Cress

Cress is an app for those seeking peer-to-peer addiction recovery. Cress matches and creates a community based on similar demographics, hoping to help users keep each other accountable through community and conversation.

Considering the Design Question

— Overview

The road to addiction recovery is arduous and difficult to overcome. Attending anonymous support groups can help but things can feel impersonal when everything shared is already so personal. The journey to finding a community to can be difficult causing further isolation, especially when there is no dedicated space for someone like you.

Goals

— Overview

1. Cress would help people find their community and reduce the feeling of isolation one might feel in a period of addiction. Addiction recovery can achieved together. Grouping people using machine learning could help users find individuals similar to themselves. People who come from more marginalized identities would have a better chance at finding those from similar backgrounds.

2. Cress would help establish strong peer-to-peer relationships with each other, keeping themselves accountable.

Value Proposition Change
By succeeding in these goals we would change our values from:

Isolation → Community Building
General Interactions → Special Interactions

Market Roadmap

— Research

There are several ways to find community and support for addiction recovery. One you can attend your local anonymous support or you can find a general facebook/reddit group that fits your basic needs. The danger of these groups is that anonymous supports aren't live 24/7, they can't always be there for individuals when the user is in danger of relapse. Public forums such as Facebook and Reddit are places where your digital presence can be breached and tracked.

By mapping out and researching the landscape of addiction recovery, we were able to figure out where Cress as a mobile application would exist.

SoberGrid, Cress' biggest competitor, is a social media platform for addiction recovery, similar to what Cress is striving for. The main difference is the 'ideal' support group that Cress missions itself on. SoberGrid only supports location based community which lacks the integrity of race, wealth class, etc.

User Interviews

— User Research

We interviewed potential users, as well as those currently going through addiction recovery. Doing this allowed us to hone in on what specific information would be necessary when on-boarding users into the app.

From our interviews we were able to condense two personas and use cases for the app.

Lonely Larry
Larry is a father with a wife and kids. He struggles daily to find a safe space where he can be open and find individuals with situations like himself. he doesn't want to burden his kids and wife with his emotional baggage but also wants to relieve the emotional stress. He wants to be a parent who's trying his best. Larry finds it difficult to attend support groups because of the time commitment. However, he would still like to find an accountable community.

Intersectional Irene
Irene is a black female who struggles with substance abuse. Irene finds it difficult to relate with individuals in the support groups because of different upbringings. People are easy to dismiss her because of who she is. She feels that her struggles are related to intersections of race, financial upbringing, and family trauma, things that she feels are uncomfortable to bring up during an anonymous support group meeting. Irene wants to find like-minded individuals, people she can relate to and understand, people who can enable her to become a better person.

User Interviews

— User Research

We interviewed potential users, as well as those currently going through addiction recovery. Doing this allowed us to hone in on what specific information would be necessary when on-boarding users into the app.

From our interviews we were able to condense two personas and use cases for the app.

Lonely Larry
Larry is a father with a wife and kids. He struggles daily to find a safe space where he can be open and find individuals with situations like himself. he doesn't want to burden his kids and wife with his emotional baggage but also wants to relieve the emotional stress. He wants to be a parent who's trying his best. Larry finds it difficult to attend support groups because of the time commitment. However, he would still like to find an accountable community.

Intersectional Irene
Irene is a black female who struggles with substance abuse. Irene finds it difficult to relate with individuals in the support groups because of different upbringings. People are easy to dismiss her because of who she is. She feels that her struggles are related to intersections of race, financial upbringing, and family trauma, things that she feels are uncomfortable to bring up during an anonymous support group meeting. Irene wants to find like-minded individuals like her, people she can relate to and understand, people who can enable her to become a better person.

Potential user flow in staying sober.

Style Guide

— Brand Design

When designing the branding for Cress, a lot of thought was given to making an app that could be welcoming and relieving to the users.

color

typography

icons

During the prototyping process, we had decided that we wanted to make the app as anonymous as possible. This led us to making these icons.

The icons were made using crops of the logo repeated on top of itself using Cress' colors.

logo

Simple Navigation

— Architecture Flow

A large part of our design decision was to use a 3 bottom navigation bar which would allow users to easily move through content. We wanted to focus on clearly divided segments. Each segment could be easily divided into three modes of thoughts – global, local, and personal. Global, a place where the user can see a global feed of encouragement and resources. Local, a place where the user can interact and be themselves, and personal, a place where the user can keep track of their accomplishments.

Start your journey with Cress!

Find your community, and get to know Cress!

Your matched community is based on the demographic information you used to apply during the onboarding process. After you finish signing up you the app will help you get to know Cress and all its features.

Talk with your ideal community.
Be yourself in an intentional & personal community!

The home screen displays a preview of your community chat, a daily check in that keeps track of your sobriety, and an S.O.S. button that sends a message to your peers about relapse.

Sending Over Support. Cress' support system gives you the agency.

On the home screen you can access a support system that sends an alert to your local hospital and your community. Your community can respond by sending encouragements!

Keep track of your progress and accomplishments. Daily check-ins to stay accountable!

After doing a daily check-in you can share your progress on the amount of days you stayed sober! On your profile you can edit your settings and profile. You can also keep track of your records!

Sending over support
Interacting with your community
Onboarding

Reflections

— The Startup Mindset

I was approached by two Brown University students who needed help turning their startup idea into an actual product. It was my first time working with a startup mindset, where I was in charge of the visual design decisions. In retrospect, it was a good experience for me to work in a fast environment and learn how to work with people.

It was super exciting to start this new venture and build something from the ground up. The timeline was super tight and I had to design quickly and efficiently.

If I were to go back and work on this, I would be more considerate and have more conversation on the algorithm for matching people with their ideal groups. Making sure the machine learning had a low enough margin of error to make sure that it built a healthy community. I would also question the ethics of an algorithm like Cress' existing. Would it be enforcing racist stereotypes unintentionally? Cress' mission heavily relied on ideal support group. As a designer who was added on later to the team for visual design, I didn't have much about Cress' mission and initial beginnings.

Even though the project has been off my hands for a while now, it's been super cool to see how the project has grown beyond its fish tank and into the larger ocean.

Cress has won accolades for: Grand Prize Winner of the GMAC "Think Like an Entrepreneur" Competition ($10,000), 2nd Place Winner of the Healthcare Entrepreneurship Challenge ($18,000), 1st Place Winner of the Long Island Business Plan Competition ($1500), 3rd Place Winner of the 2019 Hofstra Digital Remedy Venture Challenge ($8500), 2019 New York State Business Plan Competition Finalist, 2019 Brown Venture Prize Finalist.

You can view the project at www.cresshealth.com