Project Type
Wellbeing tracking app concept
My Role
UX Designer
Project Duration
2 months
Figma, Notion, Miro
My Mind
Going to university can be a challenging experience for many young people. Coping with a large number of changes, managing finances, and dealing with an increased workload all contribute towards students struggling with mental health issues during their time at university. My Mind applies the psychological ownership framework to help students manage their mental health more effectively and feel more confident tackling the problems they face.
Mental health negatively affects 47 per cent of university students in the UK.
Research and design a solution to help students manage their mental health and feel confident in tackling the challenges that they face.
1. Research
2. Define
3. Design
Research Plan
  • factors that influence mental health
  • students’ attitudes towards it
  • medically approved ways to combat mental health problems
Three Step Research Process
  • users: 20 interviews with students
  • context: academic literature on managing mental health
  • existing ways to tackle issues: interview with a mental health advisor at Imperial College, tested popular well-being apps (Moodfit, Calm, Headspace), searched online forums
Student Interviews Key Findings
  • mental health is individual, everyone has to learn for themselves what works best
  • students don’t consider their well-being as something that needs to be actively taken care of
  • mental well-being is put on hold to prioritise social or work events, it is then hard to get back on track
Literature Research Key Findings
  • stress has a major negative impact on mental health
  • coping strategies are effective in minimising stress
  • the feeling of ownership over something is associated with a sense of stewardship and care
  • synthesize the data
  • distil the research into insights
  • understand where to start ideating from
We found that there the students that struggle with mental health tend to have similar traits. We combined these common characteristics into a personal so that we can gain a perspective similar to our users. We decided to focus our design on these students as we can make the biggest impact there.
  • perfectionist, high-achieving students struggle most
  • school related stress is a major influencing factor
  • put mental health on hold for weeks on end
  • find it difficult to take meaningful breaks
School related stress is a major factor that influences students’ wellbeing. If other issues come up  (such as family or relationship-related) they take precedent, but school is constant. That’s why we decided to focus on stress that comes with study pressure. Academic year is similar for the majority of students and as a result so is the stress. We made a journey map to identify the critical points.
Beginnings of term are usually more easy going and stress tend to increase with deadlines approaching. Students find it difficult to take breaks when they are burdened with workload and deadlines around the corner. They tend to take multiple short breaks that don’t help to unwind, but initially seem like less of a commitment. Our intervention should aid with taking meaningful breaks and it should be adopted before stressful workloads arrive, in a time when students have time to experiment.
How might we enable students to develop healthy coping strategies during stressful times to promote a balanced working experience?
school-related stress is a major cause of well-being deterioration
perfectionist students struggle most
stress has a major negative impact on mental health
students don’t consider their mental health as something that needs to be actively taken care of
in stressful periods, it’s difficult to take care of well-being
feeling of ownership over something is associated with a sense of stewardship and care
What is My Mind?
My Mind is a ritual tracking app. On the surface it helps students to track the little activities they do for themselves to feel better.  It builds a feeling of ownership over these rituals by  utilising the three ownership routes as defined by the Psychological Ownership Theory: self-investment of time and effort, intimate knowledge and control. In doing so it encourages users to utilise the rituals and stick to their routine.
Feeling of Ownership
The feeling of ownership is associated with a sense of stewardship or care for an object. The opposite is also true: leased cars, bikes and appliances are treated more harshly in life than things people actually own.
Self-investment of time and effort and control: personalisation. The user can personalise their rituals by choosing the colour and associated emoji, they can choose what rituals they want to do and see which works best. Reflection on how they are feeling is encouraged by a quick assessment of their mood before they start a ritual. Initial iterations of the app components were sketched by hand. At this stage, the architecture of the app was prototyped. We decided to change the name from coping strategy to ritual because a coping strategy can have some negative connotations and a ritual suggests repeating.
Low Fidelity Prototype
A low-fidelity prototype of the main features of the app was made and used in a usability study with students. Their feedback (make a distinction between healthy and unhealthy rituals during onboarding, add pre-defined options for pre and post-ritual mood assessment) were implemented in later versions.
Journey with the App
There are four main stages when using My Mind. The process is inspired by Stress Inoculation Therapy which is intended to help people prepare themselves to handle stressful events with a minimum of upset. It consists of four phases - Conceptualisation & Skill Acquisition, Rehearsal, Application, and Follow Through. These stages are in practice used more generally, here they are focused specifically on creating and utilising coping strategies.

The app features an interactive way to show the user what a healthy ritual is, a quick and easy way to access their favourite rituals from the home screen and a personalisation flow to create a new ritual that makes it feel their own.
Conceptualisation & Skill Acquisition
The user is presented with the concept of the app and what it intends to help with. The benefits of healthy rituals and what constitutes them are communicated in a quick and interactive way.
Building a Coping Strategy
The creation of custom rituals is encouraged. Ownership over the ritual is promoted through self-investment of time and effort into coming up with a coping mechanism and personalising it in the app.
Executing the Strategy
Users are encouraged to think about how they are feeling before and after each ritual so that they can assess its effect. They are presented with options to choose from to make the process quick, or they can write their own description.
Follow Through
My Mind calculates how effective the mechanism was, based on the reported feelings. This provides intimate knowledge about what works for the user. It nudges them towards the realisation that their actions influence how they feel.