01. Project context

COVID-19 has profoundly affected our wellbeing. Extensive research of both the American and European consumers reveals higher levels of stress, anxiety and fatigue, decreased self-esteem and sex drive and outlying increase of average weight.

02. The brief

A public body engaged us to produce a universally affordable concept that would support general public in regaining the levels of physical and emotional wellbeing recommended by medical professionals.

03. Our vision

In collaboration with Yale University, we’ve identified four key influencing factors of personal wellness: Physical fitness, Meditation, Sleep and Nutrition.

Our goal, therefore, became a digital product that would allow a wide range of consumers to improve in those areas.

04. The challenges

1. To develop an easy-to-use, general purpose tool that would not rely on subscription or advertisement

2. To offer a way to use the tool without submitting any personal user data

3. To keep entry barriers as low as possible, optimising for inclusivity

05. My role

Strategic & creative direction, including:
– Consumer strategy & user research
– Team, stakeholder & project management,
– Design development & prototyping

06. Target Audience

Following extensive consultations with the client, we conducted 40+ qualitative interviews with potential consumers, supplemented by two weeks of quantitative research — a survey emailed to partner retailers and service providers. This helped identify key pain points and develop two archetypical user personae.

Barbara is a busy junior consultant, who works very hard and doesn’t sleep very well.

Recently, she noticed being constantly tired, which affects both her work & life quality. 

Barbara appreciates the necessity to do something, but doesn’t have a lot of time or money to invest in solving the problem.

Joe is a factory QC lead — a demanding, stressful job. After work, he usually has a drink to numb the ever-present weight of responsibility. Lately, he noticed he’s been raising his voice too often and decided to work on being a more relaxed father. 

Joe doesn’t like personal wellbeing apps as they collect too much personal data.

07. Consumer pain-points


“The solutions I came across are either complex, unhealthy or expensive”


“It’s hard to find trustworthy, unbiased advice online”


“My days are busy & unpredictable; the thought of having a workout routine is laughable”


“Fitness apps may be free, but they collect a truckload of personal user data; my data”

08. Competitive analysis

Before sketching out design ideas, the team ran best practice review, looking at in- and out-of-category providers, praised by target audience for their digital experience, including Waking Up, Headspace, Centr and Apple Health.

08. User journey

Leveraging insights picked up in consumer research, we plotted out a user journey that stretched from initial awareness of the app’s existence through using the app – to proactively promoting it to friends & family.

This allowed a holistic look at the whole engagement, considering what users should experience at various stages – and how the app features and/or communications could facilitate that.

09. Ideation

While the best practice review provided great grounding, we also looked outside the box, not to produce design that would stand out, but to look for ways to simplify.

Unlike most fitness apps, Happy Healthy also targets people who may otherwise not consider (prioritise) their wellness. We had to hook, nudge & remove barriers.

10. Wireframes & low fidelity prototype

Initial layout was an exercise in simplicity: it was image-based, with sub-menus replaced with filters and the main menu that provided quick access to all key features.

Feeling very good about our ideas and design choices, we’ve put together a low fidelity prototype and prepared a usability study package.

11. Usability study

As project schedule didn’t allow time for the second usability study before launch, we had to make the most of what we had.

Leaning on partnering businesses, we recruited a wide cross-section of the target audience, to an unmoderated study. 

Each session took around 20 minutes. Users were prompted to complete several tasks, asked to fill a survey and answer several open questions.

The responses clearly demonstrated, some of the features were way too convoluted.


“The ‘Add to planner’ functionality doesn’t work. And I can’t imagine how it could.”


“The schedule builder idea is bizarre; who came up with that?


“To become usable, the list of ingredients needs to be easily accessible “


“‘Settings’, ‘Profile’ and ‘About’ sections need to be simplified – I got lost twice just browsing.”


We redesigned the Planner functionality, retiring the universally hated button, and replacing it with calls for sharing and financial support.


As pretty much no-one would manually build their daily schedules, the new planner is a collection of recommendations, put together by the app, based on users’ past choices.


The shopping list feature we initially considered, but deemed unnecessary, actually transpired to be a must – so much so, we added quick access to it to the permanent app footer.


Finally, our attempt at splitting the settings into several sections turned out confusing, solving a problem that seemingly didn’t exist beyond our heads.

12. Responsive website

With the app up and running, we moved on to the web applications – initially developed for phone and tablet as most likely devices to be used when exercising or cooking.

We kept the design as close to the app as possible to make it easy for users to go from one to the other and not build extra barriers for app adoption.

The key feature of the web applications – their reason to exist – is anonymity.

Happy Healthy web requires no registration and stores no user data – responding to some of the earlier user barriers to wellness app usage. Instead, web applications offer core functionality, calling out extras users would get if they downloaded the app.

13. Answering project challenges

1. To develop an easy-to-use, general purpose tool that would not rely on subscription or advertisement

Beyond initial sponsorship, Happy Healthy’s primary sources of revenue are donations (regular or sporadic) and membership (that can be picked up and cancelled at any time).

2. To offer a way to use the tool without submitting any personal user data

Web applications offer core functionality without logging users in or storing any of their personal data.

As a trade off, anonymous users do not benefit from app recommendations, ability to save favourites and exporting dish ingredients into shopping lists.

3. To keep entry barriers as low as possible, optimising for inclusivity

The app interface is super simple, forgoing features that would require users to have deep interest in fitness, familiarity with the industry trends and lingo or experience with advance digital tools.

14. Next


Continuously track customer engagement, following up on suggestions & complaints


Explore partnership with health insurance companies that could offer their customers discounts in exchange for regular exercising


Explore expansion of the user journey to include physical experiences (e.g. smart park workouts) & human support
(e.g. personalised advice)

15. Takeaways

Designing for general public, rather a clearly defined narrow target audience, has been a humbling experience.

Many of my preconceptions, swept off by user research, are a textbook study in unconscious biases and how they influence design decisions.

Other than that, working with a wide range of stakeholders – from public officers and academics to business partners, presented a unique opportunity to learn and, hopefully, grow.

I hope, whatever name it ends up carrying, Happy Healthy will continue to offer affordable wellness to all.

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