Application Design, Mind-healing innovation

Goal was to create a platform that will help to close a gap in communication between students and mental healthcare institutions.

We started by asking how to better support mental health of TUNI students with new or improved service/product offering. From the current state of affairs at TUNI (and other learning institutions), we imagined how to create a better future with technology and innovation. This project was done for Tampere University Human-Centered Product Development course in spring 2022.

Our plan was to allow students a space where they could evaluate their state of wellbeing 24/7 and find relevant ways and guidance to improve it. This meant we created an MVP and a hypotheses to test this, which were:

  • We believe that bot provides helpful advice based on the user profile and self-assessment of the (mental) state.
  • We believe that bot can improve loneliness and basic needs for conversation/socialization/comfort.
  • We believe that the user receives more relevant and personalized info about different aspects of the Uni life.



In the design of the prototype the main modalities that we used for the user interaction were haptic and visual. With further development the application could also support auditory interactions.

User task description. Adding a mood

  • The user receives a notification on their device reminding them to add their daily mood. The notification also includes the most used emojis of the user to choose from.
  • To log their mood into the application the user has to press one of these pre-selected emojis.
  • If any of the pre-selected emoji is not corresponding to the user’s mood, they can click on the notification. This opens the application on to the log screen where the user can open their keyboard and choose the appropriate emoji from there.

Technology used

The prototype was designed for a screen-first device, such as a smartphone. However, the application could work on any type of device with a screen and access to a keyboard (e.g. smart watch, computer, game console, etc.)

Evaluation plan

Based on our previous evaluation where we asked and interviewed the previous testers how they felt about the concept based on the story board. In this we could interview them again using prototype to get further input on how they feel about the final solution that consists of broader range of features that was presented in the Storyboard. We will also interview new candidates and see how their input/views compare with the previously familiar with the concept/prototype candidates.

Main input data is coming from a user in different forms:

  • from just submitting basic user profile/information and reflecting on the mental state by providing emojis;
  • to adding a detailed profile information and being able to reflect on the state with emoji+comment or by choosing from a list of problems that user experiences;
  • by integrating 3rd party health data (i.e. from Smart Watches and health applications).

AI bot analyses data that is submitted by the users and matches it with TUNI database of resources to give relevant advice in the form of student resources, events, groups. Bot also allows users to reflect on their state by offering analytics insights based on user data. In case students need counseling they can receive relevant information about therapy groups or appointments that can be booked on the websites of mental healthcare institutions.

Main user persona based on our main group from the customer group.

Designed for students
-Understanding their struggles and needs.

Semi-structured interviews with:

Students, 45-75min
-2 Professionals, 45-60min (curator, careet advisor)

Further product development plan

Ideations regarding the prototype can be implemented from the viewpoint of different resources available at the present or future but they all service the same purpose to help student’s wellbeing which can be done possible in the future with e.g., Physical Robot AI powered application. As well as better and accurate rating system or help quizzes to fit for students seeking better mental health and wellbeing services. These could be done based on the user research on students.

Further development plan includes:

  • Integration of SISU to track student’s study process & give recommendations
  • Integration with Mental Health Institutions. Retrieving medical data and bringing it to the user
  • Scheduling appointment with mental health professional
  • Giving feedback to TUNI about their content & resources (what was used, what was recommended)