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A Native Mental Health and Wellness App

WellNest: Welcome

A Balanced Wellness App
Focusing on Physical and Mental Health


Our team's objective was to identify a problem space within the health care arena and design a native app to address the discovered issue. We would then present the research and final prototype to stakeholders within our agency.

After much discussion and competitive research, we concluded that formulating a well-rounded product that effectively addressed both physical and mental health while also effectively handling stress management for our users would be our MVP. 

What were we aiming to solve?

Based on research of the competitive space, we believed that a mobile app that valued a balanced focus on mental and physical health through guidance of a wellness coach, curated light workouts and meditation would increase our users' over all wellness and day-to-day mood stability by 20%.


Samantha Bonnet

Amy Freid (Scrum Master)
Ivy Chen


  • Sketch

  • inVision

  • KeyNote


  • Screener Survey

  • Initial User Interviews

  • Affinity Mapping

  • Persona​

  • Journey Mapping​

  • MoSCoW Mapping​

  • Design Studio

  • Paper Prototyping

  • Mid-Fi Prototyping

  • Hi-Fi Prototyping

  • Usability Testing

We sent out a survey screener to identify users who regularly aimed to manage their stress and received 27 responses in total. We focused primarily on identifying their preferred methods for relieving their daily stress, such as working out, meditation or journaling.



Amy_Ivy_Sam_WellNest FINAL DECK V2 REVIS

Interestingly enough, we uncovered that over half of the screener participants shared that they typically managed their stress through physical
activity and working out while roughly
40% referred to meditation and counseling as their preferred form of stress management. We ultimately reached out and interviewed 6 participants from our screener in order to identify the "other" that came up to 52% in our survey results.

Upon conducting those interviews, we uncovered that those particular participants referred to
"talking to others" as a form of stress management, particularly venting to friends and family and spending time with them.

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In order to draw out actionable results for our affinity mapping, we inquired our screener survey participants about their daily stress management habits and their effectiveness. We asked questions such as:

  • What kind of exercise tends to relieve your stress?

  • What kind of imagery and sounds tend to give you relief after a hard day?

  • How do you practice meditation and how effective is it for you?

    With that, we were able to come about key insights that revolved around a balance of physical and mental wellness, a 
     desire for constant accountability and forming productive routines.




Stress Relief

Users are conscious of their mental stress and are actively alleviating it with activities that they know have worked in the past

“Getting my body moving is usually the best thing for me. It's helped me before.”



Users are interested in meditation and have explored different meditation apps, but ultimately fall off

“I’d like to meditate, but I’m not sure if I do it right.”



Users like to use physical fitness as a mode of relieving stress, though at times, they may need encouragement

“I like to try different workouts to relieve stress because I know it works.”


Positive Reinforcement

Users find positive reinforcement more credible when hearing it from real people

“Positive reinforcement puts my personal challenges into perspective for me.”

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When we devised Becca's user journey map, we wanted to be as realistic as possible in order to reflect even the most subtle of implications from our interviews. We found that while the majority of our users do meditate or have attempted meditated in the past, a surprisingly large portion find meditation "hard to do" or "frustrating" due to the inability to focus. Additionally, since meditation is less energy intensive than exercise, we agreed that with a lack of accountability or tracking, Becca is likely to not complete either activity without encouragement and would be more likely to choose a more passive activity, such as watching television and consuming alcohol, which would satisfy her temporarily, but disappoint her in the long run.


Having found and mapped out the trending themes from our user research, we were able to create our persona, Becca Cooper, whom we'd refer to throughout the entire design process.


Taking traits directly from our user pool, we developed Becca to be an educator in her mid-20's with a sometimes overwhelming lifestyle that was difficult to keep track of. Knowing this, we knew that we needed to design an app that would do the tracking for her, but also hold her accountable for productive stress management outside of work.

While we knew that positive reinforcement was important to our users, we found that the majority of our interview pool felt that receiving computer-generated positive affirmations felt "inauthentic", though there was general agreement that exposure to affirmations and inspirational quotations did have a slight positive effect on overall mood. Taking that into consideration, we knew that we wanted to introduce a human element in the form of an "online wellness coach" that would provide real encouragement to users. We also agreed that while we did want to include positive affirmations within the app, (as a way to add to the tranquil and generally encouraging nature of the app),  we did not want our users to be annoyed or feel that the positivity is being 'forced' upon them, as it would be seen in the form of SMS push messaging. 

We also wanted to keep in mind what would be aesthetically and audibly pleasing to Becca during a period of high stress and take that into consideration when developing features such as audio or color choice.


Amy_Ivy_Sam_WellNest FINAL DECK V2 REVIS


Knowing of the high saturation of both fitness and meditation apps in the market, our team decided it would be best to explore and experiment with some of the more popular apps in order to uncover trends in each that can be fully balanced within WellNest.

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Considering that this design was meant to be a partnership, this was also a perfect opportunity to look into apps that had the look, feel and content that we felt matched our vision for the app.

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Ultimately, we decided that a partnership with the popular meditation app Headspace would be the most effective in making WellNest successful. We believed that taking advantage of Headspace's large library of mindfulness focused content (which includes meditations for focus and sleep) in conjunction with curated workouts and an assigned personal wellness coach would be twice as effective in guiding users to achieve successful stress relief and work balance than it would be if users had to use separate apps for mindfulness and exercise. 


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We then proceeded to formulate and run usability tests on the paper prototype, giving users the following tasks: 

1. Complete WellNest’s on-boarding assessment and visit your customized home page.

2. Schedule a check-in with your wellness coach to get to know each other better.

3. Find a short 5-min guided Yoga workout to get yourself pumped up and ready for the day.


We began our design process with a design studio, creating individual sketches before combining our best ideas.
We wanted the app to create a unique individualized experience for each user. Therefore, we wanted to include
an initial assessment during user registration which will evaluate user preference and taste and then curate video meditations and workouts into a scrollable 'playlist' on the home screen.

On our paper prototype, we included different progress bars on the home screen, the general fitness screen and the yoga screen. We wanted our users to be able to track all of their progress on the home screen, all of their completed workouts on the general fitness screen and, since we were using yoga as an example exercise, all their completed yoga workouts, on the main yoga screen.

Paper Prototype Post - Test Survey

6/6 users were successful in completing the assigned task

6/6 users graded the test as a 1 (very easy) on the difficulty scale


Usability Findings

Users found the numbers beneath the tracking bar confusing. They couldn't figure out how progress was being measured.

Proposed Solution

Remove numbers and simplify how activities are tracked throughout the app

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After gathering insights and proposing solutions, we began designing our mid-fidelity 
wireframes. Taking the results of our first usability test into consideration, we decided
that we would simplify our progress tracker by substituting the numbers from the paper prototype with 'this week' as copy, clarifying to the user that their progress is being recorded in weekly intervals.

Initially, when we had added the "running goal" copy beneath the progress bar, we had

we had presumed that users would understand that the drop-down arrow (as can be seen by the upper right corner of the progress bar) would reveal multiple user goals under the category of  "Fitness" (such as running, yoga or pilates). However, due to the confusion that this was causing during our usability testing, we collectively decided it was better to simplify the design by ridding of it altogether and isolating the progress bars on their own respective categories.

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Mid-Fi Prototype Post - Test Survey

6/6 users were successful in completing the assigned task

6/6 users graded the test as a 1 (very easy) on the difficulty scale

6/6 users were successful in completing the assigned task

6/6 users graded the test as a 1 (very easy) on the difficulty scale


Usability Findings

Users understood that the audio icon was for audio, but was unsure what the audio would be

Proposed Solution

Change the icon to a music note to fully communicate that it is indeed for music.

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On our third iteration, we agreed that a color palette of powdered blue and soft rose tones would be best suited to communicate coolness and tranquility. We decisively
used Headspace's bright orange, not only as a slight nod to the partnering brand,
but as an identifier for calls for action throughout the app, naturally attracting the

users eye against the cooler softer hues of the user interface.


We also added a splash of red for the SOS feature (to be found on the upper right-hand side of all main screens). All usability test users concluded correctly that the SOS button was likely for 'anxiety' or 'mental health' related emergencies. Therefore, we wanted the button to be noticeable at all times.

We also changed the assumed "volume" button to a floating icon with a musical note
so that users can understand that it is for ambiance music and it is meant for them
to interact with.




While we did receive positive feedback from stakeholders, we do realize that the scope of this project was rather small due to the brief time frame. Therefore, we included intended next steps for this project which included:

  • Creating the SOS interface would include emergency grounding techniques for panic attacks and hotline numbers.

  • Explore the information architecture of the menu and how users can further customize their home screen via settings

  • Creating the chat and call interface for coach and user contact

  • Creating a playlist of ambient nature sounds and music and running tests to uncover which are the most effective

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In our specification document, we included all basic UI elements as well as elements unique to the WellNest app. We also wanted to include the conceptual idea of the ambiance sound player as well, despite it not being in the current prototype.

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We also formulated a user flow in order to pinpoint any pain points in the app that may trigger users to abandon the app at any point.



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