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Positive Affirmations, Total Brain

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The Challenge

Total Brain is a mental health application that enables users to measure 4 different categories of their brain. The platform is centered around users taking an assessment to determine their scores in these areas. Once they've taken the assessment and received their scores, Total Brain then recommends games and exercises for the user to complete to improve their scores accordingly. The Positive Affirmations exercise aimed to help users find positivity in a world that often floods your mind with negative thoughts.  We had received feedback that the current version of the exercise was difficult to use, confusing, and harsh on the eyes. It looked like this:

The Process

 As the lead designer on the project, my next step was to look at gaps in any existing research we had done, and plan for new studies as needed to make sure our team was well equipped for the task ahead. I also examined any feedback we had received from users based on the current version of the game / exercise.


I identified a few hypotheses to test and embarked on studies that included research that focused on user motivation, understanding, and receptiveness around the game itself. Here are some examples of the questions I asked below. I drafted a script on Usertesting and ran an unmoderated test.

I presented our findings to the C-suite. I wanted to get the green light to move forward with making vast changes to the current exercise based on our research. 

I then designed some lo-fidelity wireframes to share the structural approach I wanted to take based on the user feedback we had received.

I worked closely with the product manager on my team, Katie, to brainstorm ideas that would help satisfy the requirements for this feature, as well as address the feedback we had received from users via research and other feedback channels. We started off with the two ideas above, and thought of the user saying the affirmation out loud to themselves, OR recording themselves as they say it. While this was a good start, we felt that it introducing a "recording" feature would make this more complicated and out of scope. We continued to explore ideas together, and then also got more feedback from senior leadership.

We needed to address: 1) finding a way to encourage users to be thoughtful about their affirmations, 2) create a way for them to input information and feel like they could "complete" it.

After a few more iterations, we ultimately landed on a design that satisfied those needs. Users could edit the provided affirmation, and then fill in examples that would help them relate it to themselves in a more impactful way. We went through a few iterations with the UI itself, shown below, as well.

The Final Product

I played with a few different backgrounds, but ultimately went with my original choice. Eventually, we hoped to add in a functionality that would allow users to choose their own background, to set their own "feel" of the interface for this exercise. Once I decided on that final UI choice, I made sure it was responsive across devices, with examples shown below: 





We saw a rise in engagement, with more positive feedback around the feature as a whole. Users were less confused, and were able to engage with the exercise effectively.

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