Cress App Design —
I collaborated with students from Brown University (Justin Kim, Sonny Mo) and Hofstra University (Michael Lai) to design Cress, a peer-to-peer addiction recovery app.
Hey! I'm Arthur a student at the Rhode Island School of Design studying Graphic Design. I am currently a senior looking for product design opportunities. Thanks for checking out my website!
Category: Product Design, UI/UX
Duration: Initial 2 day sprint and then 2 weeks afterwards
What is Cress?
Cress is a peer-to-peer addiction recovery app that would help match users with similar demographics and help keep each other accountable through community and conversation.
Cress hopes to bridge the gap between treatment centers and users. A cheap non-expensive conversational tool that can help facilitate one's road to sobriety. Addiction Recovery groups that already exist lack an emergency support system that's 24/7, whereas these 24/7 support systems aren't necessarily the safest spaces. SoberGrid is the one app that does it well but it doesn't have the most ideal curated support group that Cress would hopefully offer.
Our priorities would lie in having a curated support group, an S.O.S. button that would send everyone in your community a notification, and a global feed where people could share inspiration and anything else they wanted to share. The intersection of an ideal support group and a global S.O.S. button would help create support systems that would hopefully lead one to sobriety.
Persona Case Studies
After interviewing with hospitals and patients in the recovering process, we were able to condense a persona together which helped us understand and simplify our case. Although I wasn't there for the interviews, my team members were able to condense the conversation into mindful actions for our application.
John is human.
John is a family man with a wife, two children, and a job. He's currently suffering through alcohol addiction and has a hard time finding a support group where he can openly talk about his addiction.
John is not supported.
John needs a support group, but he doesn't fit in with the nearby communities. He goes to Alcohol Anonymous, but he realizes he needs something 24/7 to overcome his sobriety. He's having a hard time communicating with his family, and therefore his life is starting to crumble down one piece at a time.
Ideating & Framing
Initially, we only had concepts and had no idea where to place things in relation to each other. We decided while whiteboarding that a bottom navigation would be simple and efficient for our application.
These were hand drawn on iPhone print outs, just another way to test out low-fidelity prototyping.
We then quickly moved on to low-mid fidelity prototyping as we had to finish this in the span of a week. This was helpful in figuring out which visual direction we should head in. Questions I considered: How does visual forms affect the navigation of the application? How can color, typography enhance the journey?
The chat room would be a group personalized for you. Members are gathered together based on demographic which would help generate more natural conversations. You can @someone and would also be able directly message someone in the community if you wanted to.
The icons are anonymous and playful, following the color scheme of Cress. The logos are placed separately and masked inside a circle.
This is one of the main functions of the app. It would allow the community member to click on a button whenever they feel like they're going into relapse. It would be a visible button easily accessible on the home screen.
The community would see the S.O.S. notification and immediately respond by sending encouragements to the specific community member. They would respond with a comment or any inspiration that might be helpful for the person in need of support.
As I was working at a sprint, there were some considerations I wasn't able to think of with the team. For example, if a user were to accidentally click on the 'Send Over Support' button they wouldn't be able to click out of it and the user would end up sending a message to all the community members.
Another consideration that we didn't consider at this time was the number of community members in each 'community.' I think a way to indicate how many and who's in your community would support the application's original intent of having an intentional community.
Registration & Our Matching Algorithm
The biggest selling point of our app would be matching our users based on their demographic. By doing this community members would find those alike one another and be able to support each other through commonality.
Because it would take some time for the application to actually match people to their in-groups, a loading animation would help users understand that process.
The content above was used for the Brown Entrepreneurship Program. Continuing on, we hope to revisit some holes and add in other screens and strategies where necessary.
After the initial sprint, we were able to slow down and come up with a flow that might fit the needs of our application. The flow would be supported by a 3 bar navigation. We decided on the 3 bar navigation because it was simple, and helps curate content easily.
Mockups of Daily Check In & Profile
Revisiting & Adding
As we revisit previous screens, we've made some visual improvements as well as reorder strategy and content. As I add and fix I've started to frame my design choices around questions:
✴︎ How might rearranging content support or change the original scope of the application?
✴︎ How might changing the visual language of this visual form support the experience?
✴︎ What are other ways to make strategy and visual coalign?
We decided to certain visual changes on the home page. We made the 'Your Community' section into more of a card, to visually fit the rest of the page. We made Daily Inspiration into Daily Goals so that users are inspired to actively engage in the application. Curating inspirational content would be hopefully provided in the encouragements feed.
An encouragements feed where one can share, comment and favorite. This was designed to be 'feed-like' a non-ending scroll.
We decided to split up the registration page into two because the information provided for matching might be an optional decision. I think the drawbacks on this is the difficulty of matching users to communities with lack of information. Since this information is sensitive, we wouldn't want to force our users to only provide what they would want to provide.
This is currently still in development and developing. There are a lot of things I'm trying to figure out as the sole designer of the team, but also as a student managing my time with a startup. There are still a lot of things missing, but hopefully, in time, Cress will come into fruition.
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