A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH ANXIETY
A research-intensive independent study project over 15 weeks
How can a product be used to help people proactively do things on their own?
A phone case with machine learning AI that can help people with anxiety and OCD.
I worked alone on this project but had support from professionals, my professor, and my classmates.
This case study was submitted and accepted into the 2019 VCU Graduate Research Symposium.
PROBLEM + OPPORTUNITY
Homework is one of the top-cited reasons for failure in therapy.
Homework is an important part of therapy, but patients don't do it. There are no guidelines or existing research that address the design of mobile apps for this purpose but with the help of therapists and designers, there is an opportunity to create them.
emma is the first to offer therapy on your phone with predictive AI that continues to help you through your journey to a better you.
An app is the next natural progression to increase homework compliance in therapy
emma offers material written by therapists to help you manage your anxiety or stress outside of therapy.
A phone case that acts as a device that helps to disrupt your anxiety at the moment you're dealing with it.
The software evolves with you, learning your habits and needs. You become self-sufficient in your journey to manage your anxiety and stress without having to rely on anyone else.
HOW IT WORKS
WHY? (ANXIETY + STRESS)
Anxiety is essential for survival because it motivates behavior.
As humans we follow a set of biologically pre-programmed instinctual urges, enacting a set of behaviors hardwired into the brain. We can't eliminate anxiety, but we can have a better relationship with it.
Loud colors and dates can be overwhelming which is why calm blues and days are used instead.
Each day a lesson about anxiety and the opportunity to "talk" about mental health are presented to begin a routine of cataloging feelings and emotions as they happen.
Predicting behavior can help people with anxiety deal with stress better over time.
Cataloging feelings, thoughts, and emotions in real-time help pinpoint situations that are troublesome. Once a person is consciously aware of the situations that cause their stress and anxiety, they can work at adjusting those situations.
emma has the opportunity in the long run to help people who can't afford therapy or refuse to do so on their own. You will be able to help yourself without changing your life while managing your anxiety or stress.
Phones are very personal and other options for access need to be considered. Small flash drives could be an easy solution to keep your favorite phone case but still have the software on your phone.
After the case is on your smartphone the software guides you through the setup, starting with the hotspot buttons on the case. The buttons can be used when having an anxiety attack or in a stressful situation to launch your favorite app, play music or call a friend.
doodles + style guide
Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Cinema4D, Makerbot Desktop Replicator 5th gen. 3D printer, Procreate
August - December 2018
Experts in the field: Dr. Michael Southam-Gerow, and Dr. Scott Vrana