I led the design and direction for a mobile app to help people build healthier relationships with alcohol.
For people who struggle with alcohol dependency or addiction, professional guidance and support structures such as counselling, AA and rehab provide great help. For those who want to drink with more accountability, intention and have more drink-free days, options for support are difficult to find.
The greatest challenge going into this project was the lack of resources and time. Leading a design project with a limited understanding of the domain and tight deadlines required me to spend more time understanding users and their context and less time designing and prototyping. I also needed to be highly resourceful when it came to collecting research as I had no access to medical professionals.
Alcohol is the most commonly used & abused substance by Canadians.
Nearly 25% of Canadians report heavy drinking at least once a month. (Heavy drinking: 5 or more drinks in a sitting for males, 4 or more drinks for females)
Consumption rates are expected to grow 17% in the next 10 years.
Problem Drinking is 4x more common than having a physical dependence. (Problem drinking: alcohol use that creates problems in a person's life but does not include physical dependence)
Source: The Lancet
I created a list of ‘How might we…’ questions to guide further research and ideate on the right problems.
I focused on individuals who do not struggle with dependency for 2 reasons. Firstly, I do not have a medical background and was unable to work with medical professionals within the scope of this project. Secondly, my research pointed to the fact that Problem Drinking (alcohol use that creates problems in a person's life but does not include physical dependence) is far more common than addiction providing for a larger target audience to support.
To learn more about the common pain points, goals and motivations of my target user, I talked to 3 individuals who have improved their life by lessening the importance and need for alcohol. In hindsight, with more time and a larger budget, I would have ideally interviewed more participants representing a broader range of identities and experiences. Below I've shared 3 key insights.
Following user interviews, I synthesized the findings and created a persona and journey map which formed a great foundation to move into feature ideation and prioritization.
Many individuals want to drink more mindfully and limit the number of drinks they consume per specified timeframe. A logging feature is important for users to be able to track their progress.
Many individuals were frustrated that nutrition tracking apps did not keep them engaged and provided little to no actionable insights. Offering meaningful and actionable insights is important to meet user needs.
Task Flow: Adding a goal
Draft Site Map V2
Variations of Home Screen
Variations of Goals Page
Variations of Log Drink Page
Users experienced information overload on the home screen due to the amount of content shown
'Days without a drink' section prioritized based on user feedback and remaining content arranged into separate pages
Users wanted to see their progress towards their personalized goals on the home screen to help keep them motivated
Show weekly progress towards goals on the home screen
Users wanted to be able to add a goal from the home screen and not have to navigate to the 'goals' page
'Add goal' button added to the tab bar
Set a moderate drinking goal or decide on sobriety and use the drink tracker to track your drinks against your limits.
Get insights and stats on your progress with elegant and comprehensive reports.
Qwell allows you to create and track habits related to why you want to drink less so that you are driven by a purpose.
If there was more time available...
Reflecting back on what I could have improved on, one of the major blindspots in my process was only interviewing 3 subjects within my personal network due to time constraints. In hindsight, with greater resources and time I would have liked to conduct more interviews with additional participants. In the future, I would like to explore new and creative solutions to better offset limitations.