Wellbeing and Therapy Online
A mobile application with the goal to make mental health more accessible.
The Company and Product
Additionally, they want to become the central hub and go-to resource for people to better understand mental health-related topics, by leveraging data and making it available to the public.
Panda believes that everyone should have the right to mental health care and support. Unfortunately, as of today, many people lack this right. Panda has taken it as its mission to help provide resources in this gap, and fight the three main reasons for the lack of accessibility:
Stigma – when thinking of using mental health care, people are afraid of social repercussions.
Cost – many are not able to afford treatment.
Unawareness – the absence of information about mental health affects people’s decisions about when and where to seek help.
A world-class product
What impressed me the most about the team is how quickly they grasped what we are trying to achieve, and how they supported us to bring our vision to life. We have a world-class product and we wouldn’t have gotten to this point alone. Monterail was the perfect partner to get us here.
Scope and Highlights
UX/UI PRODUCT DESIGN
REACT NATIVE AND PYTHON
VIDEO AND AUDIO STREAMING
MONTHS TO DEVELOP THE MVP
DEVELOPERS + DESIGN TEAM
The client needed a company to build their app from scratch.
They had a really good idea of what they wanted in terms of functionality for the app; however, during the discovery workshop, together we were able to map out user journeys to help understand how the pieces fit together to bring this product to life.
Since Panda is a company in its early stages, it required a team of experts that could support the creation of the app from day one. Therefore, they sought out an outsource software company that could offer cross-functional expertise in different areas of development: frontend, backend, and product design.
Mental health is a sensitive topic, hence it’s important to develop an app appropriate to this field. The look and feel of an app are important, and reducing friction in the user’s sign-up is crucial to not affect motivation, as well as high-quality streaming audio and video that wouldn’t crash.
Encryption and safe storage are other musts. Privacy and data protection are without a doubt, necessary to make the user feel safe. Due to the location of some users, a weak internet connection was a big issue. The app needed to allow them to participate in online sessions. A smooth UX & UI is also needed to motivate more users to join and stay in the app.
Key challenges of the project included:
Developing an app for users with a weak internet connection, that needs smooth UX & UI and won’t crash or buffer.
Creating data encryption, safe storage of data, and an approachable app - crucial in the mental health industry.
Create an easily scalable app, prepared for other countries.
Panda application screenshot
The most important issue for development was to create the main functionality of group sessions.
Additional factors related to the nature and location of users needed to be taken into consideration for these decisions.
For example, in South Africa network coverage may be weak at times and internet package costs are high, and a user can struggle with motivation to keep logging in if the streaming options with specialists keep buffering.
During the development of the app, it was important to keep a continuous process of refining and verifying the client’s requirements and vision. The app needed to be adapted to low data consumption and enable a good connection for a large group of users with a reduced internet connection, and a very smooth design that would motivate users to not resign from sessions. The app was created at a fast pace and with functionalities needed to bring real value to the end-user.
We were heavily involved in the vision of the product and the first successful group connection proved our technical assumptions and decisions. Bugs and errors were expected to appear, but we managed to fix them and provide interesting functionalities for a very meaningful purpose: mental health.
This is how we made it happen:
Conducting discovery workshops and working closely with the client to create detailed mapping and foundational designs of the app.
Choosing Agora as the audio and video streaming solution that would prevent crashes in online sessions.
Understanding the industry’s requirements, and the users’ (patients and therapists) needs to develop an app that’s a good fit.
We feel really proud of the end result
The vision of the product appealed to the whole team very much. The technical challenges, i.e. group sessions, were interesting to tackle and we feel really proud of the end result. We definitely appreciate the opportunity to create a product of this nature.
After our collaboration, we delivered more than an MVP of the mobile application.
The result was the release of an app where each functionality brings real value to the user, and can easily be scalable and adapted to further development.
The client is happy with the results and qualifies the app as a “world-class product”. After the release, cleverly planned on Mental Health Day, October 10, we began the stage of handing over the project to the client’s team, which will work on a further roadmap with new features in the coming months.
The success of this project hinged on the following factors:
Close collaboration with the client to fully understand the user and industry requirements of the app’s features.
Making the right technical decisions to fix bugs and prevent buffering during audio/video sessions.
Coding the app in a way that’s easy to hand over to the client’s internal team and ready for scale-ups.
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