After talking with teens who would be using the app, the design brief became clear; MindShift needed to feel credible, inviting, not condescending, and have a discreet name and design. The branding centered around a stable, cool color, no gimmicks, and short, concise copy that didn’t try too hard – it felt like a professional talking to another person. We made the brand approachable, direct, and without excess. The goal was for it to be an efficient tool. We achieved this with clear type, a clean layout and a logo that was inviting and that would blend in with other app icons on a teen’s smartphone and not draw attention or questions.
To be sure the experts were right, we invited teens with anxiety into our office to conduct a focus group on effectiveness, usability, and helpfulness of the app. Through this focus group, we discovered ways to shape our expert-recommended app features in ways that would be well received by the young adults actually using them.
From paper wireframes, to sketches thru usability testing to high-fidelity designs to programming of a robust app that was updated several times with improvements that make it even more helpful.
Since its launch in June 2013, the MindShift app has exceeded client expectations, with hundreds of thousands of downloads, hundreds of 5-star reviews, and enthusiastic acclaim from mental health professionals and organizations. News of the app’s success has been featured on news outlets like Good.is, Fox News and BuzzFeed, and discussed on the CBC radio program “On The Coast” with Stephen Quinn and “Evening Rounds,” a monthly speaker series for healthcare communications professionals in Vancouver.
Best of all, heartfelt user reviews have attested to benefits of the MindShift app to calm worries and make anxiety ridden days feel more manageable.