concept, branding & app design
The concept for this app came from my research paper at St Martin's - “How can communication design help people achieve a greater self-awareness”. I was fascinated with the topic of self-awareness and mindfulness and how can we bring it into a digital environment. I recently came back to this app and completely re-design as a part of my self-initiated projects.
We tend to live too much on the autopilot mode. We have busy lifestyles and we are forced to absorb extreme amounts of information on a daily basis, so in order to make more space in our consciousness we develop habits. Our everyday routines might seem harmless but, they can have a lot of damaging impact on our life. They can trap us in negative thinking patterns and prevent from making conscious decisions. Our habits also represent our attempts to overcome the chaotic world. We tend to cling to things, routines, however, because life is in constant flux, sooner or later we will lose them and as a result, we will become frustrated. This is why people should familiarise themselves with unpredictability and randomness.
That’s how the idea of the Random app was born. User will be given daily challenges that will disengage their routines and bring a notion of randomness into their life. The point of them is to snap people out of their autopilot mode and bring their wandering mind back to the present. When we are out of our routines, out of our comfort zone, we became more aware of ourselves.
I wanted the logo to be simple and modern yet to reflect the idea of randomness. I’ve used slot machines, fortune wheels, roulettes as an inspiration, something that symbolises luck and unpredictability but is also associated with fun (hopfuly not with gambling addiction!).
Many apps face problem of retaining users and keeping them engaged with the product. Just giving users challenges will not be enough therefore I added element of gamification. I’ve created an adorable character “Random” - it doesn’t have sex, a race so pretty much everyone can identify with it. It’s similar to Headspace “Mind” character portrayed as a brain. Random works as an RPG character, when users gain points and achieve new levels their Random evolves and grows. It’s a similar principle to Tamagotchi - users will start with baby Random which will develop to a more advanced character.
The faster the users will complete their tasks the more points they will receive, this will motivate them not to linger on a challenges. If they fail to complete the tasks in 72h, it will expire and they will gain zero points. Users can draw one challenge per day so they can have few pending tasks - this will avoid them feeling stuck and frustrated with one assignment for three days.
They can document their completed tasks, write a short caption about them, take photo or video - this can be kept private or made public for other users to see and comment on. The social aspect felt very important for this project - giving users ability to follow other people on their Random journeys will inspire and encourage them. They can also send each other personal challenges which would resonate with more competitive personalities.
Competitor analysis and positioning on the market:
The app needs to be advertised under mind-fullness and product category, however, it has a game element to it.
There are apps like “random decision-maker” and “randomisers”, but their scope is limited and they don’t give users actual tasks
Other mindfulness apps focus on meditation and relaxation type of tasks
Productivity apps rarely use a point system for completed tasks
This app is aimed at another type of users, who are more adventurous and typical meditations is dull and boring for them
The gamification aspect will make the app more interesting for younger users but would be enjoyed by adults as well - Tamagotchi meets Pokemon Go
I've created personas based on interviews with people at my uni group but also people I've worked in the design industry. Two main personas which would be the fundamental drive for this product would be "the entrepreneur" and "the creative". I've also created secondary personas "the divorcee" and "the student" which will be smaller percentile of users.
Obviously this is just a hypothetical project but the next steps would be creating prototypes and testing them with users. Would be great to get in touch with mental health professionals to gain feedback from their perspective.