As this was my final 12-week University project, the brief was self-initiated. This meant that I could either continue developing my project from the first Semester (LearnAR) or start afresh by approaching another area of my choice. I chose the latter and decided to delve into a new area. When deciding upon a direction, I knew that I wanted to tackle an issue which is very prominent in today's society. I had a strong desire to design something which has the potential to help people, as well as make a real difference. For these reasons, I chose to explore men's mental health, designing an app aimed at this demographic.
Download my supporting document, which displays the full process of my design in detail.
I designed an app called 'thoughtmate' which provides men with a hub of useful features to manage their mental health. It features mood tracking, stories of lived experiences from respected men in the community (ambassadors), forums, and an instant support toolkit. It also aims to reduce the stigma surrounding the subject, encouraging men to open up rather than keep their feelings bottled up inside.
For my research, I looked into mental health campaigns, other apps, user reviews, hegemonic masculinity, research papers, as well as conducted a survey and focus group. This enabled me to identify my audience and their wants/needs, as well as direct the content and features of the app. All the features included within the app were carefully thought out and based upon my research into what men would utilise, and find most useful.
I chose 'reaching out is strong' as my tagline as I feel that it embodies the overall ethos and message of the brand. During my research, many users stated that the app must be branded in such a way that they feel comfortable having it on their devices. From the name, through to the logo and app design itself, this was considered and designed with the user's preferences in mind. I created an interactive prototype and video, which can be viewed below.