Product design, visual design
Zigmund is an app for remote psychological consulting. It is designed to help you to overcome anxiety, stress, depression and/or different kinds of addictions in the early stages. It is a concept that I created during Vadim Grin’s Scvot.io product design course.

Problem ⟶ Research ⟶Hypothesis ⟶ PRD ⟶ User Personas & Mood Board ⟶ Task Flow ⟶ UX ⟶ User Testing ⟶ Final Solution ⟶ UI Design System ⟶ Identity ⟶ Marketing

During my MA in psychology, I developed an idea that would combine my design background with psychology studies. The result: a remote consulting app to help people to overcome anxiety, depression and other mental disorders, as most treatments and psychology sessions can be held remotely.

Stress is thought to be the product of the speed of life and the amount of information available in the digital era. This overload causes many mental disorders (see the statistics below). Why create another app? Simple: fight fire with fire.

According to international studies conducted by Healthline, ADAA and Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness and appear in nearly 18% of the population every year. Nearly 10% of the population experienced at least one major depressive episode in a year. Yet only approximately 30% of those suffering receive treatment (only 2% of the population of former USSR – the primary audience).

Around the most popular reasons for such treatment, involvement is low psychological awareness, stigma, price of services, privacy, confidence in treatment results.

The research focussed on two types of users: Clients (users who need treatment) and Consultants (professional psychotherapists). The research was designed to define their pain points and regular tools to overcome them, mood and interests. There are two polls for each particular type.

The research results showed that nearly 80% experience anxiety or other mental difficulties, mostly related to job, crowd, family or relationships, while nearly 60% never did psychotherapy but would like to try it. The most common reason not to attend psychotherapy is the session price.

The polls had a question about Sigmund Freud’s image because I wanted to name my app in his honour. Interestingly enough, most people either do not know who he is or have some positive ideas about him. So that is the origin of the name Zigmund!

Please see the poll forms here. The polls are ongoing, so you are welcome to participate:

for Client (in Russian): forms.gle/3gcdCXWR9EfuKgtN8

for Consultant (in Russian): forms.gle/mUwbgJChesWkEXoT9


Following the research, a set of hypotheses was formed:

1. Clients like Consultants who do not use tests in practice much.
Matchpoint. A digital tool like the Zigmund app could provide a variety of interesting tests on personality, mental state, character, defining the hidden problems, etc. It is a powerful tool to grab the Client’s attention if presented correctly. A psychological test is a safe area for a Client and a sphere of professional interest for a Consultant – a perfect match!

2. Clients from more expensive cities can use the service of Consultants from less expensive cities.
Price policy. Localization will help to offer a wise price policy because people from expensive cities could be offered Consultants from less expensive ones. It should enable the Client to find the lowest price possible and the Consultant to earn reasonable compensation. Further, it will be hard for the Client and Consultant to meet offline, thus preventing both from cheating.

3. It is hard for a Client to take the first step. One could spend several years in search of a Consultant.
First step. Clients need some stimuli to share their problems. Feedback from Consultants on the Client’s introduction test results could help to provide that first step and to build a foundation for communication.

4. Clients want to see treatment progress.
Module. Zigmund could offer a set of Modules for particular life cases (e.g. Ending Relationships, General Anxiety, Porn Addiction, Job Stress, Personal Loss) supervised by a Consultant. Each Module would have a certain amount of steps (life sessions and home tasks) so the Client would be aware of the treatment process, his/her progress and the direction to follow.

5. A Client can break the treatment process.
Gamification. Each Module consists of life sessions and home tasks (personal activity) to encourage the Client’s interest in the upcoming life session. The Client will receive results and detailed feedback from the Consultant only during the life session. The Client will be allowed to schedule a life session only if he/she passed the home task.

6. Clients want to have daily attention to their problems.
Yes, there is such a thing as setting a certain therapy schedule. We all are humans, however, and we are all fighting our disorders. We can be in great need of immediate support. Special tools like meditation, wide knowledge base, diary and mood calendars will keep Clients focussed on their treatment. Group chats are available to give and receive support. Supervising Consultants must be available in a private chat in case of an emergency.

7. Stigmas and fears cause a need for privacy.
Incognito. A Client can choose to stay invisible – no names, no photos. The only info a Consultant needs is age and gender to pick the right treatment strategy. The same applies to video calls. An incognito mode is available.

A product requirements document (PRD) was created to sum up the problem research, hypotheses, some early stage analytics, terms, initial ideas about user groups and user scenarios, common use cases, UX competitor analysis and MVP case.

See the PRD here

User Personas and Mood Boards
The poll results helped to define two user personas – Client and Consultant – and a mood board for each. The main goal is to match two personas and offer the best experience possible to satisfy needs and help to avoid frustration. Mood boards will be useful for Identity and UI product development stages and marketing campaigns.

See Client’s mood board here 

See Consultant’s mood board here

Task Flow
After user goals became clear, an initial task flow of MVP was developed. The positive scenario is to match the Client and Consultant by scheduling a free life session.

An app offers a special way to help both user types to make more conscious choices. The first introduction Module includes the introduction test. It is the starting point. Without passing this test, the app remains in preview mode. The test helps to understand the Client’s archetype and to give a (potential) Consultant a common understanding of the Client’s difficulties so he/she can decide whether or not to move forward.

After passing the test, the Client receives the result with feedback from a number of Consultants. The Client can select a Consultant based on that feedback.

Wireframe ⟶ Low Fidelity ⟶ High Fidelity ⟶ UI
To understand whether such a matching process works for a Client (MVP assumes the Consultant’s base will form manually), a prototype was developed. It contains a positive scenario of matching plus a few secondary scenarios to distract a user from hitting the goal while testing.

Click on the High Fidelity and UI Prototypes links to pass the flow yourself (feedback is welcomed and encouraged!):

High Fidelity: zigmundapp514657.invisionapp.com/public/share/QZX1E5JUX#screens/475340187

UI Prototype: zigmundapp514657.invisionapp.com/public/share/WBX1GQ1F7#screens/475341040

User Testing
All testers were picked according to the Client’s User Persona with the help of the Local Centre of Mental Health. My mom participated as well. I asked her to test a prototype because she has a lower than average modern technology experience, so she could point out very useful things to improve. Further, the idea was to find out whether the app design is clear enough.

User tests helped to make a few iterations of improvement. In general, all of the users solved the matching tasks successfully on each iteration but with different difficulties and frustrations, I had to protect them from.

Final Solution

After a series of iterations, I had a good enough flow to start MVP development. In addition, I developed the basic visual language and UI of the future app. See the app introduction video here.

Style Guide
To make the MVP ready for development, all UI elements and product grids were categorized and collected into the Style Guide.

The product visual language developed itself while I was working on the app. Here are a few bullet points and ideas that I should highlight.

The oval graphic elements that are used for buttons and the logo came from a widely known diagram that Freud created to explain his Ego/Id concept. The medical green colour gradient reflects the mind concept with its smooth border between conscious and unconscious processes. ‘Zi’ in the logo sounds like ‘Ego’ and ‘Id’. ‘Zigmund’ starts with a ‘Z’ (not with an ‘S’) because it is more common for a Russian-language audience to spell the word this way.

I developed a set of banners and a product landing page to analyse the demand and to answer the question of whether Zigmund has the potential to make a unique marketing offer to meet customer needs.

To do so, I am planning to ‘fake’ a marketing campaign. I intend to advertise Zigmund and bring both categories of users to the landing page. This will allow for the collection of metrics relating to CTA clicks. It is reasonable to make a decision on further product development based on how ‘hot’ those clicks will be.

This project gave me the opportunity to sum up all my knowledge about product development and guide my own idea through all of the stages. I was free and independent in my design solutions, and one of my personal goals was to try to develop the most outstanding visual language possible. Nevertheless, I had determined quite restrictive user guidelines based on the usability tests. So I had to keep in mind the needs and frustrations of my users.

I hope to keep working on Zigmund. For my psychology MA final paper, I plan to create a few app Modules, tests and meditations to prepare it enough for real-life development.

Please contact me if you are interested in any kind of collaboration and/or are ready to support it. Or just clap if you like the job done so far!

Curator’s Feedback

Vadim Grin
Senior Product Designer at OLX Group
Product Design Course Lead at Skvot.io

LinkedIn Profile
Stas was taking my Product Design course as a student. At the end of the course, his project was presented as one of the best. «Zigmund» is a socially important project in today's world, designed to improve the quality of life for many people.

Stas's approach proved to be unconventional and at the same time thoughtful. He took a thorough approach to research, data collection, and analysis, solution design. I am convinced that «Zigmund» is a project with a great future and capable to open the door to a new quality of life for people who suffer from neurosis, depression and other psychological disorders.