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Ethan McGonigle

Hi, I’m Ethan, a User Experience Designer from Belfast with a love for innovative, user-centered solutions. I completed placement in Australia with a software company called AutumnCare, which, paired with travelling, was an incredible experience.

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About Habiits

Mental health has always been a topic I have felt extremely passionate about. Did you know 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems? On placement, I had the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge I had learnt in University to a product suite centred around human welfare. It was through this work where I discovered a real sense of gratification and passion for products of this nature. Hereafter, I knew I wanted to create a platform that would have a positive influence on others.

Habiits is a positive habit-forming mobile application that encourages the practice of healthy habits and daily positivity. The habits promoted within the app have been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on aspects such as our diet, sleep and activity, which are all areas that influence our mood and subsequently our mental health.

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The Process

The Habiits process consisted of a mix of paper based and digital approaches, as well as periods of extensive user testing to form a user-friendly app that was in touch with today’s youth. To help me plan, I conducted both market research, which included interviews with cognitive behavioural therapists and user research, which included surveys and user exercises to validate proof of concept. I believe both of these aspects had a massive influence on the successful implementation of Habiits.

Another aspect I believe had a significant hand in the creation of Habiits was my sketchbook and the development of sketched wireframes, components and flows. On numerous occasions, I reflected on the pros, cons and considerations to bear in mind for the various potential possibilities I had drawn out. This creation of assets allowed me to visualise how sections and features within the app would look and most importantly, how they would work. I felt this approach was the most practical/time-efficient, which undoubtedly saved me a lot of uncertainty, had I opted to move to digitisation at an earlier stage.

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Once I had mapped out user flows and developed the wireframes to a point where I felt confident to begin building the app, I hopped onto Figma and started to create an MVP. This was what I used to conduct the first round of user tests, which had tremendous value. From here, I implemented user feedback and after a number of iterations, brought the prototype to high fidelity.

You can view the entire process and use the interactive prototype here.

The Outcome

I wanted to provide people with a resource that empowers them to have more control over their own mind, which is something I feel I have done. For ethical reasons, Habiits will be free to download and use.

I think it’s important that there were challenges I was faced with. Although it can be difficult and sometimes result in a change of direction, I think being faced with these obstacles present opportunities for excellent learning curves, that have ultimately made me a more rounded designer.

I feel I have created a piece of work I can truly be proud of and overall, I’m extremely pleased with the final outcome.

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