Nest is a comprehensive self care resource app, designed to allow students to develop healthy habits and maintain a balanced life by giving them the resources and support they need all in one “nest.”
Nest was developed as a solution to combat the challenge of how to help students improve their mental health and wellness in their daily lives. Various design thinking and user centered design methods and techniques were used to first uncover and examine the challenge at hand and then to ideate and create solutions to this challenge which are then incorporated into the design of the app.
After exploring the problem in depth through thorough research, understanding the stakes, we focused on understanding the users - students. We conducted interviews, created personas, empathy maps and journey maps to understand the core needs of users and their pain points. This lead us to uncover common themes which helped us develop design principles for that our solution would need to follow, these include:
Empowering – Clearly show design (YSDN) students the value in themselves and their work
Informative – Clearly show design students the importance of healthy habits
Collaborative – A sense of community can provide support for design students and help them feel less alone in their struggles, thus, our solution should have a supportive and collaborative element
Simple – Since there are a large amount of variables in a design student’s life, our solution should be easily accessible and aim to simplify their lives instead of making it more complicated
In-depth – Design should cater to all the varied priorities of a design student’s life, not just managing school work
Universally Appealing – Design students are the target user, but design should be appreciated by stakeholders since they are invested in the design student.
Companionship, not compliance - Nest incorporates a companion pigeon that interacts, supports and encourages the user as well as make them feel at home in the “nest.” This feature helps humanize the whole experience for the user and make them feel supported, encouraged, and cared about. It will communicate and remind them of the importance of self care throughout their day.
Personalization for personal needs- Based on their daily input on how they are feeling, the app will offer the user suggestions to de-stress and relax, and include information on the importance of self care in a design student’s life.
Informative Resources - A resources section is included which allows the user to discover useful tools, resources, tips, articles and exercises based on their personalized daily input.
Community collaboration - Healthy habits and wellbeing resources would be inputted by other Nest users (other YSDN design students), offering their insight and offering a sense of community and support to other users.
Progress & motivation - The app will feature a mental progress tracker, similar to the idea of a fitness tracker, but for one’s mental health and display the user’s mental progress so users can feel motivated.
The value in Nest can be seen in how it tackles the design principles we laid out when considering all the research we gathered throughout this project. Providing a solution that was unique but also helpful to a design student was important to us. We did not want to resort to creating another time management or habit tracking app to an overcrowded marketplace that could add more stress for students.
However, what we did realize is that we needed a way to get important information about self care and mental health to students by creating an all-in-one resource app for them to use whenever they need it instead of having to find this information themselves. Our research shows that community support is vital to a student’s wellbeing, thus, providing a platform in which students can support and empathize with one another helps empower the students themselves and their community at large.