© 2019 By Rachel Swain. Proudly created with Wix.com

Making Assumptions:

I came up with assumptions about depression. People are having trouble talking about depression and getting help. I assume they'll be more successful if they can rely on themselves.

Creating a Survey:

I created a survey on Google forms. Having a survey helped me reach out to people who were uncomfortable with talking about their depression. I posted my survey in V School's student slack channel and asked everyone who was willing to share the link to do so. The magnitude of responses was amazing and great quantitative data!


Interviewing time—one of my favorite parts of this whole process. I reached out on Facebook and Snapchat to ask for people willing to talk about their experiences with depression to reach out to me. I got to interview some in person and others via email. I took notes during the interviews and made sure to take notice of their body language and reactions as well as their words.

Affinity Mapping:

During this process, I compiled the quantitative data from my survey, and the qualitative data from my interviews—as well as quotes, thoughts, and assumptions. I clustered similar things into groups in order to find connections between all my findings.

Empathy Mapping:

I categorized the things that those I interviewed "said" and "did." I then filled in the things they "thought" and "felt" based off what I observed and assumed. This process is what helped me to build the persona I wanted to design my app for.

Reliant App

Project Background:

The first week in class we were asked to identify a problem in the world that we'd like to work towards solving. Depression is a growing challenge in our society, and I wanted to provide something to those with depression that could help them to help themselves.


My Role:

UX researcher and designer

Project Timeline:

April 16th, 2019 - July 3rd, 2019

Making Assumptions


Empathy Mapping

Creating a Persona:

The persona is the "who" I am designing for. I compiled all my data into one easy to remember "person." Kylee is the persona I created. Kylee includes aspects from everyone I interviewed and the information I gathered from the survey. I can still design for everyone, but now I have one individual for reference.

Journey Mapping:

This helped me to walk through Kylee's journey with depression. The phases/chapters, the touchpoints, and what they're doing. I added "thinks" and "feels" to my journey map because with such a heavy topic I wanted to keep empathy in my mind as I continued forward. The journey map helped me to identify the areas Kylee is experiencing pain in her journey with depression. After identifying the pain points, I was able to create "hmw's" (how might we's). Questions like "how might we improve this area of pain?"


I started coming up with ideas on how to tackle the main problems my persona is dealing with. I started working towards a solution but always remained open to things changing.

Journey Mapping

Card Sorting:

Next, I wrote all the content I wanted to include in the app down on index cards. I sat down with people and had them sort the cards into groups based on what they thought belonged together. I also asked them to give these categories a name. This was really to get an idea of what made sense to my potential users. This provided me with a clear idea of how to start designing my app.



Low-Fidelity Design:

This was the first mock-up of my app. I started with low-fidelity, so I could create something that could get to user testing quickly. Low-fidelity is very useful in the beginning because it keeps the flow and content as the main focus, so users don't get caught up on the design. I didn't want to waste time designing something in high-fidelity in case things needed to be changed significantly.

User Testing:

I prototyped my app in InVision and made it available on my phone so I could easily hand my phone to people for testing. I paid close attention to where these people gravitated to first—how they moved through my app and took notes on their thoughts and feelings during the process.

Feedback-Based Design:

The majority had some confusion about the inspiration section and the quotes section. They seemed very similar to everyone, and they didn't feel they needed to be separate. Everyone felt quotes made more sense. The users had spoken, so I dropped the inspiration section altogether and kept quotes.


After the design based on feedback, I moved on to mid-fidelity, which is where my app is currently at. This project really opened my eyes to how similar everyone's experiences with depression are and how incredibly difficult it can be. No one thing fits everyone and design will always continue changing. I look forward to continuing my research on depression and updating my app and making changes as I learn new things.