Zeen - Project Overview
A mental wellbeing mobile app designed to support Zimbabwean teenagers on their mental health and wellbeing journey. This project is still underway.
January 2022- present
Qualitative & Quantitative user research, Sitemapping, User persona, Journey Mapping, Wireframing , Visual Design, Interaction Design, App Development
In Zimbabwe, and Africa at large, mental health is not taken seriously, mainly due to our cultural setup. Stress is not something that a child, let alone a young man, is expected to experience or talk about. To add on to this, it is extremely hard in today’s connected, fast paced, no holds barred world to keep one’s sanity.
These teens are facing relentless pressure in the form of comparison, distorted self image, peer pressure and cyberbullying.
This leads to:
- Anxiety & depression
- Violent outbursts
- An increase in suicide amongst teenagers, particularly boys
Brainstorming session based on generative research findings
Research & Analysis
With guidance from my mentor, I did generative research to develop a deeper understanding of Zimbabwean teenagers in order to find opportunities for solutions and innovation.
Before conducting this research, I wanted to build an app to cater for all Zimbabweans but I soon learnt how my problem was not specific and to be open minded since I didn’t know yet what the exact problem I was trying to solve was.
After synthesizing all the research I developed the following persona, Rukudzo Nleya. He represents the most common needs and frustrations found in my research.
User persona diagram for Zeen
Responses to one of the survey questions
23 participants, ranging in age from 13-19
After identifying the problem through generative research, I came up with a survey that seeked to dive deeper into issues faced by teenagers and the barriers being faced in addressing those issues.
The survey had one open-ended question to allow respondents to convey their feedback and ideas in their own words.
Here are the most important findings based on the user research I conducted:
Based on the info gathered from the research stage , I came up with the following top level navigation.
- Welcome screen – It includes a mood checker so users can get recommendations based on their mood.
- Wellbeing tips – Various tips and fun facts that encourage mental wellbeing.
- Resources – a directory of resources that can assist teenagers facing various challenges.
- Music hall – most respondents highlighted that listening to music lightens their mood, so the musc board helps connect with them.
- About Zeen – general information about the app.
Zeen mobile app information architecture (13 screens)
Lesson learnt so far
Understand your user’s functioning environment
While conducting UX Research for Zeen, I knew that I needed to get Zimbabwean teenagers (mostly high schoolers) to participate in my survey (quantitative research). I assumed it would be a quick process since the survey was short and easy to complete. However, after noticing that I wasn’t receiving as much feedback as I anticipated, I did some digging and discovered that:
- Schools were closed, so many students did not have access to WiFi
- Teens (particularly boys) are skeptical about following links that are forwarded to them, even from their peers
A better approach in this instance would have been to physically go to the schools, build trust with the students and then get them to complete the survey afterwards.
The Zeen app is currently at the wireframing stage…stay tuned for more updates!