A mobile app designed to get people off their phones and into nature
My Role: Product Designer
Time Frame: 3 weeks
Tools Used: Figma, Sketch, Invision, 
Marvel POP, Adobe Illustrator , Pen & Paper

Problem Space
Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, daily (and sometimes constant) phone usage, has become accepted as the societal norm. Depression, anxiety, and social isolation have all been linked to the rise of smart phones, in both teens and adults.

66% of the population shows signs of nomophobia (the fear of being without your phone). People are becoming more disconnected from one another, nature, and themselves.

How might we use technology to help get adults suffering from anxiety, depression and ptsd, away from technology and into nature?​​​​​​​
The Solution
Fred is an app designed to help people disconnect from their phones and reconnect to themselves. Fred’s mission is to make phones a little less smart and a lot more caring.
The Framework
Gather information to discover the users needs, wants, and pain points via research, interviews, and social listening. ​​​​​​​
Market & Competitor Research

“I go to nature to be soothed, healed, and have my senses put in order.”

-John Burroughs
“The greener the setting, the more the relief”

-Robert Louv
One on One Interviews
“Nature can bring you to stillness, that is it’s gift to you”

-Eckhart Tolle
Social Listening
Through social listening I discovered that a large amount of people are suffering from depression and anxiety and are willing to try out different platforms, including apps, to help them alleviate those pain points.
Extract from research & data to find solutions for the user’s wants, needs, and pain points.
I developed a persona in order to represent my target audience. Persona’s allow us to create and follow a specific user’s journey in order to better understand thier wants, needs, frustrations, and pain points.

A persona is an amalgam of my research data, interview results, and social listening.
“People ignore design that ignores people.”

-Frank Chimero
Experience Mapping
Once the persona was developed, I needed to take them on an experience mapping journey. This allows me to see how their average day might play out and find opportunities where my app could possibly intervene, alleviating their pain points.
“You’ve gotta start with the customer experience, and work backwards to the technology”

-Steve Jobs
Ideate & Design
Begin to put broad concepts into tangible designs.
User Stories, Core Epics & Core Task
Creating a multitude of user stories was necessary so that I could begin to think of possible flows for the product. Once over 20 stories were composed, I grouped them into epics and proceeded to single out one of those stories to become my core task.
“Good design is about process, not product.”

-Jared Sinclair
User Task Flow
From the core task, I created a task flow in order to see how this story would be solved digitally. The task I chose would allow the user to take a break from their screen-filled day and find a park to meditate or practice earthing in.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

-Hans Hoffman
UI Moodboard
Before jumping into sketches, I collected some UI inspiration. When designing an app, it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Good inspiration is often the best motivation.
Since the entire purpose of this product is to help the user disconnect and reduce anxiety, it was important to focus on UI inspiration that was simplistic in design and easy to follow.
“Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find yourself.”

-Yohji Yamamoto
Sketches, Notes, & Ideations
Using the user task flow as an outline, I was able to bring pen to paper and sketch out some rough ideas and designs.
These notes and sketches may be messy, but they are a necessary step in developing the product. They are proof that out of chaos, one can find great organization.
“Don’t stare at a blank page too long, be bold, and make the first incisive stroke The rest will come naturally.”

-James Kingman
Black and grey wireframes will allow me to solve for the given task.
This first iteration helped me begin to see how it would look, but the visual journey was just beginning.
“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

-Drew Houston
Test & Iterate
Take what I thought was a good idea, and fix it entirely. User knows best.
User Testing & Iterations
A design made without the user in mind is a worthless idea. A product made without testing is a worthless product. User testing allowed me to get feedback and make improvements based on user confusions and suggestions.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

-Hans Hoffman
Visual Identity
Wireframes were tested and iterated, so it’s time to return to design. There is still so much left to be done!
Logos and colors and moodboards, oh my! Branding is a necessary step in order to fully determine what the app will look and feel like.
After a few intense brainstorming sessions, I chose the name “fred”, it means peace in nordic languages. Simple, clean, and balanced. The app icon can also double as a logo. I felt that with the wordmark is was best to keep it clean and icon free.
The intention of the app is to disconnect from tech and connect with nature. I discovered people feel most connected to nature while watching the sunset. I pulled colors from a sunset in order to develop the brand colors.
The visual inspirations for Fred were a garden and the beach at sunset. Making sure people felt at peace was the ultimate aesthetic goal.
Redesign & Reiterate
Once the brand was determined, I was able to fill in my wireframes with the appropriate brand colors and images. This step was filled with more iterations. My final focus was to keep everything minimal and simplistic, in order to create an overall “zen” feel to the app. The more streamline, the better.
Color Iterations
I struggled with color and style at first, going back and forth between gradients, organic shapes, and photography. After crowdsourcing, I determined that filtered photography was the most pleasing to the viewer.
Hifi Mockups
Simplicity was emphasized for an anxiety free user experience.
More Than Mobile
Thinking beyond the phone is important when it comes to app development. In these next steps I considered how I could truly make the most of fred- from the marketing websites to Apple Watch reminders- there is more than one way to reach your zen. ​​​​​​​
Marketing Website
Marketing websites are an app’s spokesperson. They inform potential users about an app.
The Future Is Now
Seeing into the future and considering aspects that I may have overlooked in the moment was encouraged in order to further strengthen fred. I considered the unimaginable through the use of The Tarot Cards of Tech.
Parting Thoughts
This entire process has been incredibly informative and transformative. I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses as a designer. Things I thought would come naturally became teachable moments when I struggled. I was able to see pain points as learning points and points of growth.

And while I developed a persona who was not necessarily self reflective, I learned that I could also use this app. I learned the importance of time management, meeting strict deadlines, regardless of personal issues, and also the benefits of a healthy work/life balance. I would not change this opportunity for the world, and look forward to future opportunities for growth and self discovery.

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