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Create a mental health app that helps individual seeking mental professionals and support groups that best match theirs needs through a quick but comprehensive questionnaire and location matching system. While also maintaining daily mental health checks, weekly goal achievement, and exercises in order to have the best possible experience in their mental health journey. Creating a safe and caring environment that combats and aims to change the societal norm of mental health care and illness.
When it comes to mental health and mental illness people really don’t want to talk about it. Mental illness is something that has a stigma placed upon it. It is something that is swept under the rug and we are told that it is not something to openly speak about and that we should hide it from the world. Which drives people to think that they should embarrassed by it, or they don’t want people to view them as weaker than they are, or even set themselves up to think that there is nothing wrong, putting themselves in denial of their condition(s). And maybe as you read this, you start to say “Hey, I had that happen to me” or “I’ve done that”. In reality, mental illness is a very common occurrence around 450 million currently live with mental illness worldwide. That’s 121. 8 million more people than currently live in the US. This is where I saw the first major problem, even though parts of society are trying to turn a positive corner on these subjects. Our society as a whole has yet to normalize mental illness and the necessity of mental health services. So, I decided how can I help normalize these two giants? well what’s more normal than downloading and working within an app? Apps are so normal today that most of us wouldn’t know what to do without them.
The next problem that needed to be tackled, before even starting to plot out what HAVEN was going to be, was the practical issues of how to make mental health services easily accessible, as well as how to find professionals that best fit the user. These are big issues that we rarely think about, how do you find your mental health providers? If you do find them, how do you know if they’re going to work the best for you? How do you check to see if there are any mental health professionals that specialize in your mental illness in your area? And even if all these questions get answered and the professional you find looks great on paper, what happens if their style of therapy or groups work just doesn’t fit you? I guess that means starting all over. For these issues I decided I was going to create a questionnaire that would cover a range of specifics, from previous diagnosis, to session time availabilities, your location, and even down to what you want to work on. To make it all around easier to find you the nearest and best mental health provider option for you.
The third problem that I wanted to cover, was that of the user’s mental illness making it harder for them to even start the process of treatment. Many mental illnesses make it extremely hard for people to do day-to-day things, so going out to find and maintain a mental health provider starts to seem like an almost impossible task. With this problem I then began to think why not have the user be able to instant message, video conference, or call into their therapy or counseling sessions.
I then got to thinking about the flaws I saw in my own experience with therapy. Therapy sessions on average only happen once, maybe twice a week. Which gives an hour for a recap of the week and then possibly real growth. After that hour is up your focus strays back to your daily life and away from focusing on your mental health. So, I then thought it was best to implement subsections with in the app to keep the user engaged in the betterment of their mental health, through daily check ins, mantras and exercises, music suggested by the professional, and a weekly to do list set by the professional.
When it came to the visual language of the app and how that would communicate to the user. I really aimed to give a sense of nonthreatening, soft, relaxed feelings through comforting color gradients, rounded edges, and choice of fonts. The color was a big concern for this project, I specifically choose light blue, pastel green, and white. Light blue because it radiates feelings of peace, tranquility, and calming with a gentle appearance. Color psychology also shows that blue is associated with trustworthiness and reliability. Green because it promotes a strong sense of growth, harmony, fruitfulness. It is also associated with Gia a nuturing force of stability and strength. White for it clean appearance, giving the user a sense of a clean stale. Showing HAVEN as a pure and accepting place for them to come to. When choosing “Flamingos Regular”, it actually was a happy accident, but once used it the feeling of a handwritten message, evoked this feeling of a friend writing to the user. It gave off a welcoming and genuine feeling that I though embodied the feeling I wanted to convey to the users. Then when I choose “Sabon LT Pro Bold” that was purely based on research I did on font legibility. I knew that I wanted the questionnaire to be clear, concise, and easy to read, so when I found “Sabon” I knew it was the right one. The interface is everything to an app, it speaks volumes without making a sound. Look back on HAVEN I can say with complete confidence that my interface says actually what it needs to.
Titles & Profile Buttons – Flamingos Regular
Questionnaire – Sabon LT Pro Bold
When it came to the personal questionnaire I wanted to focus on inclusivity and comprehensive information gathering to best find out the lifestyle of the user in order to match them with their best mental health professional. The questionnaire itself covers:
|Age||Family mental health history||Lifestyle|
|Location||Prior or current drug addictions||Financial assistance needs|
|Gender||Prior diagnosis||Insurance carrier|
|Sexual orientation||A list of mental health problems||Career stress|
|Counseling the user is searching for||Best times to meet: Day & Time||Education and Activities|
|What they would like to work on in sessions||Personality Types||Relation to exercise & Support systems|
HAVEN’s primary demographic is people between the ages of 12 and 65 years old from any and all backgrounds. Since HAVEN is an app the 11 year old and younger becomes our secondary demographic that could use HAVEN under parental permission and guidance.
Here is the basic wirefraime for the app, this the visual representation of how the the user ‘s interface flows with in, but stripped of it’s visual design or branding elements.
HAVEN’s brand is all about the normalization of mental illness and creating access to mental health services. HAVEN’s color schemes and visual language were chosen and created to evoke feels of comfort, understanding, safety, sincerity, and open-mindedness. With the HAVEN Typelogo and Logo Coin Icon, I wanted to have a modern and sleek look to them and all rounded edges to portray the app’s high as well as it’s reposeful nature. I also wanted to include what the app would look like within the app store and give an idea of the possible merchandise that could come out of the app itself, that advocates for HAVEN’s mission could sport to get the word out further.