I was challenged to design a hypothetical application for the nonprofit organization Kids in the Middle. KITM provides counseling services for children and their parents who are going through a divorce. The goal for the app was to create a bridge between counselor and child in between sessions, so the counselor can see how their client is doing and the client can easily contact their counselor.
The application needed to work for kids age 11–15 years-old. The target was to keep it simple, easy to understand, and appealing enough for the user to open the app regularly. With that said, here are a few of the main features I created for the app and the thought that went behind them.
1. Mood Tracker
The first major feature of the app is the mood tracker. The mood tracker is made up of a selection of emojis and a text entry journal section. The user can select what mood they are currently feeling and then record whatever they would like to talk about in the journal entry. I made it the first and most prominent item on the homepage so the user can quickly and easily make an entry. If the user is in a hurry or doesn’t feel like using the journal box, they can simply select an emoji and submit their entry. One the user hits “Submit” they are given a message letting them know that their entry was saved and is now located in the calendar.
The second most important feature of the app is the Chat. Here users can message their counselor and receive a response without having to open up their or their parent’s email. The user can also choose to take a picture, record an audio message, or upload a picture and send those as well. For clarity as to whom they are chatting with, I included a picture of the therapist as well as their name. To add additional clarity to the app I place “Me” over messages from the user and then the therapist's name over their responses.
The Resource page contains articles and videos on a variety of topics from boosting your mood to boosting your grades. Users can see a preview image and the first few lines of text for each article/video, so they can decide if it interests them. Next to the title of the article is the average amount of time it should take the user to read/watch the information. Some adults have a difficult time reading articles that take 20 minutes to get through, even more so do younger audiences have a short attention span. This time was added so users can decide whether they have the time or want to take the time to look at that particular article/video. At the top of the page is a right-left scrolling menu of topics that users can jump to, so they can find information on what they want to know.