This was primarily a research-focused project where I intended to learn more about the challenges Asian American's face when seeking mental help. Through a deep research process with 24 participants, I was able to gain a thorough understanding of the barriers in the Asian community. After synthesizing our research, I designed a solution concept to find easier access to licensed therapists and resources. My solution is Root, an organization that guide and supports Asian Americans with seeking mental help.
Product Strategy, Branding, User Research, Wireframing, Graphic Design, Website Design
2020 Fall semester
UX/UI designer, art director
Adobe XD, Illustrator, Photoshop
Outlining the problem
Asian Americans face cultural, social, structural, and financial barriers when it comes to seeking mental help.
Our target audience are gen-z and millennials 20-30 years old. I created these user personas to guide our design process.
Numi is in her 2nd year of college. She moved to SF from Missouri and hasn’t found a good support system yet. Her goal is to find a community that accepts her and has similar hobbies as her.
No campus resources
Hasn’t found her community
Has not fully embraced her culture because she did not grow up with Asians
Find more friends
Explore the city
Discover her culture and heritage
Bhavin is unsatisfied with his work because he was forced into it by his parents. He doesn’t feel like he can speak to them about his feelings and wants that to change.
Can’t talk to family about problems going on outside of the home
Feels limited in his environment
To move away from his home town
Be less afraid to seek professional help
Find resources that are financially accessible
Kevin is half Italian and half Chinese, he struggles with embracing his asian identity because he doesn’t know how to speak Chinese. He has a 3 year old son, Liam, and wants to teach him more about Chinese culture.
Doesn’t know Chinese
Difficulty admitting his mental struggles
Celebrate Chinese culture more
Find a therapist
To learn more about the current design systems and user flows in the mental help space, I discovered 4 applications that served as key sources of inspiration to develop Root.
They also helped us explore how we could be better and more tailored to how gen-z and millennials discover and take action for help.
Happify encourages users to develop stronger emotional habits and reframe negative thoughts.
The onboarding questions took a step-by-step approach to make the user feel secure.
The prompts and games on the app are repetitive and there are messages to upgrade on every activity which can feel overwhelming to the user. It also seems like they provide solutions that are a one size fits all instead of truly understanding the user's needs and problems.
Brightside pairs people with a licensed therapist and psychiatrist. They provide therapy plans, video sessions, specialize in anxiety and depression, and have unlimited messaging.
The platform is streamlined and easy to use, the questionnaire is short, and the cost is fair for the treatment which eliminates potential hurdles that might stop someone from seeking treatment.
Mostly targeted towards depression and anxiety, for more specific problem and intensive therapy, Brightside might not be a fit.
Beautifully designed interface, makes the user feel calm before they even sign up. The app is easy to navigate, the illustrations are inviting and minimal.
Various options for meditation and there are simple tutorials.
Similar to Brightside, Talkspace connects you to the best therapist fit for your need.
The fees are expensive and there are unethical marketing practices and data privacy violations.
Identifying root causes
Using the fishbone diagram and the 5 Why's to understand the barriers that Asian American's tackle within various structures.
Sketching out ideas
What is our solution?
1. Creating a platform where there are affordable and accessible therapy sessions
2. Design an interface that is user friendly and appeals to Gen Z & Millenials
3. Make the user feel in control
Design system and branding
As individual features gradually came to life, I built a design system to ensure the interface was cohesive throughout the product. Typeface and colors were chosen to meet the goal of positioning Root as modern and calm.