Hero video ad

MindLabs is a mental health tech start-up that was founded in 2020. The company had a big vision - to make the world a happier place, and to make taking care of our mental health as normal as going to the gym. They wanted to remove the stigma surrounding the mind by creating a mental health video platform that helped people sleep better, stress less, and feel happier.
I joined the company as the second employee in 2020 after helping the founders to conceptualise and pitch the vision. They needed me to help realise the concepts by validating the ideas and hypothesis, discovering and defining user needs, and designing and launching a product to market that users loved.
I was the sole designer for my time at MindLabs, working in an agile cross-functional product team along with a product owner, three iOS engineers, and three backend engineers.
Mental health issues were increasing in society and were gaining a lot of awareness due to COVID emerging around the same period MindLabs was founded. People were struggling with their health, stress, isolation, and poor sleep, and we believed our video meditations and science-backed approach would be unique selling points in helping users feel better and validate their progress.
We built a native iOS app as a convenient way to present video classes to the user and to integrate health features. After a brief beta testing period, we launched our app to market in February 2021, with rapid iteration over the following months to introduce the most important features, ensuring we defined problems and hypotheses, listened to users, and worked through our roadmap towards our vision.
On reflection, there were a lot of significant challenges, for both MindLabs and me. I can't say we overcame them all, but it has been a valuable experience to fail and learn.
★ Wearing a lot of hats (product, brand, marketing, UX, design system etc)
★ Balancing speed vs. quality and always keeping it lean with an MVP approach
★ Ensuring we were always solving the right problem and defining the hypothesis
★ Keeping research lean and testing when appropriate
★ Maintaining a design backlog and ensuring I was never a bottleneck
★ Being the only designer for two years and not having someone to bounce off, or lean on
★ Always learning and evolving our understanding of our target users
★ Balancing ownership of problems and solutions, and being a contributor serving the team
★ Building a strong cross-functional team and getting to a place where we could perform
★ Defining processes to enable agile workflows and strong collaboration
★ Building a strong product culture for the business
★ Balancing big-picture and micro thinking
★ Finding product market fit 
After roughly 18 months of launching the product, we managed to achieve an iOS App Store rating of 4.7 from 200+ mostly positive reviews.
~ Design process ~
After some initial market research with 2,000 people, we found a pattern of 25-40 year-olds that were struggling with stress, sleep, and health worries who spent hours on social media, and seemed to care about the science and tracking of mental health.
We had validated a hypothesis that video would be a unique and engaging method to deliver our content compared to other competitors, by testing YouTube videos with interested users. 
Our MVP app had to be able to deliver the video content based on a user's problem/goal and offer an aesthetically pleasing feed of videos with basic information and progression. We built and launched this on Testflight to a cohort of interested users as our beta.

Proto-persona v1

Storyboard sketch

Screen design for the MVP home screen, class, and results

MVP prototype

Live classes
We believed that users wanted to be held more accountable for attending classes by scheduling them and being prompted to meditate, and also feel more connected with the instructors.
To verify that, we first started running live classes on Instagram to see if users tuned in and how they behaved. Once we validated there was value and interest, we added live classes into the app with the ability to see upcoming live classes and receive live class notifications.

Storyboard sketch

Screen design for the updated home screen, and live lobby states

Live class prototype

There were three themes and opportunities we saw emerging from user feedback:
1. Improve user discovery of content
2. Improve the new user experience
3. Improve the ability for a user to track progress
We decided to place all of these themes under the opportunity of "Personalisation" and agreed this would be the biggest challenge to tackle. We wanted to build on our excellent video content and allow the user to create an experience that was more tailored to them.
We believed that users would watch more classes and return to the app more regularly if they had a really positive first experience, classes were better tailored to their needs and a way to track progress.
To verify that, we added interests (secondary tags) to the onboarding and all content and added "Mindful Minutes" as a metric and daily goal for the user to hit.

User feedback from user testing and surveys

Storyboard sketch

Wireframes for new onboarding and updated UX

Updated home screen with sliders and categories

Screen design for the new onboarding steps, class results, and profile

Personalisation prototype

We believed users liked the idea of live classes but were struggling to attend them. We thought users who were unable to attend or missed a live class would be interested in watching them later at a more convenient time.
To verify that, we added live replays to the app, which allowed users to watch any live class for up to 14 days after airing, and also added a live class and replay calendar.

User flow for replays

Screen design for the updated home screen, replay/live schedule, and replay lobby

Replays prototype

Branded live classes
We believed that users would attend more live classes if they had clear intent or theme, consistent schedules, and were more tailored to users' needs.
To verify that, we replaced our fragmented live classes with seven "branded" live classes that would always have the same theme, identity, and scheduling to better align with what our users wanted and when they wanted it.
Card sorting to define the values and identity of each class

Screen design for the updated home screen, live schedule, and lobby

Cover art and identity for each branded class

Content discovery
We believed that more new users would experience their first video class (the ‘magic’) if the home screen had a clear primary action and better content recommendations.
To verify that, we added a featured daily rotational class to the home screen, along with some recommended classes based on a deeper understanding of the user's goals and interests.

Screen design for the new onboarding personalisation, updated home screen, and account creation

We believed that our users, after experiencing the magic✨, wanted to purchase a MindLabs subscription to be more accountable for improving their sleep and mood and invest in their mental health.
To verify that, we created two prototypes with the same subscription screen, positioned at two different points of the flow: forced at the end of onboarding, and delayed so that the user got to control when to choose - either from the home screen or at the end of their free class.

Screen design for putting certain features behind a paywall and subscription steps

Subscription prototype

We tested both solutions with 10 users. The delayed subscription flow was validated and preferred due to:
- Better managing user expectations
- Getting users to the magic sooner
- Less friction/steps
- A higher willingness to pay
- A higher NPS score
- A more positive overall experience

Results from one of the user tests

We believed our users wanted to feel like they were progressing and improving their mental health and wanted to think less about what content to watch and what action to take.
To verify that, we created series that involved filming and grouping similar classes that were aligned to the more important user needs. The user would be able to work through the series - usually starting with beginner classes and progressing to more advanced exercises and meditations.

Storyboard sketch for series

Screen designs and flows for Series

Screen designs for series on the home screen, category, and lobby

Series prototype

Series cover art designs

Discover & navigation
We believed that the majority of users used categories or length of class to find what they needed, and tended to do that based on how they felt at the time of entering the app. When a user came into the app, we wanted to make it easy to find what they needed quickly.
To verify that, we created a more refined home screen that filtered content based on their goal or feeling and surfaced quick and popular content. Due to the number of features and content, this also felt like the right time to restructure the app, split up the content, and add navigation.

Lean UX canvas to better understand and define the challenge

Defining the new information architecture of the app

Screen design of the new Discover and Profile screens, and navigation

We believed that we would increase the average number of classes watched per user if a user was able to build a habit through receiving and engaging with content based on their biometric data. This would also provide a unique value proposition through biomarker data to both recommend content and track the progress of mental health.
To verify that, we used biomarker-focused notifications to bring users into the app and suggest a class, starting with sleep as the data was more widely understood and available. Also, sleep was the most common class type watched and the primary tag selected.

Journey map

MindLabs 2.0
We believed that our users were engaging with the biomarkers and health integration we had released, and adding more biomarkers, tailored content, and deeper health integration would help users with deeper insights and personalisation, and increase retention and classes watched.
To verify that, we decided to take a big bet and pivot the core value of the app to biomarker-led content including short classes, CBT exercises, and challenges, and introduce coaches that would provide insights, guide the user, and keep them accountable.

Journey map

Storyboard sketch (from our talented CEO)

Screen design for new onboarding steps to customise how you feel and choose a coach

Screen design for new home screen ("Today") and CBT exercises

Screen design for various states of "Today"

MindLabs 2.0 prototype

You may also like

MindLabs branding
Branding and iOS app concepts for a new mental health startup.
July, 2020
Branding · Lead Designer
Where To Meat
A passion project born out of a personal problem, which I designed and built with some friends.
March, 2020
Website · Personal side project
Master of Malt
Short project to design and deliver a scalable and flexible gift finder page for Father's Day for an award-winning online spirits retailer.
March, 2019
Website · Lead Product Designer
Superdrug Health Clinics
Project to launch a new website for Superdrug Health Clinics, helping users find and book clinics for travel and health.
June, 2017
Website · Lead Product Designer
10 Minutes With
Working with 10 Minutes With, I helped to design and develop a fully responsive landing page for their new app
November, 2015
Website · Senior UX/UI Designer
Branding and usage guidelines for Missfit - an online fashion, beauty and entertainment community.
November, 2015
Branding · Lead Designer
Car Throttle
Project to deliver native iOS and Android apps for this car enthusiast community
April, 2016
iOS & Android app · Lead Product Designer
Designed an iOS app for tech start-up Mixlr - a service for simple online audio broadcasting.
September, 2012
iOS App · Lead UI Designer
Project to create a design system to tackle many design and performance issues.
June, 2019
Design System / Website · Lead Product Designer
Car Throttle
Over three years, I designed several iterations of the Car Throttle website - evolving it from a Wordpress blog to a tech platform.
August, 2014
Website · Lead Product Designer
Back to Top