What challenges do people with depression have when using mental health apps?


In this assignment you will do an interview with 1-2 participants, and create one persona. This assignment is a continuation of Assignment #4.

1. Specify the Problem you Want to Address

In you assignment, you should specify: what is the problem you are trying to solve, why it is a problem, and for whom it is a problem. Revise the problem you used in the Assignment #4 Contextual Inquiry, based on what you learned from your participant in the contextual inquiry.

2. Articulate what you need to understand better about the problem. You should focus on understanding people’s needs in relation to your problem (e.g. challenges they have in accomplishing their goals, in accomplishing a task, in using a technology). This can be related to the problem you identified in Assignment #4, but we want you to iterate based on what you learned from your participant. Frame this as a User Research question, for example:

What challenges do people with depression have when using mental health apps?

What challenges do older adults have in tracking their food accurately and regularly?

What challenges do young people have in asking advice for managing sensitive situations online?

In your report you should specify: why it is important to study this user research question to understand the problem you are addressing, how the insights from answering your question will be helpful in understanding the problem.

3. Design an interview protocol

Your interview protocol should include 5-10 questions. This interview is aimed to help you gain insights about your participants that explain their motivations, pains, goals, etc. See the template below for the persona, so that you know what information you are trying to fill in.

Make sure to listen to the course recordings on interviewing, and to read the tips about choosing interview questions from your readings. Make sure your interview includes several “How” and “Why” questions. Your questions should be open ended. Avoid questions for which the answer is yes/no/a number/a location/etc. You are trying to learn about your participant’s needs and stories they will tell you about their needs. If during your interview you feel like you are not getting information, you can always ask “Tell me more about…”.

List your interview questions in the report.

4. Recruit 1-2 participants.

In your report write how you decided which participants to recruit and why. Write about what was challenging in recruiting, and what you learned about recruiting participants.

5. Conduct an interview with your participant(s).

Find a time to conduct the interview with your participant. We expect each interview to take about 30 minutes each.

For each participant, write up a summary of the responses for each question. Write 3-5 sentences to summarize what your participant answered for each question. You can ask your participant if they give you permission to record the conversation, to help you. Otherwise you will have to keep very good notes during the interview and you will have to write up the notes at the end of the interview. We recommend recording if it is possible, as it will be easier for you.

6. Summarize the insights from your interview.

Based on the answers to the interview questions, write up 3-5 insights (each insight should be 2-5 sentences).

7. Create a persona

Remember, the goal here is to create a believable persona based on research. So, along with your personas you will turn in documentation for how your research informs the persona (interviews, the contextual inquiry interview, secondary research, and, due to time constraints, any assumptions made along the way).

Here is a persona sketch we recommend using. You can display the content as you wish, visually.

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