The Brief

Identify an opportunity within a problem space and select an appropriate platform for which to design a solution.

Our Response

We chose to focus on self-care as our problem space due to our interest in how users are currently defining and conducting self-care during the pandemic.

Alisa Price
Lauren Friedman
Leobardo Gudino Garcia
Marissa Lawrence

My role
Research Lead

My contributions
1. Building timeline and list of deliverables
2. Conducting user interviews
3. Conducting Competitive & Comparative analysis
3. Wireframing & Prototyping
4. Creating client presentation

Two week sprint

Tools used
Figma, Miro, Zoom, Sketch, InVision

Our High Level Goals

Educate users on how our app defines

Create an app that allows users to discover different self-care methods.

Provide a solution to track progress
within the app.

View Prototype

01. Initial Research & Synthesis

User Interviews

After we decided upon our problem space, we conducted user interviews to pinpoint what our target audience currently feels when navigating self-care apps that already exist. Our goal for these interviews was to figure out what their needs, pain points and goals were so that we could create a solution that would better their experience.

We asked:

What does self-care mean to you?

How has your mental health been affected since the pandemic?

Tell me about the last time you practiced self-care.

Do you use anything to manage and assist you with self-care?

We found:

1. Insight: Users feel as though the term "self-care" is defined differently depending on the person.

Solution: Create an app that takes different definitions of self-care into consideration.

2. Insight: Users feel most self-care apps are singularly focused therefore they don’t use it for their overall wellness.

Solution: Design and develop an app that is more broadly focused when it comes to self-care methods.

3. Insight: Users struggle to keep themselves motivated to practice self-care due to lack of accountability.

Solution: Create a feature that helps users track their progress and keep them motivated.

02. Understanding the user


With our key insights and overall feedback in mind, we created our user persona to humanize our target audience's goals, needs and pain points.

How might we motivate Jessica to discover and
maintain self-care activities?

03. Competitive & Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis

Before we could begin designing our app, we conducted a comparative analysis to get a better understanding of what key features are included in successful apps and where our area of opportunities lie. We focused our analysis on our three high level goals: Educate, Discover and Track.

Competitive Analysis

From there, we wanted to create a competitive matrix to see where our app would fall within the current market space. The goal of the matrix was to gain a better understanding of how we could gear Pillars towards areas within the market that have not been touched.

From the matrix, we saw space in the industry for an app that was more broadly focused with content that was geared more towards inner wellbeing.

Feature Prioritization

With the detailed research done on our competitors and comparators, we created a MoSCoW map and decided upon our top three features we felt were the most important to include when creating our app.

1. Onboarding feature used to help educate users on how we define and track self-care.

2. Discover feature that allows users to choose from a wide variety of self-care methods in the
form of videos, podcasts, articles etc.

3. Tracking feature that will assist in motivating users to continue using the app.

04. Defining Self-Care

Our Five Pillars

We embraced the reality that there isn’t just one way to perform or define self-care. It is dependent on mood, environment, accessibility, timing and other factors. Therefore, we came up with the idea that our definition of self-care within the app would include five different categories of health: Social, Spiritual, Emotional, Practical and Physical.

All five of these categories were mentioned in our initial user interviews when participants described what an effective way to perform self-care looks like to them.

Icons & Color Theory

To assist users with tracking their self-care activities within the app, I selected icons that would help them recognize what type of self-care activity they would be completing while scrolling through the discovery page.

Additionally, I used color theory to select hues that corresponded with feelings a user might have when engaging with a specific category of health.

05. Designing

Insight to solution

Driven by the insights gathered from user interviews, we began to design mid-fidelity wireframes with the hope of having them accurately address our persona's pain points, needs and goals.




06. Testing & Ideating

Usability Tests

Now that we fully fleshed out our mid-fidelity wireframes to solution for user's pain points, we wanted to test the usability of the app itself. Our goal was to get as much feedback as we could in order to  ideate for our high fidelity wireframes.



Since the pandemic, your stress has increased and you’re looking for a way to discover and maintain stress-relieving tactics. Your friend suggested trying a new app to help you. 


Complete the onboarding process for the app.



As part of your promise to prioritize self-care, you are aiming to find more practical ways of relieving stress. This week, you’re looking for tips to help you budget.


Walk me through how you'd find an article about budgeting.



You are thrilled about your first step to prioritizing self-care and want to see how your progress is reflected in the app so far.


Please walk me through where you might find the status of your progress.

07. Outcome

How We Measured Success

After designing our high-fidelity wireframes based on user feedback, we decided to conduct another round of usability testing to ensure our ideations accurately addressed the user's needs and pain points.

We measured success in three ways:

How well users understood the
five pillars

100% of the users felt that the definition of self-care used within this app was easy to understand during the onboarding process. They specifically appreciated that we used a broad umbrella definition that included five different health categories because most self-care apps only focus on one or two.

How users felt about the variety of self-care activities available

100% of users appreciated the different ways in which they could complete a self-care activity which were: reading articles, listening to podcasts or meditation audio as well as watching videos. Users explained that they use different apps for different modes of practicing self-care because they haven't found one that encompasses all of them.

How easily could users identify the tracking method we created

100% of users said that the tracking feature was the defining reason they would return to Pillars. They communicated that using the different icons to identify different self-care activities, along with the added motivation to engage in a more holistic practice, was a creative way to hold users accountable for the better of their overall health.

08. Prototype

09. Retrospective & Next Steps

In this project, I had the opportunity to utilize the entire iterative UX process. My teammates and I were encouraged to select and apply research methods and tools we saw fit in order to create successful solutions for the user's needs. Though our high-fidelity testing was a success, I would've liked to spend more time fleshing out more content within the discover feature in hopes of gathering more feedback from users.

My next steps would be to:
1. Discuss and decide how we might create content. Would it be in-house content or outsourced?
2. Conduct another round of usability tests.
3. Iterate our high-fidelity wireframes based on feedback.