice to each other, moreover, the medal system supports to solve this problem.
My ideas about this app are perfect anonymous. However, avoiding trolls in the chat is difficult. So, I put the report buttons on each chat boxes and used the same filtering system which are in the posts and comments. I don't put the medal system (giving hearts)because it can be misused by malignancy users.
Good UX needs time. I learned that in order to problem solve effectively, designers must flesh out their ideas and focus on the first parts of the process before heading into design work. It takes a considerable amount of time to do user research, market research, and to figure out page flows.
I learned that I shouldn’t get caught up in the aesthetic details during the ideation and prototyping phase. It is important to quickly and repeatedly test the usability and flow of interaction, correct the issues, after then to move on to the aesthetics at the end of the process.
I realized that I jumped too quickly into design work without putting enough thought into the page flows. Because of this, I learned the importance of IA mapping, and I had to go back to reconfigure the IA map.
Here is my beautiful casestudy.