#UX Research #Visual Design #Music #Streaming #Mental Health

Mood Lifting with Music Expression and Human Connection

MindRoom

#UX Research #Visual Design #Music #Streaming #Passion Project

Mood Lifting with Music Expression and Human Connection

MindRoom

Project Overview
Background
MindRoom is a streaming app with freedom of expression and opportunity to interact with the community. Combining music and visuals, MindRoom aims to provide stress relief and emotional support. MindRoom is a digital platform that showcases multiple channels (“Rooms”) with therapeutic purposes.

Each “Room” has its own theme with a dedicated playlist and looped-video background. The users can explore the Rooms or create a customized room where they can synth their playlist and visuals.
To create a sense of community, each “Room” has a “Mind Board” which users can share their thoughts and comments. The goal of this feature is to provide emotional support through social interaction.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a film creator specifically for music videos. I was amazed with the impact of music and visuals. When I got older, I saw the importance of mental health as I watched people and myself struggle finding a balance in life. I wanted to created a positive environment with freedom of expression and creativity.
Challenge
Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over the last decade. The studies reported a 51 percent increase in major depression and 71 percent increase in major psychological distress. 
Music is a very powerful healing tool to the constantly-stimulated human mind. The mission of this app is to create a positive environment where users support each other through creative freedom and positive engagement.

Target users: Music lovers and people struggle with their emotions
Solution
I decided to design a user-friendly streaming app that provides a welcoming space for people to unload negative emotions and to receive positive encounters. The idea was inspired by the live channel on Youtube (specifically those live lo-fi music channel, where the live chat is full of "wholesome" messages). I loved the concept where people get to chat while enjoy the music.

From the user research I conducted, I collected a crucial insight that many users experience an elevation of mood after interacting with other people. Therefore, I wanted to created a sense of community to provide support, comfort and positivity.

I chose to mobile app platform because I wanted the product to be available for the users anywhere they go. Moods are unpredictable. Having the solution on-the-go would be the best approach.
Project Plan
My Role
• Research: I developed and executed user research plan. From there I analyzed findings and generated insights.
• Design: I created the design system and all wireframes
• Prototyping: I built the Hi-Fi interactive prototype on Figma
Scope
• Team: This is a solo project
• Duration: < 2 weeks  
• Tools: Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Miro
• Design Practices: Research Plan Development, User Survey, C&C Analysis, Feature Analysis, Affinity Mapping, Persona Development, Problem Statement, User-Flow, Information Architecture, Sketching, Wireframes, Prototyping
Research & Synthesis
User Research
Objective
To understand user’s behaviors and motivations of streaming music and stress relief process.
Method
User survey with open - end questions and short answers via Google Form.
I sent out the user survey on Reddit across multiple Subreddits related to music and mental health. Also sent it to friends with emotional distress.
Findings
• Social interaction has therapeutic effect that helps users dealing with stress
• Most users enjoy taking a walk to cope with stress
• Users enjoy doing creative activities to distract themselves from the unwanted thoughts.
• Users prefer customizable platform
"I can read the comments of people giving hope."
"I express my emotions by singing along with songs that sort og resonate with my situation."
"I like doing stuff like that because it give my mind something to do and focus rather than spiraling in my emotion."
"It would be nice to have some kind of customization to a meditation app."
User quotes from the survey response.
User's Needs, Goals, Behaviors and Frustration
"Stress can be very overwhelming sometimes."
- Frannie, Project Manager
Needs & Goals
• Needs a way to relieve her stress besides walking her dog
Behaviors
• Enjoys music and creating contents on her free time
• Walks her dog daily as she get some fresh air
Frustrations
• Has a busy schedule where she barely has time to spend with the loved ones.
• Unble to take a walk due to the weather
• Not sure how to handle her emotional stress
More Artifacts
Affinity Map
User Flow
Competitive & Comparative Analysis
Ideation & Iteration
Site Map
Wireframes
Sketches
Low Fidelity
I initially sketched out a Profile page for users but paused the process.
Because I wanted this page to be more personal and mental health - focused. Which I realized I was lack of research in this part.
High Fidelity Wireframes
simplicity and content-focused approach.
Which creates a contrast that makes the contents stand out more.
I minimized the color used and sticked to neutral color for the background and navigation.
I avoided adding complex design components to create a sense of calmness.
Deliverable & Next Steps
High Fidelity Prototype
Next Steps
• Usability& Iteration. Due to the time constrain, I was not able to conduct my favorite part of UX practice :(
More in-depth user research on the mental health aspect
Develop more in-app features such as Profile page, filter, search, categories..etc.
Lesson Learned
I got many unfriendly responses from Reddit for posting the user survey. It was unpleasant seeing them at first. Then I realized in real life, people will be upset with surveys with all kinds of reasons. I learned to not take it personally. Also, I'd recommend using a throw-away account for safety purpose :)
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