The mental health app for students.
Kings College London | BA Dissertation submission
UX/UI | UX research
As part of my BA Dissertation, I designed a mental health app for students after identifying the need for students to have an outlet to share their experiences and seek support from other students and professionals.
If you want to read my other case study in which I develop the chat forum feature for the WBU app, click here
Mental illness is on the rise amongst university students in the UK. More and more students are experiencing anxiety, loneliness, thoughts of self-harm and depression, impacting their university experience. Students are exposed to an unfamiliar environment when going to university with many moving away from home the first time. They're expected to achieve academically as well as make sure they are having the full university experience making life long friends. However, with these high expectations placed on students it is not easy for students to have a balanced university life which leads to many students battling with mental health problems they are afraid to admit to or talk about.
To emphasise on the issue being faced in the country, The Guardian conducted a survey which consisted of 38,000 university students in the UK asking about their mental health. Shocking results included 50.3% of the students in the survey having thoughts of self harm and 44.7% of students using alcohol or drugs to deal with their problems.
These shocking results show that there is an urgent call for action and that student mental health needs to be a priority. Students need to feel more comfortable talking about their problems amongst one another or be able to reach out to help professionally.
Students that often or always feel worried with high feelings of anxiety.
Calm, peace, relaxation, self-expression, honesty, creativity
Balance, harmony, personal development, self-acceptance, compassion for self
When choosing the colour scheme for WBU, it was important to explore colours that had positive connotations and would give off a peaceful vibe. To do this I had to explore the psychology behind colours and their meanings. I decided to use blue and green as my main colours as their connotations included: calm, peace, balance and many more. I want students to feel calm when they explore the app and not be exposed to extremely bright colours. When asking students for their opinions, the combination of blue and green was a popular choice as they felt they'd enjoy their time on the app with tranquil colours.
I have designed a mental health app that will help encourage university students to have conversations about their worries and thoughts during their university experience. WBU is a platform which will provide a range of resources for students to utilise, ensuring that they build healthy relationships with other university students as well as having the option to seek professional support too.
The aim in creating a logo for WBU, was to make it simple yet bold and hold meaning to the target audience.
I wanted the logo to give an insight into what the app is about, which is why the use of text bubbles are appropriate as it shows a conversation occurring between two people. I want the logo to signify that having conversations is a huge element to the app, sparking an interest for students to want to use the app.
Why is it called WBU? WBU is a popular term used among my target audience and it is short for 'what about you'. It is a phrase used which can be used for many different situations.
Tying the imagery of text bubbles used and calling my app WBU, the aim of my app is emphasised and I want it to be easily recognisable.
Log in your emotions and thoughts
When a student signs into the app each day, they can scroll through a range of emotions which are then tracked onto a calendar. This helps keep track of a students mood each day.
Users then have the option to create their to-do list for the day including a positive affirmation and goal of the day which are options that can also be skipped. The to-do list is then managed on the home screen.
Users can use the home page to access different sections of the app easily. The to-do list is easily manageable so students can tick off their list as the day progresses. You can browse current conversations or start your own with a click of a button.
Events for the week are also shown which gives all the information needed and gives users the option to find others that will be attending.
WBU will also have a question of the week to find out different information from users, helping to develop the app and provide students with the support they need.
Users can view all conversations happening and choose to view the latest or the most popular ones. Previews of conversations are shown which will help users choose which ones they want to engage with.
Users can tap on the '+' button, allowing them to start their own conversation and can be notified when other users respond.
Users can view conversations and scroll through responses as well as leave a like by tapping on the heart icon. They can also reply anonymously and share thoughts and advice.
Have a private conversation
Students have the option to start a private chat with another student. If the student chooses to accept the message request, users can interact privately and choose to share more information with one another.
Get professional support
Students can search for their university and get in contact with the mental health services through phone or email. Students can also book sessions through the app and find out additional information about different services available.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
This app is great! It is a great idea for university students like myself and I would definitely be a regular user.
I really like the concept of this app, I haven't seen anything like it. This will give students like myself a safe space to talk to other students and it will help us a lot.
I really like the 'talk' feature as you can find out other students that are going through the same thing. Overall the app is great!
I love the colour scheme of the app and the fact that there isn't something like this out there makes it even better. This would be a huge step forward to looking after student mental health.
I designed this app for my third year dissertation project, using technology to help contribute to solving the problem of student mental health in universities in the UK.