top of page


There are very few if any apps on the market to help individuals dealing with symptoms of dissociation

This was a personal project for the group as a member of the group struggles with this disorder and struggled to find apps dedicated to this.


Create an app that encourages and promotes individuals to check in with themselves and help develop healthy mindfulness habits

Help for Everyone

Asset 9.png

Watch Yourself Grow

Asset 8.png

Get to Know Yourself

Asset 11.png










Our Goal:

Create an app designed to help individuals with a depersonalization/derealization disorder.


Designing for the 


2%, of the population are considered to suffer from depersonalization/derealization disorder

Asset 13.png

of people have experienced an episode of depersonalization/derealization episode in their lives

Asset 14.png

Mental health apps in app stores

Asset 15.png

who own a smartphone have downloaded at least one health-related app.


Dissociation disorders usually occur due to experienced trauma. People can dissociate as a symptom of other disorders as well.


It can be triggered by anything the brain deems stressful. It occurs as the brain attempts to protect itself


In situations that cause an individual to feel overwhelmed or experience emotions they are unable, or unready to cope with. If they are sleep deprived, have low blood sugar or even without clear cause



User Persona

After performing secondary research on the condition and reading people personal experiences with the condition we created a user profile 

Meet James

Asset 16.png

James suffers from chronic derealization, probably stemming from trauma.

He often feeling disconnected from the world around him. He finds it frustrating as it impairs his ability to work, his personal relationships, and his sense of self.

I want to clear my mind so that I can be conscious of the present moment


Asset 18.png
  • Self-Growth

  • Authenticity

  • Stronger Relationships

  • Mindful state of being

Pain Points

  • Struggles to form new habits

  • Lack of information about the condition

  • Struggles to notice the onset of symptoms

  • No dedicated apps


  • Hard Working

  • High Spacial Intelligence

  • Resourceful

  • Observant


  • Misunderstanding Mental State

  • Elusive conclusions / Hopelessness

  • Shame 

  • Self Doubt

  • Feelings of Numbness

  • Disconnection

Journey Map

Mapping the users journey allows us to deepen our understanding of the user and allows us to discover opportunities for optimizations

Asset 17.png



We started off by gathering grounding techniques and trying to organize them in various ways


We also began forming our ideas for the apps and important app features


Interactive exercises that keep users engaged. We didn't want it to feel like a worksheet. Organized in ways that allows them to find which methods work best for them

Emotional Check-in

To help individuals feel connected and grounded they need to practice being aware of their emotions, By encouraging emotional check-in we can promote awareness.


It can be hard to see how far you've come without empirical data particularly if you're not fully aware of your surroundings. Thus making it important for them to see their progress and growth.

User Flow

After developing various user flows we settled on one that we felt benefited the end-user. This was just V1 as we move along the design process and preformed user testing this user flow was adjusted according to user feedback

Asset 19.png

Initial Wireframes

They say it's easier to edit a bad page than a blank page. As a group, we generated the first set of wireframes which were then used to refine our ideas before being used for testing. we had a lot of iterations, here's some of it.

Asset 20.png


Testing and refining wireframes

Now that we had a plan we had to figure out how to realize our ideas in the best way possible. We did this through brainstorming, ideating, and creating various wireframes that we would then test with users, refine then re-test until we had an intuitive flow.

Asset 22.png
Asset 12.png

We made it personable

Giving users a being to help care for, in this case, a plant that they could nurture brings an element of personification to the app. Their progress and growth are reflected in the growth of their plant. We played with the idea of randomizing the plants given to each user to create an aspect of individuality.


Redesigning the wheel

We wanted to help users identify their emotions, A popular method used by therapist and psychiatrists takes advantage of the wheel designed by Psychologist Robert Plutchik. The nice thing about the wheel is the hierarchy it provides allowing users to start with a broad emotion and through inner reflection define what their feeling with a much more precise label

UI Kit

Asset 22.png


Usability Testing

We asked all individuals tested the same questions. Recorded their answers and created affinity maps and used this feedback to make changes. Some of the things user feedback helped us refine include:

Asset 23.png

Quick access and clarity.

We were able to make changes to ensure this app is efficient and uses established design patterns.
It is difficult for individuals with any sort of mental impairment to learn new design patterns. Perfecting this was critical to the design's success

The fine line between generic and personable.

We learned a lot about how to make an app truly personable. Some of the features we thought would create a personable experience turned out to feel very generic to users


It’s interesting to see how different users expected the app to flow. By using user feedback we were able to create clear navigation pathways and avoid echo chambers.

Asset 23 (2).png

Allowing users to track emotion quickly or more in-depth allowed users to go into the amount of detail they wanted to. thus increasing the use of this feature

Homescreen Final

Having both options fully visible on the screen creates more efficient navigation

Using warmer phrasing made the app feel more welcoming to users

People liked their name being incorporated but felt that the quote was generic

Homescreen V1


The Final Design

Kapture 2020-12-18 at 13.05.40.gif
Asset 27.png

An effective and simple onboarding methods takes users through the ins and outs of the app

Asset 26.png

Users can quickly log their emotions, passively learning how to identify their emotions

Check in.gif
Ground Exercises Long.gif
Asset 25.png

Users can apply filters and read quick descriptions to find the grounding methods that work best for them.

Asset 24.png

Spruce is about encouraging growth and creating healthy habits. As you grow watch your plant grow alongside.


What's next?

More testing and adjusting in order to reduce pain points. I am personally learning JAVA in order to try and code this app.

What did we learn?

Lots. We learned about taking research and using it to inform personas and how to effectively use these personas to make apps that can help many people. This project reiterated the value of user research and testing

Asset 12.png
bottom of page