"isn't it time you started thinking more positive"


Positive.ly is a mental health mobile application designed for the 2020 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care student design competition. This design project consisted of a four-stage, six-week design sprint with a team of three human factors and ergonomics students from SJSU. 

The full design brief can be found here.

Work Flow

Empathize and Define

In order to better understand our problem space we conducted expert interviews, a competitor analysis and a review of literature. Two field experts were interviewed to gain insights into feasibility, functional requirements and limitations of mental health applications. Our interviewees credentials are as follows: 1. Dr. Steven Chan, MD MBA, a​ clinical informaticist and Medical Director for Addiction Consultation & Triage at Palo Alto VA Health, affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine and ​co-investigator on clinical research in the areas of tele-health and digital health. 2. Michelle Ghafouri, a masters student in social work who has more than five years experience in the department of Child Protective Services. Insights and notes were gathered and used in later decision making. Once all information had been gathered from expert interviews, competitor analysis, and literature review, the group concluded this stage of the design sprint with a “Defining the Problem Statement and Requirements Gathering” workshop.


In the ideate phase our team focused on rapid design process with a fail fast mentality. The first step involved establishing the information architecture through a site map. Next, over several design workshops, each member of our team designed many low fidelity or paper wireframes which were then presented and discussed. Elements that were agreed upon would be transferred to the next round of iteration. Team members also employed guerilla usability techniques via showing off designs and discussing with friends and family to gain proof of concept. Based on design workshop decisions, a mid fidelity clickable prototype was created using Invision and prepared for user testing.

Test and Iterate

A total of two formal usability tests were conducted with both the Posititive.ly mid fidelity prototype and the Positive.ly high fidelity prototype. Each test included a participant recruitment process and a usability test plan. Qualitative data was analyzed using an affinity mapping diagram and insights were collected by each team member. Quantitative metrics were analyzed statistically following the guidelines of “Quantifying the User Experience” by Jeff Sauro and James R. Lewis (2012).


Final reporting was conducted over the course of one week and included draft editing and final design updates to the Positive.ly high fidelity prototype. The team concluded our reporting with a “Future Recommendations and Design Retrospective” workshop.

Please find the full Positive.ly Here.

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