As designers we’re forever sharing the most recent apps on the market, whether it’s a new game to distract yourself from the slog of a commute or the latest invention to aid weigh loss. Digital Product Studio, Ustwo have already championed one of those with their captivating game Monument Valley. With its mind-bending play on perspective and fanciful colour palette, it sets a whole new bar for game design. However, as much as we love Monument Valley and find navigating the levels both an equally entertaining and relaxing experience—it’s Ustwo’s apps which champion mental health more directly that have us bowled over.
Stress is something which is all too familiar with the life of a designer, juggling that ever growing to-do list and pandering to the needs of clients. Our phones are where we often find those few moments of sanctuary—because of this, it comes as no great surprise that there is a demand for apps which battle anxiety and combat depression. Ustwo have developed two in particular which we absolutely adore.
Who could have ever imagined something as therapeutic as applying pressure to a dot on their phone screen. Through a series of investigative processes, Ustwo landed upon this motion to help ease the daily stresses we encounter and in a word, pause. The combination of relaxing visuals and soothing rhythms enables the user to drift away and find a state of calm. For those thinking that Pause is just another pretty app design, Ustwo aren’t here to mess around, they tested Pause via scientific study using an Emotiv wireless headset to measure EEG-signals‘ and collaborated the findings with Dr. Chi Thanh Vi, Research Fellow in Multisensory Experiences at the University of Sussex. The app was designed alongside Danish Mental Wellness company, PauseAble.
What we love about Pause is the combination of impeccable visual design and intelligent UX design, a product which addresses issues which are at the epicentre of our work lives, and is ultimately something we want to use and which we genuinely benefit from. Give Pause a go, £1.49 for a moment of escapism all from the comfort of your phone.
Writing lists and combing through data is arduous at the best of times, it’s tough monitoring our diaries and prioritising chores. What if instead of collating impersonal content we instead performed analysis of our own mental health? Moodnotes enables us to confront what we’re really feeling and how to monitor the fluctuating emotions we experience throughout the day. The goal of Moodnotes is to, ‘provide people with accessible, engaging, and evidence-informed tools to increase self-awareness, improve mood, and enhance wellbeing’. Based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Moodnotes encourages the user to log their moods and feelings from which the app then helps generate a pattern so we can avoid those negative ‘thinking traps’ and start to develop a more positive outlook.
Moodnotes is a collaboration between Ustwo and Thriveport, the LA based company well known for Moodkit. Moodnotes is available for just £2,99 which is a rather affordable rate for a wonderfully designed app which helps you understand your mental health.
We were incredibly fortunate to have Ustwo in for an #industrytalk at our London campus. After their enlightening talk into the inside workings of Ustwo and their journey into design we asked Ben and Rikki what their advice was to the next wave of designers and this is what they said,
Massive thanks to Ustwo for visiting us for an #industrytalk, we hope to have them back in the near future. If you want to find out more about Ustwo head straight over to their website or catch up with them on Twitter and Instagram. Also keep an eye out on the App and Android stores for their incredible apps.