The pandemic of 2020 and the emergence of COVID -19 heightened the awareness of the importance of a conscious effort to better take care of oneself. As a massage therapist, clients usually ask me for information about complementary and supplementary actions to include in their daily lives. Over the years, this inquiry from clients inspired me to create this mobile application, now that I am learning UX Design. This is a project where I have the opportunity to merge my passions for service, health, and design and show my empathy.
The wellness industry is an increasing billion-dollar economy, where beauty products, physical fitness, and mental health are the top 3. Collective Health Care Knowledge (CHCK) is a wellness mobile application that will provide collective and holistic resources for self-care because, in today's society, positive information can bring a universal profound connection.
The demands and pressure the society puts on each other produce a growing number of mental health issues, illnesses, and decay of any sense of balanced well-being.
A collective resource of ideas from diverse ways of taking care of one’s health, mind, body, spirit that also can be shared, scheduled, and collected as a personal health care check system or group effort.
UX UI Designer, UX Researcher
More than 80 hours of work
The Design Process
Prototype & Test
People are feeling overworked, overwhelmed and aversion to dealing with stress. 69%, of employees, are experiencing burnout symptoms. This project takes on a bottom-up approach because it is inspired by clients, and it allows me as a designer to take ownership, and co-create with customers.
I conducted remote user interviews and user surveys to learn and empathize with potential customers. From my interviews, 50% of the people did not believe to have a self-care habit. They are mostly reminded to do so when they are already in pain, feel aches, experience insomnia, migraines, or any other physical and mental symptoms. The other 50% believe to have some healthy habits but are inconsistent and need some type of affirmative reminder.
Conducting Competitive Analysis Recognizes the Business Market
and User Needs
Researching on health and wellness applications gives insight and value to what users are looking for in services, products, and features. After analyzing the feedback from each company, there is a demand for an easy-to-use holistic application that doesn't come across as for profit only.
Questions that Arise During Analysis are
What are users looking for ultimately?
What are my customer's pain points?
What are their needs and goals?
Who are my typical customers?
How does this product I am making fit into their life?
How does this product solve their problems?
How might we address both user needs and business goals?
What are the most important features for the user?
User Insights on Drivers for Self Care
It gives the chance to understand who the users are, their demographics, their level of knowledge about self-care, their habits, background, lifestyle, and their pain points, and how to connect user needs with business goals, and identify trends.
1. Insights From User Surveys
Less than 50% of people surveyed can say to have a routine for themselves.
About 20% know for a fact not having any type of self-care routine.
About 30% are unsure of having a routine.
Participants have a loose set of habits and are reminded of self-care due to emotional instability and stress.
When asked if they have a vice that keeps them from self-care, 13.6% were honest and said yes, 45.5% said no, 18.2% said maybe, and 22.7% defended their vice to not being a vice. For example, having drinks and smoking in moderation is not a vice.
It is human nature to be one's self great justifier.
2. Insights From User Interviews
People give more effort to work, and others.
People put less effort into themselves
People want to learn how to bring more balance in their lives, daily and weekly habits.
People shared that they are inspired to do self-care from their friends, youtube, social media, and mobile apps.
People also enjoyed sharing their self-care with family and friends, and are starting to be more mindful of the importance of valuing themselves self and prioritizing their overall well-being
User's of wellness apps are not completely satisfied and quickly lose interest. They feel that there's something missing.
3. When Asked What the Motivation for Self-Care is
To live a healthier and happier life, and longer.
To break the negative cycles that they are aware of
To think of themselves more and feel more grounded
To have the courage to speak up
It feels good physically and to love one's self
The fun and ability in taking care of one's self and others
To be able to take care of one's family by taking care of one's self
To have more comfort in daily lives
Relief from stress, anxiety, confusion, neurosis, overwhelming emotions
To live close to the way they imagine to be their best selves.
Why Empathy Mapping is Important
Clustering the data and understanding what the user says, thinks, does, and feels connects to the continuation of the design process. It drives the project forward in a clearer direction of a human-centered design and identifies how to make a product useful, effective, and efficient.
Self-care is subjective, relative, and universal. It involves every matter of a person. Some describe it as caring for one's attitude, actions, strategies for coping with stress, building resilience, strength, self-love...etc. Self-care is a combination of discipline mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Many of the participants openly shared their self-care habits. Participants needed kind reminders and motivations to learn how to cope with stress, overthinking, low self-esteem, insecurities, and fears.
One of the main problems of users is having a wholesome self-care habit to integrate into their busy lives without feeling conflicted. It is letting go of internal/external judgments, staying motivated, and keeping a positive internal dialogue.
Meet Halle, the Primary Persona
Halle is a young nurse who is adjusting to working and life balance. She wants to give herself the quality time she gives to others. She is looking for ways how to deal with stress, improve sleep quality, and feel energized every morning. She wants to develop a healthy workout to tone her body and mental faculties.
People can relate to Halle, who has irregular working hours and who gives more to others than they give to themselves.
“I need to give myself a break, and not be afraid of what anybody thinks.”
Meet Justin, the Secondary Personas
Justin has always worked since he was a teenager. He wants to be a great example for his family to be healthy, happy, and peaceful.He eats healthy most of the days and goes to the gym 3-4 times a week. He wants to have a more well-rounded approach to his family’s health. He is learning with his wife how to meditate, relax, and prepare healthier meals for them. They are adjusting slowly.
People can relate to Justin because he embodies a hard-working family who is looking to improve one's themselves to be most useful to the family, business, and set a good example.
“I just want to do it, and not just think about taking care of myself”
Since self-care can be a sensitive topic for many individuals; a simple discovery page to spark their interest, engagement and easy scheduling is the desired UX outcome.
The discovery page provides monthly resources, mental health, physical health, nutritional ideas, and spiritual guidance. Users can find the discovery page familiar and easy to navigate. User’s advised to keep their intentions and goals on the discovery page for a good reminder.
The idea is to create and inspire shared perspective, purpose, and values to create long-term success. The many resources inspire open-mindedness, courage, and build a culture of respect centering on self-care ideas and wholesomeness.
User Flows to Guide the Interface Designs Users Will Encounter
A guide of what interfaces users will encounter. It gives the idea of what choices they may take while browsing the product. User flows clarify the objective key results of the product. I discovered the most simple and basic flow that users need to follow to attain this goal.
Why Sketches and Early Wireframes are Significant
Sketching allows for the experimentation of different layouts to find which match the purpose of the service design in a non-constraint mindset environment. It takes a pencil, or pen, paper, and unrestrained creativity, openness, and freedom from judgment. Finding the right layout is as important as the content itself because if the user cannot appreciate and follow, the content will be missed and the user engagement will be interrupted.
With sketches and early wireframes, it allows to have immediate feedback and managing changes can easily be iterated. Having the right framework approved by testers gives a better foundation when content is added for the mock-up testing.
How the UI Kit Helps Bring More Sense to the Product
People are known to be more visually engaged and the first impressions have lasting impacts. But of course, there are people whose other senses dominate more than the other. Vision can reach as far as the eyes can see, and as close as the tip of the nose. The eyes are also energetically connected to the stomach, our second brain. That is why, seeing a photo of a delicious meal, makes us hungry, or seeing a distant scene, makes you want to go there. Finding the appropriate font and color combination can be challenging for a holistic wellness app. Can I put the colors of the rainbow instead? Like Skittle's saying, "Can you taste the rainbow?"
UI Kit is that documentation to entice users to stay engaged with the product or service. It contributes to the mood, feelings, and how users interact with the product.
UI Kits are meant to be updated and it is not final until it is. Multiple user testing should be conducted to test which UI Kits are most welcomed by users, conduct A/B Testing, and ask for feedback to help move the design process forward.
Prototype & Test
I conducted two rounds of testing, with the low-mid prototype and high-fidelity prototype. Both testings validated the value of the app, users wanted a more visual, less reading, more audio, and more inter-action for engagement.
Participants were able to navigate through the app while discovering new ideas, scheduling, creating their profile, checking out the list of favorites, and sharing with the community. The testing showed pain points for the other features, such as the history under the profile page, the list of favorites, and the layout of the community posting. But the main discovery page and scheduling showed high direct success. Over 75% of the participants understand the purpose of the app before signing up as well. The participants definitely appreciated the background images and how they made the process feel calm and soothing. To try a different color palette is an experiment that needs to be tested to further this case study.
What is Low-Fidelity Testing?
Putting in the most essential content, layout, color, and interaction from one screen to the next and getting feedback makes up a low-fidelity mockup test. Testing and observing how much users are attracted to the content layout, invitation of first-impression, and the efficiency to complete a specific task are all important in continuing the project. This is the stage to realize if the design decisions are in the right direction or to do a pivot and explore more options. Gathering data from here must be communicated with other stakeholders and find a reason to what did not stick, and why an idea may not have transferred correctly.
Understanding How the High-fidelity Testing is Holding Up
After gathering insights and sharing these insights with other students from the previous testing, the high-fidelity mock-up testing was conducted on new users and recent participants. This time, participants showed greater interest and curiosity due to more content and renewed color combinations. Observing users, I realized that this passion project shows great promise, and continued iterations, collaborations, and research will improve user experience and service design.
Taking on this project in the Spring of 2021 was exciting, adventurous, and satisfying. My first end-to-end mobile application user experience design process. The timing of this project seems to me just appropriate - being the context of creating this project during the uncertainties of the pandemic, unemployment, and human distress. A time for re-birth and re-learning.
Deciding to learn UX Design in the summer of 2020 was an inspiring decision. I am blessed to have the opportunity to do so while having the support of family and friends. I felt the natural 'fear' of what is to come. But finishing up this 3rd Capstone project has been delightful. I am more than happy to study design principles and processes, learn the business and technical languages, and collaborate with other students and mentors via zoom.
I am looking forward to taking this project forward, sharing, and collaborating with other IT professionals. More people need to see this idea and become a stakeholder of this passion project. This is a collective crowdsourcing project that has great potential. This end-to-end mobile app will improve the generations now and after to heal and learn themselves altogether.
I started reading the book, This Is Service Design Thinking, by Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider to guide me in moving this project forward.