DFFRNT’S user research and behavioural science insight guide the development of this mental health platform
EIMHE is an AI-powered wellness platform designed to build emotional intelligence literacy amongst people to help them better address mental health. This peer-to-peer base solution allows people to create or access private communities to normalize mental health conversations and fight the isolation caused by stigma. EIMHE leverages behavioural science to prompt people to take action on their mental health. It is a marketplace to find relevant professionals that are guided by the AI, encouraging the user to take immediate action on their mental health. EIMHE provides a tailored experience meeting specific needs, situations, requirements, coping mechanisms and belief systems.
DFFRNT performed user research, developed personas and scenarios, and guided the design of user interactions to refine this medtech innovation. The DFFRNT team also provided strategic direction, shifting the marketing focus from individuals to corporate clients, where it can be part of wellness programs
After his own experience with mental health challenges, Jefferson Roc saw a need for a better solution for mental health apps.
He built a team to support his vision: a wellness platform that employs an AI backbone to provide an end-to-end experience of wellness. “We are people with lived experiences who want to help others avoid irreparable harm. In society and many places worldwide, the stigmas and taboos associated with mental health are still very present and lead people to live their suffering in isolation,” says Roc. “The cultural obstacles to mental health treatment are immense in many parts of the world.”
“The science states that emotional intelligence can improve physical and mental health.”
Roc and his co-founder, Charles Pyle, start from the premise that people should be connected, and technology should be the enabler.
The mental health market is fragmented, with wellness platforms, self-management tools, employee and family assistance programs, health benefit providers and telehealth services all playing a role. Many of us have heard of Headspace, Happify, Fitbit, Sprout, Lifespeak, Mindwell-U, Betterhelp and Lyra.
EIMHE will exist at the intersection of these services, functioning as an intelligent solution provider.
While EIMHE’s founders recognized the needs gap and the opportunity, they engaged DFFRNT to form a research-based profile of their potential users, design an effective user interface, and develop a visual design.
“We engaged DFFRNT about eight months ago,” says Andy Bastien, who has been leading the product management for EIMHE. “We came to them to understand our user. They brought us a full design discovery experience.”
DFFRNT’s approach is all at once human and user centric. UX/UI is crucial to ensure the uptake in utilization while ensuring our value proposition is accurately conveyed with technology. They nailed it!
DFFRNT performed an ethnographic study and developed best practices for interacting with users. Analysis of the interviews and the secondary research informed the design outcomes, personas, usage goals and design guidelines. “They showed us how to lead users through the interface, and we came out of it with a full prototype,” says Roc.
EIMHE is fundamentally a health tool, supported as a health innovation under the Alberta Innovates program and CTS Health. The work done by DFFRNT allowed EIMHE’s development team to emphasize the clinical aspect of the software.
DFFRNT investigated the user angle and saw the gap that needs to be filled. They doubled down with input from experts in cognitive behavioural therapy and psychology,” Bastien states. “We’re not psychologists, but one of the DFFRNT team has a Ph.D. in psychology. We benefit from the thoroughness of their approach.
From their research and consultations, DFFRNT was able to extract three design outcomes grounded in science:
- Facilitate self- and co-regulation.
- Increase self-understanding and leverage it to increase and reinforce mindful agency.
- Facilitate the habits and behaviours of healthy teams, starting by facilitating low-stakes conversations in the workplace.
Three personas have been prototyped, and various scenarios and usage goals developed.
EIMHE is one of a handful of AI mental health apps. EIMHE will incorporate an AI companion that streamlines user access to resources, considering their preferences and belief systems. It also includes a support network, which provides access to professionals in several fields: psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, fitness professionals, life coaches, and nutrition and financial experts.
Charles Pyle was delighted with the results of DFFRNT’s work: “When we got a chance to see the outcome, the amount of detail was amazing. We realized the vision we were following was validated. It was rewarding to realize how much science supported our concept.”
EIMHE is now doing user testing and usability testing of the prototype while building cohorts of early adopters.
- Product definition
- Design goals
- User research
- Behavioural science
- Ethnographic study
- Business strategy consulting
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