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mental wellness

Managing Mental Wellness Through

Motivation & Engagement

In consulting for Actualize Therapy to redesign their digital platform for mental wellness, I explored how users can stay engaged with maintaining and improving their progress in managing their mental health by leveraging their individual sense of motivation.


Actualize Therapy is a modular, extensible digital platform that supports mental health and wellness. It consists of a collection of mobile apps which each serve as tools for individuals to manage their anxiety, stress and negative states of mind. 

Integrated Design Sprints, Northwestern University, Spring 2019



Actualize exists as a multi-app platform with the Hub serving as the central tool of navigation between the various apps available as different tools for users to manage their mental health. The opportunities for redesign arose from needing:

ORCHESTRATION: The Hub was not optimized for its role in guiding users to the most useful tool for their needs at a particular time; as it simply listed the different apps available.

GUIDED CUSTOMIZATION: Users didn't have a clear way to differentiate between the tools available.

MOTIVATION: Users were also unable to stay motivated to consistently continue their progress with the service.

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The overall experience was overwhelming, confusing and inefficient.

Working with Pauli Lieponis, Lead Designer of Actualize Therapy, to identify gaps in user experience.


Redesigned Interface of Hub

Improved navigation through
extended engagement

I designed a guided experience to navigating the multiple wellness apps by integrating an entry and exit experience in the HUB to enable users to reflect over their mindset at the beginning and the end of their overall interaction.

The feedback collected through the entry and exit experience enables the Hub to recommend the most relevant wellness tool based on a user's particular initial mindset and goals.
I visually mapped these recommendations to offer a more engaging layout; with the size and radial distance of the tool icon to respectively represent the level of recommendation.

Redesigned, the Hub serves as a central concierge for the set of tools offered by Actualize Therapy.

Building motivation

Bliss is a solution that enables users to be aware of and be empowered by their personal motivations.


I designed it using the insight provided by Actualize that "friends and family are both the biggest motivator and the biggest trigger to someone's mental wellness". 


Bliss is an inspirational tool that lets users to build, view and engage with of their own, personalized vision board based on underlying motivations that are:

  • action oriented

  • goal oriented

  • thought oriented 

Instead of using generic notifications, Bliss offers personalized notifications using personal stories to encourage users to continue their progress.

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Newly Designed Bliss App

Bliss Call Notification

Bliss Call Notification

45 million Americans have
a mental health problem each year
and receive little to no adequate treatment.

Digital interventions for mental health are as effective as psychopharmacology and psychotherapy.

By leveraging an introspective sense of motivation, the Hub and Bliss empower individuals to focus on mental wellness, not mental illness.

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Coming in with an understanding of user experience and interaction, I pushed my tactical skills in UI  forward by wireframing, creating digital mockups and interactive prototypes.



This project provided me another opportunity to practice my skills in storytelling using empathy, verbal communication and visual design. 

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In working individually on this project, I learned to guide myself in choosing a design direction and approach, setting goals for deliverables and meeting the expectations of the client.

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Over the course of six weeks, I continuously iterated on designs by using low-fidelity prototypes to gather quick and relevant feedback so as to progress towards an informed direction.


Project Overview

Over the course of 8 weeks, I worked individually in consulting for Actualize Therapy to improve parts of their user experience.

Actualize Therapy is a modular, extensible platform that can provide many simple, targeted, usable apps and messages to patients.

Actualize Therapy App (Tools)

Challenges of Current Interface

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The tools exist as separate apps, which led to:

  • Difficulty in differentiating between different tools without prior experience

  • Incohesive experience with service by using multiple apps separately

  • Difficulty in navigating back and forth between apps

  • Hub not performing to its potential as a guide for the platform

Opportunity for Design



Enable users to reflect over their mental health needs as well as interactions with the tools through check-in feedback.



Provide users with personal recommendations of tools based on their state of mind and immediate mental needs.

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Encourage and engage users in maintaining their progress of using tools consistently by leveraging personal motivators.


Maintain the multi-app platform dynamic through redesign.

Maintain branding language and design scheme .

Leverage design research conducted and provided by Actualize.


Design Process



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Shift from independent apps... 

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 12.03.49 interconnected apps to improve navigating between tools in any session.


I sketched multiple iterations of interfaces  focusing on visual layouts,information  hierarchy and navigation.


Actualize Mockups

I used Adobe XD to translate my wireframes into digital mockups and to prototype interactions with the interface.



By enabling users to reflect over their mindset at the beginning and the end of their session with the service, they can better be aware of how they engage with the apps.



Bliss is a building tool that draws from an individual's personal senses of motivation to present a visual inspiration board in the form of engaging images, videos and stories.

Based on three forms of underlying motivators:

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Action Oriented

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Goal Oriented

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Thought Oriented

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Bliss Call Notification


Notifications redesigned.

Personal motivations are powerful, especially when there's a powerful memory attached to them.


Generic notifications which often result in a reflexive, dismissive response from users.


Bliss Call is a personalized notification that draws from the collection of visual motivators an individual has built up in Bliss to engage the user in continuing their interactions with any of the Actualize tools.

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