- February - April 2022 (5 weeks)
- User research
- UX and UI design
- Usability testing
⚠️ User problem
The student body was failing to submit a wellness check-in required by administration.
We believe that students will submit wellness check-ins if the communication experience reflects a familiar conceptual model and evokes joyful emotions.
Our wellness check-in application for students is a text messaging app that they can submit their wellness check-in, view past check-ins from the past, and add additional notes to any check in.
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Initial Usability Review
I began by reviewing the usability of current experience and started to identify where the “pain points” were and where the “wow” moments were in the product.
- The rating scale was unclear in the context of the questions.
- A “streak” to be gained at the end of each check-in evoked feelings that it was all or nothing, intended to be positive stress, being that a user would not want to lose a “streak”, reflected an environment of self-competition.
- The list of questions was a reflection of exams or homework on online platforms that a user might want to select a “correct” answer.
- Have you completed a wellness check-in with UOK?
- How satisfied are you with the current UOK wellness check-in experience? (Rated 1 through 5)
- How regularly do you complete a wellness check-in with UOK?
- Which device do you use to complete a wellness check-in with UOK?
- How long does it take you to complete a wellness check-in with UOK?
- Why do you use UOK to complete wellness check-ins?
- What frustrates you most about using UOK to complete a wellness check-in?
- Why do you find this frustrating?
- If you could change just one thing about UOK, what would it be and why?
After experiencing the product first-hand, my next step was to listen to the experiences of others. The user surveys, 12 in total collected from middle school students, were rich with insight about who our audience was and what they wanted. 12 may seem like a relatively small sample, but advice I once read from Leah Buley in The User Experience Team of One, she writes, “even a small sample size, can give a sense of big trends” (Buley, 204).
The average student that submit a survey…(Questions 1-4)
- Submit 1 or more wellness check-ins with UOK prior
- Rated their satisfication a 2 out of 5
- Checked-in daily
- Submit from a mobile device
The major pain points were…(Questions 5-9)
- Not personalized
- “Too clinical”
- No way to expand
- The more the users used the application, the more comfortable and motivated they were to continue to use it.
- The users felt as a majority that the application was too impersonal and were frustrated with the inability to provide context to their answers.
White Paper Research
After reading and analyzing the user surveys, I began to draw from research articles on the topic of wellness, adolesence and motivation- when I stumbled upon this finding in a 2008 study of wellbeing published in Journal of School Psychology on gratitude and adolesence.
“In a daily gratitude journal-keeping exercise, students higher [sic] reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determintation, attentiveness, and energy …”
After finding insight after insight in this study, the idea became clear to me, that may both inspire and motivate more check-in submissions that I wanted to center the designs around a familiar experience and gratitude!
- People respond best to environments that focus on the positive.
- That evoking positive emotions in adolescents could beget determination, energy, and attentiveness, key factors I believe that could encourage a student body to want to submit a wellness check in.
How Might We
With a better understanding of the problem, I jumped into the ideation phase, identifying users actual behavior, and optimal behavior. This allowed me to write a How Might We Statement to begin forming a solution.
How might we encourage middle school students to submit a daily check in more often?
- One of the way main ways that middle school students communicate with friends and family is over their phone, and text messaging - whether it is picking them up from school, texting their crush 21 questions, and asking their friends for answers to their homework.
While ideating about potential solutions to my HMW question, I wanted to understand the products that were already successful in the wellness space. The 3 questions I asked were: is this effective? is this efficient? Is this satisfying?
- The intent of the application was the very first screen that was available in each of the applications and each focused on calmness, contentment, or awareness.
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What I would do differently next time…
Honestly, I am immensely grateful to Memorisely and to be learning about design. I had read a lot of books, watched youtube videos, had the design process in my head in a million pieces. It is so rewarding to engage with the design process from end-to-end.
- Do more contrast checks. People with disabilities are effected by mental health at a higher rate than those without a disability. It was a group of people that I thought about but in this design that I could have impacted better had I adhered more closely to WCAG criteria. In the next steps, I want to learn more about what parts of the design are the least accessible and work on bringing that up.
- Be best friends with feedback. The perspectives of others are a great counterbalance, especially when you design for long stretches of time, I lose focus of the big picture and it is hard for me where it is easy for others experiencing the product for the first time. I would ask more people for more feedback more often, if not from the students, from people who can offer similar perspective.
- Make more components. I could have completed the UI in less time if I had taken the time to make a few responsive components that I could have reused. Next time, I will be thoughtful about what components and functions are involved, and make sure I prepare those right away before I start designing to save myself as much time as possible.