designed and created by So Young Han

Spring

overview

type

a joint research with creative computing group and clinical Psychology Lab from sogang university 

date

sept 2016 - aug 2017

location

Seoul, South Korea

role

ux researcher, designer

company size

5 graduate students with 2 professional mentors 

tools

adobe xd

overflow

InVision Studio

description

Spring is a joint research with Creative Computing Group and Clinical Psychology Lab from Sogang University sponsored by National Research Foundation of Korea from September 2016 to August 2017. In this project, we developed a crowdsourcing-based psychotherapy application, in which users record their emotional state and write their stories. Its beta version for user test was published recently in August 2017, and now it is going through consistent bug-tests and design updates based on the usability test results for its official launching in next spring.

As briefly mentioned, in this application, general user group can reveal their states of distress with their own stories. Then, another user group composed of psychotherapy trainees write comments and give advices with evidence-based support . 

design process

The design process follows the Double Diamond model.  

01  discover 

problem statement

increasing population suffering from mental disorder

The demands for psychotherapy is radically increasing in South Korea. According to the results from epidemiological investigation about mental illness, about five million people (over 10% of the population) are suffering from mental disorders in South Korea. However, only 15% of them are getting official treatment.

 

limits in traditional counseling system: not accessible, high cost, social burden 

Also, despite the increasing needs, the traditional face-to-face counseling system has its own limits to sustain the whole demands. Usually, the traditional treatment method is not easily accessible; most of the facilities are located near urban area, and previous appointments are always mandatory which also is hardly available to handle large group of people.  Moreover, the average fee for each session is about $70, quite burdensome to many potential patients. 

limits in existing e-health applications

Even though there have been many attempts in applying psychotherapy to e-health field, most of them were rarely successful. Still, large number of the related services require similar costs, or  if free, the service quality including its UX design or the information provided is not satisfactory. 

02  develop & deliver

low-fidelity sketch and flow 

storyboard with high-fidelity design

key elements

real-time counseling system

Spring is different from other currently existing e-health counselling service in that users can get professional feedbacks immediately. Once they post their stories, push-alarm is sent to all the registered tainees randomly. The push-alarm continues until any trainee accepts the request. 

home screen

This is a home screen of the application. The most recently written post by a general user is presented in a feed format. Users can swipe to look through other posts. This specific feed design is chosen because not only it is the most widely used and convenient way to read others, but also it promotes accessibility so that users feel more comfortable and relaxed in using this service. 

comment system

Only approved, those who are going through official clinical psychology tranineeship are qualified to write down comments on the feed posts. Each comment screen provides 5 different guideline messages based on the Socratic Methods used in cognitive science for the traninees. 

CBT-based therapy

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)  is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It's most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. Usually, the first step in CBT is that it encourages patients to train themselves to separate (1)their emotion, (2)the specific situation that made them feel that way, and (3)the reasons and thoughts about their emotion.

In Spring, general users are required to go through this 3-step process when they write their stories. By doing so, they can get used to this thinking method, and it will ultimately help them to manage their mind state more easily. 

3-step process - from how you feel to how you think 

The first step in writing is to scale their emotions. Though emotion can be analysed in diverse dimensions, it could be confusing for users to define their feeling; therefore, two dimensions (good - bad) are setup for users to choose. 

In the second step, users are asked to write the situation that led them to feel the certain emotion. They will explain in 200 words. Also, in the third and final step, they are required to reason-out the thoughts about what led them to feel this way.

reward system

The reward system that motivates trainees to feel a sense of achievement that will ultimately make them participate more actively. After a user check the comments of his or her post, and they believe certain comment has helped him or her feel better, they can give a "sprout" as a reward to the trainee. Also, "Thank-You Note" system is added so that general users can send a message to the trainees who were helpful. 

comment selection & thank-you note

Users are encouraged to select one comment on their post that seems most helpful. They can choose on by giving the "Sprout" to the therapist. Also, there a option for users to send a "thank-you note" to the therapist. These reward system is expected to encourage the therapist to get more engaged. 

my page

Each user is given with his or her own page in which they can check new notifications and archive their past posts.