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NAAU – A Lean App To Support Depression Therapy.

NAAU – A Lean App To Support Depression Therapy.

The leading topic of the course "LEAN UX - Methoden und Mindset" lead by Prof. Marian Gunkel was "medical insights". This was mostly centered around the relationship between a doctor and his/her patient. In a design sprint in the beginning of the semester we explore the problems patients face in dealing with depression and its treatment.
The result of the design sprint was that patients need support outside therapy and simultaneously, that we would not seek to make a product that would replace therapy. Psychotherapy - as of yet - can not be automated.
Next we established a line of communication with both patient and therapist in order to get the right information to work with further. The first interview with the patient set the course for the entire project, as we learned that there was a certain order in which certain symptoms occur, for instance there was a point of crisis and there was the aftermath of said crisis. We based our thoughts and ideas around this structure and set constraints, such as the service should not annoy the user, for ourselves and noted goals and to-dos that we wanted to achieve and fulfill.
This resulted in first concept drafts of how an app might look. Though all our designs differed widely in style and execution, they all had they same user flow, leading from an onboarding process, guided by the therapist, to a task or excercise to react to certain situations, i.e. crisis. Yet it was still unclear to us what key-features the app would revolve around.
Still, in a meeting with a psychologist we got feedback on those first drafts after filling him in on our process thus far and what we had learned from the interview with the patient. He reminded us that one case of depression is not like the other and urged us to think less about treating individual cases and more about helping a larger number of people. Even though not all cases are alike, there are a few common denominators, such as overextension.
Furthermore he emphasized the necessity of an emotional log or diary, to keep track of the patients emotions. This sort of diary is sometimes part of therapy already, yet still happens on paper. Motivation on the other hand should best happen by giving positive feedback and creating a sense of achievement.
Revising our designs we unilaterally came up with a new draft divided into emotional log, tasks and excercises in order to motivate, and a statistics page for reflection in therapy.
The key-feature of the App was now the emotion wheel.
In our first user testing we showed our prototype to the patient, asking for feedback. The key-feature was definetly well received and easy to use. It was criticised though that there was no breathing space in the app. All you could do was tasks, which the patient didn't want to do streight after the emotional log entry. The patient suggested breathing space between the diary and the tasks, space to browse through pictures and articles to relax the mind.
During the annual student exhibition "Werkschau" at the FH Potsdam we took the chance to display our prototype again, this time supported by a poster explaining the concept. We showed the app to visitors of the exhibition and collected more feedback as a few questions were raised about privacy and transparency with an app like this.
Over all the success of this project is mostly due to the lean open-mindedness of its contributors. It could not have evolved the way it did without a sense of right and wrong and knowing when stand up for an idea and when let go of your own beliefs in favor of the greater good. And in the end that is probably what this project for to us - at least that's what it felt like. This - if nothing else - is proof of the level of importance design has achieved.

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Vorstellung der Semesterthemen

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KEHRAUS - Hochschule im Aufbruch

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