Boulder Hypnosis Works: iOS App Design and Interactive Prototype
Boulder Hypnosis Works is a private coaching company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs and artists achieve their business and creative goals.
The previous user research I conducted for Boulder Hypnosis Works revealed numerous breakdowns in productivity related to people’s ability to accomplish their most important goals.
Most of the research participants were entrepreneurs whose primary goal was to start or expand their own business. Their challenges included issues around getting started, staying focused, being organized, prioritizing tasks, managing time effectively, and dealing with difficult emotions.
Some of the difficult emotions included feeling overwhelmed and/or under a lot of pressure, feeling insecure and/or not good enough, and struggling with imposter syndrome and/or perfectionism.
"Why can't I figure this out? Am I broken."
~ Participant 2
"I’ve got to make it just perfect, or it's never going to happen."
~ Participant 5
To address these pain points, Boulder Hypnosis Works asked me to design a native iOS app to teach people about growth mindset and provide a tool to help them develop an experimental attitude toward pursuing their goals.
Together we created a method called WELL, which includes the following four steps:
Wonder. You begin by cultivating an attitude of curiosity and wonder, which puts the mind in a more open state that is full of possibilities, reduces stress, and optimizes creativity. Then, you pick an area of life that you’d like to make improvements on.
Experiment. Next, you decide on one small action you can take to help move you toward your goal, and you run an experiment for one week by putting this strategy into practice. The intention is not about having the “right” strategy or executing it perfectly. The intention is to make incremental progress by trying something new and seeing what happens.
Learn. After you run your experiment for one week, you reflect on what you’ve learned. You begin by noticing what went well, so you can build on your success. And, you acknowledge the challenges that arose and the lessons you learned that will help improve your process next time.
Loop. You repeat the previous three steps in an ongoing learning loop. This brings an iterative quality to the process that facilitates accelerated learning and growth.
01 — Project Brief and Competitive Analysis
First, I created a created a project brief to clarify the goals and scope of the project. Then, I conducted a competitive analysis to see if any similar apps existed and to get ideas and inspiration for the design.
02 — User Flow
Next, I mapped out the screens and paths a user might take to accomplish the following goals:
Sign in and Register
Watch video training programs
Be guided though the four-step WELL process
View a history of completed WELLs
View settings and delete account
03 — Low Fidelity Wireframes with Annotations
To get a sense of the basic layout for the design of the app, I created low fidelity wireframes. I annotated the wireframes and got feedback from several colleagues on how to improve the design and functionality.
04 — Medium Fidelity Wireframes with Annotations
After multiple rounds of feedback and iteration, I fine-tuned the designs and filled in the content.
05 — Interactive Prototype
Next, I created an interactive prototype that allows users to scroll through the content and navigate through the app.
The completed project is an interactive prototype that can be used for future user testing. Watch a video demonstration of the app's functionality below.
THE LESSONS LEARNED
I learned a lot from working on this project and engaging with the content. It inspired me to reflect deeply on growth mindset and the epidemic of imposter syndrome in our society. Every participant I interviewed during the previous user research phase of this project struggled with some experience of feeling not good enough. As I reflected on this and my own struggles with perfectionism, I came to the following realization:
Imposter syndrome stems from an inability to come to terms with the reality that it's impossible to know everything.
In our increasingly complex world that is constantly changing faster than anyone is able to keep up with, it is impossible to know everything. But, most of us feel like we "should" be able to, and we beat ourselves up when we don't.
And, yet, we live in the golden age of information. We can look up anything we want to know, which makes it unnecessary to know everything ourselves. It's far more important to know how to learn. By adopting a growth mindset and experimental attitude, we can make incremental progress toward our goals over time.
When we accept the reality that it's impossible to know everything, we can enjoy the process of learning for it's own sake. We are more curious and open to feedback, and this allows us to pursue our goals with less pressure to do it perfectly or have all the answers figured out already.
I experimented with putting this understanding into practice as I worked on each step of this project. With each iteration, I made small improvements and learned as much as I could from the feedback of my colleagues.
In particular, I dramatically improved my skills in Adobe XD by learning how to use some of the advanced features such as component states, stacks, and prototyping. There's always more to learn, and I am enjoying the lifelong process!
I designed the app and prototype in several stages over a period of seven weeks.