UX/UI, Concept App Design
Ginger.io is a native app that provides mental health support at no cost to the end user. Ginger.io offers on-demand emotional health coaching, tele-therapy and guided self-care. My team was tasked with creating an offshoot of Ginger.io specifically for teens.
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Ginger.io is a leading mental health app that makes it easy for employers to provide their employees with on-demand emotional health support. Ginger.io recognizes the importance of home life stability to overall mental health, and seeks to extend services to their employees’ families. This includes the demographic with the most mental health instablility- teens. My team was tasked with creating a version of Ginger.io for teens.
Ginger believes that teens deserve access to high quality stigma-free mental health care
Technology can provide 24/7 care while ensuring privacy and solving the issue of physical access
We initially interviewed teens and parents of teens, but added a group of school psychologists to the mix because we realized they could have valuable insights on building trust with teens.
Here were the 3 major trends we found:
Teens don't want their parents involved in their mental health
Teens care about having a customizable experience
Teens want to feel like they aren't alone in the way that they're feeling
Using our research, we created 2 personas.
Our initial interviews revealed a few glaring pain points.
a) Teens have trust issues
Ginger.io initially wanted the app to come from the parents’ employers, provided by the parents to the teens
We realized the teens would not use an app that came from their parents
Teens were highly reluctant to reveal any troubles to people they believed might share their problems with their parents
Teens seemed to reach out to networks of peers (friends & online communities) with issues
of teens interviewed said they don’t believe a therapist would honor their confidentiality
b) Ginger.io does not follow iOS HIG or Material standards
Our task was to create an app that followed a design system
8 of the 9 teens we interviewed owned an iPhone
Had to make the UI feel like Ginger.io while simultaneously following iOS HIG standards
c) We needed to drive users to the chat function
Mood Tracking Features
show little efficacy, according to clinical research
has been found much more effective
Teens are highly private and untrustworthy of confiding in people they don’t know.
a) Build trust by changing entry point
Toyed with ideas of advertising on popular networks used by teens (ie: Pinterest, Amino, and Steam)
We let those ideas fizzle out when we couldn’t figure out how to fit them in with Ginger’s model: provide mental health services at no cost to the end user
We recommended a pivot in business strategy:
Provide service through schools instead of the parents’ employer.
b) Adapt Ginger’s UI to iOS standards
We modernized the aesthetic of Ginger.io’s UI and applied iOS design patterns to each screen
c) Add a mood log feature
One-third of teens interviewed expressed explicit interest in tracking their moods
Though clinical research views mood tracking as ineffective, we viewed it as an entry point into using the app
Teens would build familiarity with the app and we could gain their trust while they used the mood log
In a crisis, a teen would already be familiar with using GingerRoot.io, and could easily transition to the chat feature
We had the privilege of testing our product at HomeAdvisor’s UX Research Lab. HomeAdvisor’s UX team performed user testing on GingerRoot.io while I stood behind a two-way mirror watching how the user interacted with our product. After the test, I got to ask the user and the UX team direct questions about the product.
Here are the major takeaways I gleaned during user testing, and how I’d iterate in version 2:
a) Tools button looks like a settings button
Iconography used for “tools to improve your mood” is denoted by a hammer and wrench
Users thought this icon would take them to settings
Instead of calling the section “Tools”, call it “Mood Booster” or “Improve Your Mood”
Change the icon to a smiley face to improve heuristics
b) Improve the learnability of nav bar
One user expressed that she didn’t realize the options on “What would you like to do” screen were the same as the nav bar options. HomeAdvisor’s UX team offered suggestions for improving learnability
Color code the icons
Put icons in the same order on each screen
Eliminate the “What would you like to do?” screen completely
Replace it with a “walk through” feature where the user clicks through arrows informing them what the nav bar icons do
c) Increase customization of tool kit
User found the “Did that help?” pop-up after puppy video confusing
She said she probably wouldn’t know if it helped
Suggested instead a “save” feature
If the video did indeed help, she’d want to be able to save it to her personal toolkit to revisit later
Also wanted to upload her own videos to her toolkit
In our research phase, we found that teens want to feel in control over their own therapy path
Customization of toolkit is in line with those findings, and warrants further exploration