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We helped prototype a new healthcare service that offers those looking for mental health care, a secure, easy, and time-efficient way of connecting with a compatible therapist. 

From conception to completion, we were part of the entire design process which included researching, interviewing, developing storyboards and user journey frameworks, wireframing, prototyping, and visual design.

One of the biggest challenges was to constantly set aside our own assumptions and allow the data to speak for itself. In the end, we believe we were able to do just that.

Timeline: 5 weeks

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Challenge + Goal

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 20.6% of the US population, or 1 in 5 adults experienced mental illness in 2019.


Of those nearly 52 million people, 24% have reported an unmet need for treatment. That's over 12 million people who who need mental health care, but can't get it. We believe that everyone deserves to have their health needs met.

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1 in 4 

adults experiencing mental illness report an unmet need for treatment

By designing a digital product to streamline the process of finding a compatible therapist, we can eliminate one of the major roadblocks 12 million people face on their way to better mental health.

Research + Discovery

How might we...


  • Make discovery effortless

  • Increase the success rate of users matching with a compatible therapist

  • Create an end-to-end experience that delights users and earns customer trust



What are others already doing?

To see how the market is currently being served, we conducted a SWOT analysis on close competitors to determine what gaps existed and how we could leverage our findings to design a better product to meet market needs. 


We made some assumptions about who our user might be based on the demographics from our market research. Our proto-persona started us on our journey to discover our user.

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User Interviews

We conducted user interviews to dive deeper into the needs of wide range of people, including target users closely resembling our proto-persona who had previous experience searching for mental health care, and potential users who were interested in finding a therapist for the first time. By learning about their motivations, frustrations, and needs, we were able to gain user insights through synthesizing our findings in an empathy map.


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For those with mental health struggles, most of their energy is expended well before they can even get to normal daily activities because they are in constant combat with their illness.


Our users need a secure, easy, time and energy efficient way to research compatible mental health care providers in order to begin treatment.

Definition + Ideation
User Personas

Our research uncovered 2 clear categories, and 4 types of users:

  1. Providers (out of scope for project)

    • mental healthcare professionals​ including doctors, therapists, counselors, etc.

  2. Clients / patients

    • middle-aged, career women

    • returned military personnel

    • parents of children with mental healthcare needs

The Career Woman
The Returned Soldier
The Client's Mother

*personas were based on actual user interviews conducted by Amanda & Rebecca

Aligning user insights and goals with product goals

After interviewing potential users, we aligned their needs with our product goals to develop a common understanding, find compromises and formulate user insights through their journey. Based on the results, we developed the storyboard which will be the conceptual stage for the (lo-fi) prototype.

Guiding Principles

We had 3 guiding principles that we developed through our user insights and product goals. The product had to be:


We wanted to guide users throughout the entire journey and ultimately guide new users who have never searched for a therapist, assuming that they don't know how it works.


Since the product aims to offer users a streamlined way of finding a therapist, it meant that using the product has to be more convenient than the current methods. It also meant the product needed to have an all-inclusive database of therapists.


While interviewing potential users, we learned that they need to be reassured that it’s a trustworthy and reliable product. We wanted to achieve this by not asking for personal information beyond what was necessary to connect them with the right matches. 

Turning broad concepts into UX solutions

We generated a wide range of ideas and turned the sketches... 

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...into task & user flows, and turned our flows...

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...into wireframes and mocks.

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*due to COVID-19 protocols, all testing was conducted remotely

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*due to COVID-19 protocols, team meetings were conducted via video conference

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Usability Tests

In several rounds, we tested our prototypes, observed users interacting with them, and listened to their likes and dislikes. After we validated our concepts and assumptions, we applied the visual branding elements.

*due to COVID-19 protocols, all testing was conducted via video conference

Shaping our design decisions based on our

'How might we...' explorations

Make discovery effortless

  • by allowing users to add minimal personal information before accessing full use of the product

  • by adding provider criteria filters accessible from their profile

  • by allowing changes to be made at any time 

  • by giving users the ability to remove incompatible providers from their search


Increase the success rate of users matching with a compatible therapist

  • by allowing users to match with as many providers as they'd like

  • by giving users the ability to schedule chats with multiple providers


Create an end-to-end experience that delights users and earns customer trust

  • by creating design considerations for every step of the journey

  • by clearly communicating using microcopy

  • by considering edge cases and error states

  • by making customer support easy to access

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Discover & create your profile

By following quick and easy instructions, you can create an account with minimal personal information.  Access favorite providers, start a new provider search, edit your settings or adjust provider filters all from your profile page.

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Choose the criteria that fit your needs

Narrow the field to show only the providers that meet your criteria by using specific filters such as insurance, location, gender, specialties, and years in practice. You can easily adjust these filters to broaden or narrow your search at any time from your profile. 

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Read through provider bio & add to favorites or remove to see the next provider in the queue

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Choose to connect with the provider or leave them in your favorites and continue searching

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Connect through text, phone, or request video chat or appointment

Adding flexibility around planning

Reach out to a chosen provider by sending a request for a video chat with your general availability. No need to commit to a full session until you can meet and decide if they're a good fit. You'll receive a message to verify that your request went through.

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Research, discover, and connect in one fell swoop

We wanted to make sure users had a faster and more convenient way of connecting with a compatible mental healthcare provider. By thinking about what essential information is relevant while the user is searching, we were able to put the user and their journey at the center.

Next Steps

Our immediate next step would be to test our hi-fi iteration, then refine according to user feedback. Once that’s been dialed in, we would need to turn attention toward building out the Provider side of the app.


Scope creep is a thing

The scope of this project was huge, and way too much for two people to accomplish well in just a month.  It was important to be clear about our goal and priorities in order to make realistic progress. 

Spend more time on the research

An Affinity Diagram is only as good as the questions you ask in the interview. If you don't have solid data to extract from the affinity diagram, you need to go back and figure out better questions to ask to get to the heart of the matter, otherwise your design will likely be off target. 


What we'd do differently


Because of our limited time and resources, we missed out on opportunities to make this even better. If we had the opportunity to push this even further, these are what we would do differently:

  • Test in a physical setting

  • Dive deeper into the user's journey

  • UI Transitions to give visual orientation

  • Accessibility Considerations

WAZE: Refining the Navigation Process

Next Project

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