UX/UI design

Olive is a web app that aims to help professionals manage their stress through mindful exercises and therapy. Olive was created as a project for my UX bootcamp at CareerFoundry.

Wellness exercises screen shown on tablet and mobile phone.
Responsive wep app
  • UX Research
  • UX Design
  • UI Design


The problem

With the rise of remote working during the pandemic, the lines between work and play became extremely blurred. According to some studies, 26% of the work is done outside of work hours and 40% after 10 pm. (Forbes). One can see that this type of behaviour could easily lead to burnout.


The goal of Olive is to help burned-out professionals manage their stress through simple techniques, guidance from a mental health practitioner and helpful resources. Studies show creating a new habit takes around 30 days. So the aim would be to have at least a 15% retention rate after the first 8 weeks.


Stressed and burned-out professionals need a way to reduce their stress and improve their mental health because they want to live a happier and healthier life and achieve work-life balance.

We will know this to be true when we see stressed out professionals using our app to check on their mental health for a constant period of time.

Understanding the users needs

To understand the needs and goals of potential users of Olive, as well as the market, 2 competitive analyses were done,  4 user interviews were conducted and one survey with 34 participants was completed.

Research goals

  • Identify and understand user behaviour and attitude towards building a new habit;
  • Understand the relationship user have with work
  • Identify users’s goals and needs towards achieving work-life balance
  • Collect data in the context in which users could use a health and wellness app

Key insights

  • Talking to someone seems to be a key feature for motivating users
  • Users use different ‘’internal methods’’ (ex: meditation, check-list, journaling) to help them cope with stress
  • Users seem to be frustrated when they can’t keep a habit
  • Sharing their progress with others seems to be motivational for the majority of users
«I struggle to stop thinking about work. » - user interview participant

An example of survey questions that would help define the web app features
An example of survey questions to inform potential solution

Defining the solution

To help analyze the findings from the research and discover more potential solutions, affinity mapping was used. This helped gather the data and find potential patterns that may arise.

Similarly, an empathy map was created to help organize the findings from a behavioral and attitudinal standpoint (How users think, how they feel, what they say and do). This map would help create the personas later on.

Similar data were grouped togheter to create a pattern. This helped uncover potential solutions or feature for Olive.
Some of the insights from the user interviews and survey were grouped together based on what the users said, thoughts, did and felt.

User personas

By observing the affinity map and the empathy map, it was clear that the majority of potential users say that talking to someone would help them. User interviews also helped uncover the fact that people use a variety of techniques to help them cope with stress. Base on those insights, 2 personas were created that would represent the potential users for Olive. Creating personas would help keep in mind the target users and their motivation throughout the rest of the project.

User flow

Based on the needs and goals of the personas, 2 user flows were created. This helped get a sense of the structure of the product and the logic behind the user’s journey before diving into the wireframes.

Completing an exercise

Booking an appointment with a therapist

Developing the solution

Based on the 2 user flows, a first draft at the information architecture was created. Then, it was tested using a hybrid card sorting exercise with a total of 20 cards given to 8 participants.

Finding the information architecture with card sorting

Information architecture

Ideating the solution

Following a mobile-first approach, low-fidelity wireframes were created based on the 2 user flows and the information architecture. The goal of those wireframes was to put ideas on paper and quickly see what could work. After some iterations, mid-fidelity wireframes were created based on those low-fidelity wireframes. Then it was time to test it out!

Testing the solution

To test the idea of the developing phase, a series of remote usability tests were conducted with 7 participants. Each participant were asked some questions at the beginning and during the test. This helped uncover what were their thoughts about Olive and if they found value in it. They were also given 4 direct and scenario tasks to complete.

Research goals

  • Test the usability of the basic features of Olive by looking at the learnability for new users to interact with the web app
  • Determine if the participant understands the purpose of the web app and finds value in it
  • Prevent potential errors
  • Observe how participants complete basic tasks (booking a call with a therapist, completing an exercise)

Key insights

  • Participants can’t find their progress easily
  • Ensure that the user can always go back to where they came from
  • Participants can’t find the ‘’get recommendation button’’ and therefor can’t complete the task
  • All participants succeeded to book a call with a therapist
  • The majority of participants didn’t find any value in sharing their progress with their friends (either on social media or within the web app)

Analyzing the findings

Just like the user interviews, affinity mapping was used to help analyze the findings from the user testing. This helped gather the data and find potential patterns that may arise. Also, to analyze the usability of the prototype, a rainbow spreadsheet was created using Jacob Nielsen’s 5 component on usability.


In order to come up with a better solution for Olive’s users, the mid-fidelity wireframes were iterated based on the findings from the user testings.

2 major issues had to be solved:

  • The majority of participants felt like getting recommended exercises would help them, but very few could complete the task of getting those recommendations.
  • Most of the participants didn’t find sharing their progress very motivating or didn’t see value in it, so the design was adjusted by focusing more on individual goal setting instead of sharing their progress with friends.

Adding a coat of paint

After iterating the wireframes based on the user testing results, the visual design of Olive was created based on Material Design. Since the web app is about mindfulness, the visual had to reflect a calm, simple and soothing state. For this, a minimalistic design was chosen as well as more neutral tones.

Reflecting and next steps

Olive was one of my first UX design project, so to say that I have learned a lot working on it is a bit of an understatement. This project let me explore and put into practice all the concepts I’ve learned during my UX bootcamp at CareerFoundry.

What I’ve learned

Research is key

Research is the foundation for coming up with innovative ideas. Many times, what I thought could be interesting turned out to be not that relevant for potential users and vice-versa. It also helped me be more creative and forced me to come up with new solutions I couldn’t have think of otherwise. The findings from the research also helped me justify my design decisions as well.

Iterate, iterate, iterate

No product is perfect on the first try and having another pair of eyes helps see the flaws in our design. User testing and peer reviews showed me where my design could improve and made Olive a better product.

Talk to people

I wish I could have done at least 4 more user interviews to get a better sense of the users needs and goals and have more diverse users. Mental wellness is a personal topic that is handled diffently by everyone so maybe this could have led me to other interesting ideas.

What’s next?

Test the prototype

As mentioned, I made some iteration after the first round of user testing. I would like to test those iterations to see what works and what doesn’t.

Explore goal settings & research habit building

My research led my to the hypothesis that maybe the user’s motivation was more intrinsic, so I would like to develop the goal setting feature to see if this would help users create a new habit. Also, once the main feature would have been developed, I would like to add “diary studies” to the research process in order to understand how people forms a habit better.

Explore a holistic approach

Since Olive encompasses both therapy and mindful exercises, I would like the therapists to be able to recommend a mindfulness exercises routine to their patient if they wished to. I think this could make Olive feel more cohesive.

View the prototype

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