Our semester-long project for MHI2004 Human Factors and Change Management was to iteratively develop and evaluate a personal mobile health application for addictions and mental health. We explored interventions for bipolar disorder (BPD) and created a prototype mobile application for the self-management of BPD, named Spectrum.
To understand the needs of people with BPD, we conducted literature reviews, market analyses and an interview with an individual with BPD. Many existing mental health applications aimed at BPD were not BPD-specific. One group member interviewed a personal contact living with BPD, which gave us a unique personal perspective of the impact of the disorder. Through this user needs assessment, we identified several themes.
From our research, individuals with BPD can better anticipate their episodes and emotional triggers by regularly recording their moods and routines.
Being able to immediately seek support from trusted family members and doctors may help to prevent an overwhelming episode. Because individuals with BPD can be impacted socially and in their day-to-day lives, legal and employment resources would also potentially be useful.
In general, it was found that users of mental health applications value discretion and the privacy of their health information.
Individuals with BPD with strong social support, who are currently trying to manage their symptoms.
We first established our information architecture and application flow. We then sketched out our ideas for the main screen and menus.
We sketched our initial user interfaces and created paper wireframes before adapting them into an interactive, medium fidelity prototype in PowerPoint. For example, we improved the main screen of our initial PowerPoint prototype (left) on the next iteration based on results from a heuristic analysis (centre) and usability testing (right).
The evolution of our day tracker screen from our first iteration to post-testing, elaborating on our mood tracker concept.
Using our PowerPoint prototype, we conducted usability testing at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation’s Human Factors labs. We produced usability scenarios and took comprehensive time-stamped notes on participant feedback, expressions, and navigation. We analyzed our results to identify the severity of usability issues and what to improve or keep for the final iteration.
© 2015 Allison Yan