IRONHACK — Project 4 · Case Study
This is the 4th project of the bootcamp and in these last 5 weeks, we were given the mission to create a health and wellness app.
Technology is causing massive disruption in the health and wellness industry. The smartphone’s omnipresence has created a massive market for mobile health apps, wearables, and biometric trackers. Healthcare digital products are gaining popularity.
A survey by Gallup reveals that nearly half (45%) of Americans have at least tried digital health products such as fitness trackers or mobile health apps.
Health apps (also known as mHealth apps) are mobile applications that offer health-related services on smartphones, tablets, and other communication devices.
There are numerous mHealth apps available, each focusing on a different aspect of wellness. Among the most popular categories are:
- Exercise and fitness apps
- Reminders and habits tracker apps
- Sleep quality apps
- Woman’s health apps
- Diet and nutrition apps
- Mental health apps
- Stress reduction apps
- Meditation apps
To start this new challenge, they gave to us a client with a briefing about the product that we will create.
The Daily Health Conference is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness through impactful public talks, participatory workshops, and professional training all over the world. The Daily Health Conference began in 1983 in San Francisco as a conference where Medicine, Health, and Wellness converged, and it now covers nearly all health-related topics — from nutrition to sleep to addiction — in over 100 languages.
The Daily Health Conference offers an online membership on their website. Even though The Daily Health Conference has numerous years of experience in the field, its program has been slow to catch up with technology. They have seen a substantial drop in memberships.
While brainstorming what the new mobile apps should do, the board realized that the opportunities for translating the concept of wellness into a digital product are virtually infinite. Their members could use their apps to keep track of diet plans, fitness programs, mental wellness, stress levels, water intake, and so on. The possibilities are endless and they are not exactly sure where to begin.
We will conduct user research to understand people’s relationships with mental, physical, and emotional well-being. And then create a prototype for a tool that will motivate people to take action.
The National Wellness Institute wants designers to rethink how people can adopt and maintain a routine that enhances their well-being. The tool can be focused on any category related to personal wellness such as (but not limited to): exercise and fitness, food/diet, meditation, time management, etc. The UI must reflect a new and updated image.
With the challenge in our hands, we defined which path to follow inside the wellness theme, and the chosen one was habit builder/tracker.
For this research, we gathered information on some articles and books about building and tracking habits such as what is a habit tracker, how to build a healthy habit, how to maintain a good habit, and the benefits of having good and healthy habits to follow.
So, what is a habit tracker?
A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit. The most basic format is to get a calendar and cross off each day you stick with your routine. For example, if you meditate on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, each of those dates gets an X. 
Why do humans have habits? One likely reason people are creatures of habit is that habits are efficient: people can perform useful behaviors without wasting time and energy deliberating about what to do. This tendency toward quick-and-efficient responses can backfire, however — when it gets hijacked by the use of addictive drugs or the consumption of unhealthy food.
Habits are built through learning and repetition. A person is thought to develop a habit in the course of pursuing goals (such as driving to a destination or satisfying an appetite) by beginning to associate certain cues with behavioral responses that help meet the goal (turning at certain streets, or stopping at a drive-thru with a familiar sign). Over time, thoughts of the behavior and ultimately the behavior itself are likely to be triggered by these cues.
What is a habit loop?
A “habit loop” is a way of describing several related elements that produce habits. These elements have been called the cue (or trigger), the routine (or behavior), and the reward. For example, stress could serve as a cue that one responds to by eating, smoking, or drinking, which produces the reward (the reduction of stress — at least temporarily). The “habit loop” concept was popularized by Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit.
What’s the difference between a habit and a routine?
While a routine involves repeated behavior, it’s not necessarily performed in response to an ingrained impulse, like a habit is. You might routinely wash the dishes or go to the gym without feeling an impulse to do so because you feel you need to do those things. 
The benefits of a habit tracker are that it reminds the user to act, motivates the user, and also gives the satisfaction of a mission accomplished.
But for how long do we need to track our habits?
With our desktop research, we found a study from Psychology researchers from University College London that indicates that on average it takes a little more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic, 66 days precisely. 
Having all the information we gathered on the topic, we started researching habit applications to start analyzing competitors, which features they have, and how they work.
We analyzed 4 apps and put our analysis in the feature and brand comparison charts, and in a market positioning map.
To complete our research, we did some interviews and also a survey to know more from people about what they know about habit trackers/builders and what they think about habits.
We did a survey with a total of 19 people to know the people’s habits, what they do to keep a routine of good habits if they want to quit bad habits, if they have something to help build good habits and quit bad habits and if it is important to have some guidance in order to keep this kind of routine.
The majority of people have an interest in new habits, but they have 3 main problems: concentrating, following a routine, and lack of guidance.
We conducted an interview with 5 people to continue our research on the topic and we collected good answers to our questions. We asked the interviewees about their lives, how they define their routine (if they have one), what habits they consider good and bad, what helped them when they were trying to build good habits, what keeps them motivated, and so on.
And the following chart is the most common answers that the interviewees gave to us:
After the research, survey and interviews, we came to this next step to discover the pain points and needs of the users and turn them into design opportunities. We divided the information into 3 supergroups: user profile, methodology, and blockers.
We also did an Empathy Map where we can capture what the user feels and how the user behaves, what the user thinks, does, sees, says, and hears. It is an important tool to realize what are the pain points and expectations that the user has.
Based on that, we started to put in shape our user persona, the one that will lead us to the rest of our project.
Marina is a 35 years old woman from Rotterdam. She works as a nurse at the Erasmus Medical Center since 3 years ago. She is a super positive and happy woman and she loves her job but it keeps her very busy and makes her feel tired. Because she is a nurse, she sees on a daily basis the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.
So now, Marina is in a time of her life that she wants to have a healthier life and get rid of bad habits that she has been building up in her life, but she doesn’t know how or where to start. This makes her feel unmotivated and quit quickly after starting.
To give Marina what she needs, we defined the problem statement: people that don’t know how to build a habit, need to find a way to have guidance because they don’t know where to start.
How Might We?
After we defined the problem statement we reached the phase of the HMW and the brainstorming of the HMW’s that we gathered. We did a voting process to decide what were the most important features that the Wellness app should have.
MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Our Habit Tracker app aims to help users following a routine in a fun and effective way.
Users can set a 66 days goal divided into milestones, follow their progress through a visual metaphor of the Everest expedition, having regular checks (as the user sets) that include adding their mood, journaling, and task tracking.
By ensuring that these features are available, the users will establish the basis to follow a routine and successfully build a new habit in 66 days.
User Flow & Concept Testing
We created the first user flow and then we did a concept testing with 3 people to test the path the user would have to take to reach the goal of our user flow.
After we received feedback based on the concept testing, we found out that they liked the Everest metaphor and the idea of a 66 days challenge, they also liked the idea to complete regular check-ins and the rewarding idea but were skeptical about how valuable the rewards would be.
So, we changed a few things in our user flow for the user to have a better experience with the app.
Low-Fi, Mid-Fi & Usability Test
We did some Crazy 8 sketches for the low-fi and after that, we shaped more the features to start the mid-fi.
When our mid-fi was ready, we used it for a Usability Test with 6 people focused on 3 missions: Set a new goal, Perform your “Daily Task” and Check your progress. The charts below show the results:
And after we did the Usability Test, we changed a few things in our prototype to continue the project.
Brand Attributes & Moodboard
This is when our brands start to get in shape. For the brand attributes, we thought about Marina, on how she will climb her own Everest, and for that our app needed to be DYNAMIC, CONSISTENT, AMBITIOUS, SUPPORTIVE, BOLD, and of course, FRIENDLY.
With all that in mind, we created a moodboard, with the colors and images that bring all those feelings for our user.
For the app to be more concise and follow a pattern, we created this Style Tile that becomes our guide, our base for the next step of this project, which is the creation of the app’s Hi-Fi prototype.
Welcome to our app 66 DAYS
This is our final version of the app and the prototype from 66 DAYS you can see it by clicking on the image below:
- Make money: Add tangible rewards attached to the badges that generate an income
- Add challenges: Add the possibility to challenge a friend or someone within the community to make reaching the goal even more interesting
With this project, I learned a lot about the theme, about wellness, and how to keep habits and stick with them. Also, of course, I learned more about how to do a good research and how to put all the information together to create an amazing app from the scratch. Was really nice to work with my teammates and to sync all of our ideas into the 66 DAYS.
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