Designing with students, for students: A new release of the håp app, informed by your feedback

Designing with students, for students: A new release of the håp app, informed by your feedback

Today, we’re launching a new version of the håp app, including Apple Watch integration, a redesign of the report functionality to view your Check-in and sleep data, and a new feature to view your diary notes. The changes are based on the feedback we got from hundreds of students that have been testing the app. In this post by our intern Nathan Blanken we give you an insight into how we’re designing with students, for students.

I am a sophomore computer science major at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am also the President of the Active Minds chapter at UMD. I have been working as an intern with the Flourish Labs team over the past few months to help improve håp and give my perspective as a student.

Last September we launched the first version of håp to a small group of trusted testers. We knew the app wasn’t perfect, but we wanted to get it in the hands of students sooner rather than later to get real feedback from real users. Since then we have received hundreds of bug reports and feature suggestions through the feedback form in the app. We also ran focus groups and online surveys in November and December. We got a lot of feedback, both positive and constructive, and were able to incorporate many of the suggestions into this new release.

A håp Check-in consists of about a dozen questions on different factors that affect your mental wellbeing and health such as your mood, calmness, focus, motivation, socialization and how you feel about your sleep. Think of a håp ‘Check-in’ as a twice daily activity, just like brushing your teeth. It only takes about a minute. 

Check-in question screen

Check-ins have been by far the most popular feature within håp, with over 3,600 completed. Check-ins got mostly positive ratings and comments in our user research.

“Overall, how satisfied are you with the Check-ins in håp?”

“I like that it keeps track of how I am doing so I don’t necessarily need to go out of my way to journal about it. I don’t always have a ton of free time so this is nice because it is quick and easy.” 

“I like that it helps me to check in with myself and see how I am feeling. I like that I can see Check-ins from the past.”

“Sometimes Check-ins accidentally fall out of my routine.”

“How much has your thinking slowed? can be interpreted positively or negatively, which is not necessarily helpful to people who are looking at the question from a more objective lens. How should this question be interpreted? Is it good to have slower or faster thinking?”

We’ve been iterating the Check-in user experience to make improvements such as randomizing the order that the questions are presented, where the slider starts, and how responses are stored so you can complete a Check-in even if you don’t have an internet connection. 

We are still figuring out how to help you make Check-ins a daily habit. You can customize the reminder time for morning and evening in Your Settings/Check-in reminders. Tap the wrench icon on the bottom right of the håp app to get to Your Settings. Some users haven’t been receiving notifications from håp to prompt them, which makes it easy to forget to do a Check-in. If you are not getting notifications, please check the permissions on your iPhone or Android phone.

We are also revisiting the wording of some of the questions, and will swap out some that are less useful or confusing in a future release.

Overall, it seems that Check-ins are working well for you. Becky Fein from Active Minds wrote a great article about how Check-ins have been useful for her.

håp now connects to Apple Watch

One of the unique features of håp is that it allows you to see data from your wearable device alongside the data you enter in Check-ins. Version 1 only supported Fitbit and Oura. Many users – myself included – wanted to connect Apple Watch, and I’m pleased to report that this latest release of håp integrates with Apple Watch. You can now see your sleep data from your Apple Watch directly in håp.

Some users were unaware that you can connect a wearable to håp, so we’re now including information about how to connect a wearable device in the welcome emails and the Help section.

The Your Data reports needed a complete redesign

Once you complete a Check-in, you are taken to the Your Data section of the app. You can also access this by tapping on the geometric håp symbol on the bottom nav of the app.

In V1, reports were split into “Mind Data” reports for the Check-in data and “Body Data” reports for data coming from wearables. They showed a simple zero to 10 score of each factor, with shading corresponding to the scores. There was a feature to compare two different factors such as mood and calm or sleep and motivation, but it was buried deep on the bottom of the reports and you couldn’t compare more than two.

The feedback we received about version 1 of the reports was blunt: They were not working. Users found the reports hard to read, and they didn’t provide enough insights. We tried displaying a summary on the top, but the algorithm wasn’t working well, so we took it out again for now.

The Mind Data reports on the focus areas (e.g. Mood, Calm, Sleep, Focus) provide me with useful insights.

I really like the different colors that are being used. However, I do not know what each means. It is difficult to understand how to read the Mind Data reports.”

“I’m not sure what the numbers mean.”

“Add ability to customize the timespan that can be viewed for reports (day, week, month, year)”

“A line graph could be more beneficial in viewing decline in mood, sleep, focus, etc. patterns.”

We appreciate the constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement!

We went back to the drawing board and made some key design decisions based on the user feedback: to focus on trends over time, comparisons between factors, and enable you to see how your sleep impacts your day-to-day mental wellbeing.

We’re excited to show you the completely redesigned reports. If you click on the Your Data tab at the bottom of the håp app, you will first see a new Check-in report section. The data from your Check-ins is displayed in a line chart showing trends over time. If you complete at least one Check-in a day, you will get a continuous trend line. Sleep questions are only asked in the morning Check-in, so don’t miss that one!

By default, you will see the “Week” view which shows you your responses from the prior seven days. If you select “Month” or “Year”, you will see data from the past 28 days or last 12 months, respectively. On any of these you can swipe left to see previous time periods.

New Check-in report

håp breaks down your Check-in report by 7 factors that relate to your mental health and wellbeing:

  • Mood – How up or down you feel.
  • Calmness – How calm or anxious you feel.
  • Focus – How clear-headed and focused you feel.
  • Motivation – How you feel about your ability to take initiative, how enthusiastic and satisfied you feel.
  • Sleep – How you feel about your sleep quality.
  • Socialization – How you see yourself around others and your social interactions.
  • Physical – How you feel your psychological state may be impacting your body and vice versa.

You can understand your data in more depth by comparing two or more factors. For example, you can compare how your mood is changing versus your sleep. Tap a factor button to toggle it on and off in the chart.

New Sleep report based on wearable data

The V1 “Body Data” report showed average scores for sleep quality, activity and heart rate, which users found not very useful or actionable.

V1 wearable data report

In the redesign we chose to focus on sleep, which has a big impact on mental health. Sleep duration is difficult to self-assess accurately, so the wearable data is useful in addition to how you rate your sleep in your morning Check-in.

The new sleep report will only show data if you have connected a wearable. If you have an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Oura ring, you can now connect it to håp. Tap the wrench icon on the bottom right of the app to go to Your Settings/Wearable devices. Once you connect your wearable, the last day of data will be automatically loaded into the sleep report so you can start to view different aspects of your sleep. 

New sleep duration report

In the top chart of the sleep report, håp shows you the average duration of sleep for the nights that you wore your wearable device. Similar to the check-in report, you can select week, month, or year and swipe left or right to change the dates shown.

Right below you will see a line chart showing the times you fell asleep and woke up as indicated by the sun and moon icons. A consistent bedtime helps to improve sleep, so this is an actionable insight.

New bed time & wake time report

The new sleep charts are really helpful for me because they allow me to easily compare how much sleep I get each night with the results from my Check-ins. Being able to see real sleep data from my wearable device and see how that impacted my day-to-day mood or calmness is really important to me.

New Notes report

In V1 of the app, you could make a diary note at the end of a Check-in, or any time by tapping on the ‘add a note’ link on the home screen. If you like to journal, you will probably agree with me when I say that this is super useful. It is hard to remember details about how I felt during the day if it was more than just a few days ago, so having it written in the notes is a good way to keep track of it.

However, V1 didn’t have a way to display the notes yet, and our users noticed!

“I want the function to keep track of my notes and diaries.

We’ve fixed this in the new release.

New Notes report

At the bottom of the Your Data page is now one of my favorite parts of håp: the ability to view all of the notes you took. The notes section is particularly helpful because you can refer to these notes and then you can scroll up and find your Check-in or sleep report data to see how your results matched up with how you felt that day. It is so convenient that all of this is in the same place.

What’s next?

When we asked users how much they liked using the håp app, the overall feedback was positive.

“How much do you like using the håp app?”

“I think this app is off to a really good start. I really like the simplicity and intelligence that has been integrated into it.”

“I am enjoying the app so far and feel grateful for the opportunity to engage in the app’s development.”

But many of you weren’t sure yet if you would continue to use håp in the future, because it wasn’t useful enough yet.

“How likely are you to continue using håp for the next 3 months?

“I haven’t figured out why hap is useful to me.”

“I haven’t gotten enough analytics from the app to justify the use.”

We hope that the new reports are one step closer to making håp useful to you.

When we asked what would most likely make you continue to use håp in the future, the most requested feature was peer support. 

“I’m really excited about the peer support function.”

So that’s what we’re working on next!

We’re just getting started on the design of the peer support feature. If you would like to participate in one of our focus groups to brainstorm with us, you can sign up here.

I have seen first hand how the team at Flourish Labs is working incredibly hard to provide the best possible user experience, and quickly iterating to implement user feedback from the students using the app. 

Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback. We are so excited for you all to see this new version of håp and have it be a part of your daily routine to keep track of your mental wellbeing. We look forward to the next round of feedback, please keep it coming! Be sure to keep an eye out for future blog posts and releases as we strive to make håp better for you.

If you already use håp, go to the App Store or Google Play and tap ‘update’ to get the new version of the app.

If you would like to try håp, you can sign up here: https://projecthap.com/trusted-tester/

If you are an Active Minds member, sign up here: https://projecthap.com/activeminds/

To  join a focus group, sign up here: https://forms.gle/awFNE7b8k5KqtJwa7

Introducing håp

Introducing håp: a self-tracking app for the mind that fosters human connection

Posted on 8 September 2021
by Obi Felten, founder & CEO of Flourish Labs

Three months ago I left my job in a big tech company to set up Flourish Labs, a purpose-driven startup using cutting edge mental health science and technology to foster good mental health. Our mission: Flourishing minds for all, starting with students.

Today we’re launching the beta version of håp, an app that helps you understand the ups and downs of your mind. håp is for everyone, whether you are flourishing or languishing right now. It’s using technology that you likely have with you at all times: a smartphone and a wearable device.  

håp empowers you with your data to help you gain more emotional self-awareness.

The håp app encourages you to regularly check in with your feelings, your mood and other factors such as your motivation, sleep, mental focus and social interactions.

Think of a håp ‘Check-in’ as a twice daily activity, just like brushing your teeth. It only takes about a minute (and you could probably do it while you are brushing your teeth if you’re pressed for time).

You can instantly view your data in easy to understand reports, charting how the factors that affect your mental health and wellbeing change over time. 

Unlike simple mood diary apps, håp can also integrate your sleep, activity and heart rate data if you have a wearable and choose to connect it to håp. This is optional; you can use håp with just a smartphone. We currently support Fitbit and Oura, and will add more wearables soon.

You control what you share with håp. håp empowers you with your data to help you gain more emotional self-awareness.

håp brings you human connection when it’s most important for you.

In addition to self-tracking, håp is being designed to foster support from others. During 18 months of lockdowns and physical distancing from friends, extended family and co-workers, we have all experienced how vital human connection is for good mental health.

In the beta version released today, håp gives you instant access to free, 24/7 crisis support. With the tap of a button or by texting HAP to 741741, you can text with a trained Crisis Text Line counselor.

You can also view mental health and wellbeing tips and resources from Active Minds.

If you are a student at one of our pilot colleges, the app will show you mental health and wellbeing resources that are available on your campus. 

Soon, håp will allow you to share some of your data with a small number of people of your choosing. These could be friends, family or others in the håp community who want to support you. Unlike anonymous peer support platforms, håp facilitates ongoing connections with people you know and trust. håp reduces the burden of reaching out to get or give help by notifying your supporters, and encouraging them to get in touch when it looks like you might need it. Or if you’re doing well at the moment, the håp support notification might just serve as a reminder that they haven’t caught up with you in a while and it’s time for a chat.

You control who you share with. håp brings you human connection when it’s most important for you.

håp is being built with students, for students.

College students are our first audience for håp. During our pilot, håp is available only via our partners or by referral. 

håp, like all of us, is a work in progress.  We’re releasing it as a beta app today because we want to get early feedback from students and colleges on what we’ve built so far, and get input on the parts we’re building next. 

If you are a student, you can get early access to håp and help håp get better by joining our Trusted Tester program. We have a limited number of slots, so please bear with us if we don’t get back to you straight away.

Each screen of the app has a ‘feedback’ icon on it. For each app release, we will share how we’ve addressed feedback from testers, so you get to see how you are helping to improve håp first hand. 

Bring håp to your college.

We are inviting a small number of colleges to actively take part in our pilot during the 2021/22 academic year. We are looking for innovators who want to offer the opportunity to their students and staff to test and help evolve the product. We’d especially love to work with community colleges and HBCUs.

If you are a student, you can bring håp to your college as a håp Ambassador.

If you are faculty or staff, please get in touch to explore how we could include your college in our pilot

Project håp is a collaboration between a tech startup, nonprofits and academics.

We have come together to work on håp because we share a vision of a future where more people flourish in a world of good mental health and wellbeing. 

Flourish Labs is a purpose-driven technology startup building the app and technology platform with a small but mighty team and the help of a multi-faceted advisory board. 

Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Led by founder Alison Malmon, they are our co-design and outreach partner.

Youth Era is a global leader in empowering young people and creating breakthroughs in the systems that serve them. Through peer support and technology, Youth Era equips young people with tools to help themselves and their peers. They are designing a bespoke training program for håp members who want to become supporters.

Crisis Text Line provides free, high quality crisis support through text messaging. Trained, compassionate Crisis Text Line crisis counselors are available 24/7 for any crisis, not just suicide.

Stanford professor Dr. Manpreet Singh will lead an independent research study on håp. Each part of håp is grounded in evidence, but our combination of self-tracking and peer support is novel. Dr Singh and her team will study the validity of håp as a measurement tool for mental health, wellbeing and flourishing, and assess its impact on them.

If you are an individual or foundation interested in supporting the work of our nonprofit partners or the research study with a grant, please get in touch.

Each partner in our multi-disciplinary team brings their energy, unique experience and insight to håp, and I’m excited and grateful every day to be working with them. We invite you to bring your own experience to håp by joining us on the journey as a Trusted Tester, håp Ambassador or pilot college.

You can learn more at projecthap.com. We can’t wait to hear what you think of håp and your ideas on how to make it work for you.

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