About the project
Suicide and depression rates in India, are among the highest in the world. Indians do not get professional help due to social stigma, lack of awareness, and reduced therapists' availability. How can we solve this issue?

Role: Project owner - UX research & design

Team: Subi

Duration: 4 months

Learning from experts
I read several academic papers related to mental health and its stigma in India. This gave me deep insight into how Indian society views the problem & methods to tackle it.
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Involving users, from the start
By speaking to my target users, I was able to confirm my assumptions & consolidate their needs. They were 18 - 30 yrs of age, & from the region of Pondy, India (the region with a suicide rate of 4 times the National average) 
Outlining user needs
  • Users need an accessible & discrete method of therapy.
  • Users need education & guidance about handling mental health issues.
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Prioritizing features
The insights gained from the previous steps were used to brainstorm some features. The features were then mapped on a 2*2 prioritization grid to figure out which features to include in the current stage.
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Why a mobile app would be the best solution
  • 91% of target users use phones with apps.
  • 85% of target users had a high acceptability level for using telemedicine for counseling.
  • Users, because of negative stigma, would feel comfortable getting help through a discrete method - call/text
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Basic sketches & site map
The basic idea and layout of the different features of the app were sketched out on paper. To visualize the flow of the app, a site map was constructed. 
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Wireframes
The paper sketches were turned into low-fidelity wireframes using Sketch. This laid the foundation for the UI and placement of the different screens in the app.
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Design, test, iterate
The input of the users was there at every step of the design - be it choosing the right color palette to tweaking features. User testing was done with 35 users after which iterations were made.
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How the app was received
  • There was an overall positive response to get help through the app.
  • The contents of the app were useful in helping the users with their mental health.
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My major learnings
  • Validate your assumptions about user needs.
  • Balance time between research & design.
  • Data & analytics never lie.