SOS My Friend
It's never too late to support your loved one with a mental health illness
Feb - Mar 2017
SOS My Friend is an app focuses on people, such as friends and relatives, who are beside the ones who are experiencing any kind of the mental illness, to support and give guidelines to deal with this difficult scenario and ultimately to be able to properly help their loved ones.
I worked on this project from February 2017 until March 2017 as a UX and UI Designer for Design Thinking Class in Queensland University of Technology (QUT) while I was studying abroad in Australia.
"How might we help people to be educated to support their loved one who is experiencing a mental health illness?"
Mental illnesses are usually silent, masked, almost invisible and hard to understand the causes. It is even harder to recognize for themselves that they are depressed, anxious, anorexic or experiencing other mental illness. It is also difficult to seek for help because of stigma and they feel shameful to speak up. At this point, it is important to have someone there for them, anyone who can recognize that something is different with them and do the best to support them.
To gather better understanding, we searched academic research papers and case studies. According to Australian Department of Health, mental illness is serious, common and it is a fact that about one in five Australians experience a mental illness and most of us will experience a mental health problem at some time in our lives.
We seek professional help and asked for interview to varify some features that we thought of as a part of our solution. According to the Dr. Samuel Zimmer (QUT International Counsellor, Psychiatrist), the selected activities and events are considered part of the human needs, excellent for the mental health and also to help with mental illness. The Harvard Medical School also published several articles about how activities as yoga, meditation, volunteering, physical exercise are great for our mind. The best thing is that many of these activities and events are easily found on QUT campus, but the app will also cover activities and events held on Brisbane.
Our target audience is “the relatives around the one who have a mental illness”. As we were identifying our stakeholders and doing further researches, we found that there are already many resources for the one who is experiencing a mental health disease. However, there aren’t many resources on the people who are around that person. Therefore, our target audience had changed from “the one who have a mental illness” to “the relatives around the one who has a mental illness.”
Followings are other reasons why we targeted people around the person who has a mental health disease:
1. Relatives often don’t know how to support the person with mental illness.
2. Often people with mental illness or mental health problem sometimes doesn’t even realize that they have illness or problem.
3. They find difficult to seek for help because of stigma.
Katy is a 20-year-old female. She attends QUT, and is majoring in International Business. She is single and lives in the city with her two roommates, Emily and Amy. She likes to travel and loves using social media. Katy is technology- and web-savvy.
1. To spend less time on finding information
2. To go out with her friend Emily and have fun together again
3. To get tips on how to approach Emily without offending her
1. Not knowing where to go on the Internet to find information about mental illness
2. Not being sure if the information she has found is appropriate
3. Not wanting to ruin her friendship with Emily
“If I had something that combined all the information I needed to help my dear friend, I could get my friend back to her happy and energetic self.”
SOS My Friend's logo has a strong meaning: the heart represents love and the semicolon represents hope and continuation, together they represent our project main concept that is to help people we love to find hope and reasons to continue to live. It also represents a person embracing, hugging the heart.
We got the feedback for the first version of logo that it reminds Facebook too much. Therefore, we came up with the second version with more meaning into the logo.
The platform used to develop SOS My Friend is an mobile app, as our scenario is based on Queensland University of Technology - QUT, where most of the people are familiar with mobile devices, facilitating the access to our product.
For this project, I started with pencil and paper approach on our design solution. From there I developed high fidelity wireframes with Sketch.
I worked with one other business student for this project. As working with non-design field partner, I strived to communicate however I learnt about the business and marketer’s perspective and how to consider it into my design.
2. User Testing
3. Further extensions to other universities
4. Host awareness events
PROTOTYPING AND USER TESTING
This project had tight scheduling of 3 weeks. Therefore, we were not able to build prototype nor to do user testing, however, we focused a lot on research and design. Our course was designed to come up with solution ideas so if I would go further with this project, I would build prototype and do user testing to verify the proof of concept.
FURTHER EXTENSIONS AND HOSTING EVENTS
Currently the project is mainly based on QUT environment, but it is well designed to futures extensions for other universities and cities, which it is one of our further directions once the first project is implemented and efficiently working. It is also part of SOS My Friend next steps be a host and organize events within the mental illness subject, as the project aims to develop and to learn by participating of other events for the moment.