Goal/ Concept statement
Journaling can be considered really beneficial for an individual’s mind as it allows them to record and organize their thoughts, events, “to-dos”, anything that the individual may deem important. Many smartphone apps that have these characteristics are known as mood trackers as they allow the user to track their daily moods as well as writing journal entries for them to look back on. However, emotions fluctuate and can be difficult to categorize. My goal for this project is to create an app that displays the user’s positive/negative moods throughout the day. Based on their journal entries, the app can detect certain patterns that may cause the user to feel a certain way. In addition, users are provided help from therapists who can use these apps to check up on the user.
Phase 1: Define
The dry details of the project. Describe what it is you’re making, define its requirements, needs, perimeters, etc.
- What is the problem being solved?
Mood trackers are great for users to see their mood progressions over time. However, the one flaw that many of these mood trackers have is that they are only let users input one emotion. Usually these selections range from Great, Okay, to Bad. But what if their emotions were in between, or all over the place? An individual’s mood throughout a day cannot be expressed with just one word. The problem that is being solved is to allow the user to input a multitude of words that expressed how they felt throughout the day and display how much positivity/negativity they’ve felt during that same day. In addition, some users may want to know certain patterns as to what makes them behave in such way and so forth.
- What are the project expectations?
The expectations of this project is to ask the user’s how they’re feeling and have them choose up to 5 words that describe how they’ve felt. Based on their choices, the app will show a percentage of how they’ve felt during that day (positive/negative emotions). In addition, users are able to input a journal entry which allows the app to detect certain patterns of the user, informing them and providing information/solutions that can be beneficial for them. There are also articles that users can read when they want to know more about a certain subject. In addition, users will be able to contact therapists if they wish to receive professional help. Therapists would also be able to use these apps to check up on their clients.
- Describe what is being made
What’s being made is an app that can help users track their moods and patterns. The app would ask “How are you doing?” every time users log into it. Users are given word bank (which they can edit themselves if the given words do not satisfy them) and will be able to choose up to 5 words. Depending on those words, the app will determine your positive/negative emotions by percentage. This feature is suppose to solve the issue when inputting an entry in a mood tracker app.
- Who is the audience?
Technically, anyone is free to use the app whether they’re just curious or trying to strengthen their mental wellbeing. Not all users have to use all the features (contacting therapists).
Phase 2: Shape
Concept development. This is where you describe the process of exploring the concepts and begin defining more interpretive goals.
- What are the precedents. What do they do well? What don’t they do well?There have been many mood tracking/mental health apps that provide a variety of characteristics and features. Daylio is an example of a mood diary which allows the user to enter an emotion (great-awful) and insert activities (emoji form) that the user has done during that day. Users can also include an entry if they wish. This app also provides mood line charts, showing the average of the individual’s mood throughout the week/month. I noticed that this is a common feature in many of these mood apps and I think it’s very useful since it visually shows the user’s progress. The designs are rather fairly simple, solid colors. The app, however, is more focused on the journal aspects rather than providing information to the user.Another app that also focuses on the mental health spectrum would be Pacifica. Pacifica provides a variety of features; it allows user to enter their mood of the day, providing line charts for every week. They also provide meditation tracks that vary from calming noises to how-to lessons depending on what you wish to improve on. This app also acts as a social media platform, allowing people to post and comment what they’re going through. However, not a lot of people are active on the social media platform, so that features stands rather flat. To add on, they provide a service which allows users to find certified therapists near their area. Unlike the Daylio app, Pacifica has a much more visual feel, giving users a number of background customization to choose from. Overall, Pacifica has a lot of really nice features, the majority however does come with a price. Despite all of its great features, depending on the person, it can be rather overwhelming since there were some that I deemed rather unnecessary (like the social platform) due to lack of usage and activity
- Develop concept art
When making the app, the color scheme consisted of blue hues with sprinkled yellow here and there since they’re rather contrasting. The app design overall is fairly simple so that users can easily navigate through the features provided. There are at most 3 emojis in order to easily represent their mood info.
Phase 3: Make/ Prototypes
Development. Describe how this thing will be made.
- What were the prototype stages and what did you learn from each prototype?
The prototype stages changed in varying degree. Initially, I wanted to create a journal app that had game features within it so that journaling would be less of a hassle since there are people out there that think journaling is a tedious task to do. From my first prototype, I have gotten some mixed feedback since my course of direction was rather vague. Some liked the sketch-esque style whereas others found it rather childish. The gaming aspect of the prototype was also rather confusing for some since the idea was rather poorly developed. My second/third prototype took a new direction as I focused more on the journal aspect and discovered mood trackers. I was going for the theme of weather since weather and mood can change throughout the day. However, when asked about my prototype, I noticed that my intentions were rather unclear. The feedback that I received from my third prototype were really helpful and made me realized the intention that I initially wanted to pursue in the first place. It was stated that my intentions were to survey users in order to determine their emotional state. In order to do so, providing a feature which could express the user’s feelings through a simple process can be beneficial for such prototype. The fourth prototype used a word bank so that users can choose words that described ho they felt during that day. I chose to use words rather than visuals since I think words can provide great different meanings that can relate to how the user is feeling. Feedback was also really helpful during this round since the professor brought up the idea of detecting behavioral patterns since doing so can be very beneficial to those who wish to better themselves in any way. The word bank also made it rather difficult to choose from since the words were very small, so scrolling through the choices would be much preferable. The prototype design would be built in Sketch while the transitions and actions would be made in Principal since the prototype is suppose to be a smartphone app. Principal also provides very simple transitions and makes the process of development rather simple
- What is the approval process?
The approval process is fairly simple as it requires smooth performance and functioning features. The app should be fairly easy to navigate and be able to provide new features for mood tracking apps (detecting behavioral patterns). The process should also include being able to use the contact feature to see if it is beneficial for the app.
Phase 4: Launch
Describe the plan to launch this thing.
- Is there marketing involved? Who is responsible for creating that plan? Who is making the creative/assets. What are the details of the launch platform?
There isn’t really much marketing involved in this app since it’s purpose is to be used by the user and therapists. Therapists that use this platform, however, are able to display themselves for availability for those who wish to consult with them. People can freely download the app through app stores.
Here’s where you list any remaining questions
Should there be additional tests that users can take on this app? Would it be more effective? Would it be too overwhelming if there were too many tests to take?