Luma is a mobile app designed to give young adults access to live virtual therapy. The patient’s experience is more personalized as they can complete a wide variety of assigned cognitive behavioral therapy exercises, and learn more about mental health and therapy.
Lead Designer
3 weeks


The telehealth revolution: millennial wellness in the digital age

Telehealth has revolutionized healthcare accessibility, notably by reducing no-show rates and delivering outcomes comparable to in-person sessions. Yet, challenges like technological barriers and limited internet access persist. The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed telehealth's widespread adoption, with its usage surging from under 1% to 80% of healthcare visits in some areas. This shift was particularly pronounced among millennials and young adults (25-35 years old), a demographic that rapidly embraced telemental health services amidst growing mental health concerns.

Despite being the most technologically adept generation and showing the highest interest in telehealth, only 56% of millennials report very good or excellent mental health, highlighting a gap in accessing effective mental health services. Motivated by these insights, I explored teletherapy through a UX lens, crafting a research plan to engage young adults in conversation about their experiences and needs.


Delving into millennials' teletherapy journeys

The decision to conduct primary research was driven by a need to uncover the nuanced experiences of millennials with virtual therapy. Recognizing the potential gap in personal connection that teletherapy might present, I aimed to gather direct insights into the challenges and aspirations of this demographic regarding their mental health care journey.

Through five targeted interviews, I explored key questions about the quality of care, desired improvements, and objectives in seeking mental healthcare. My goal was to identify not just the surface-level issues but the deeper, underlying concerns that could inform a more empathetic and user-centered approach to virtual therapy.

Virtual care is less personal: Millennials feel that the online format makes it hard to form personal connections with therapists, and often sense a disconnect between the care they receive and the outcomes that follow.
Online services are convenient: Despite the impersonal nature, millennials are willing to continue using telemental health services due to convenience.
Privacy concerns: Telehealth must be HIPAA compliant, but millennials are still wary of sharing sensitive details online, especially through chat features.


Making virtual connections count

The realization that virtual care often feels impersonal for millennials led me to ask: How might we make virtual therapy platforms more personable and engaging, so that millennials feel a stronger sense of connection with their therapist and their own therapy journey? This resulted in a focused exploration on enhancing the therapy journey for this demographic.

I zeroed in on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the foundation for my design solution, recognizing its versatility and proven effectiveness in digital formats. CBT's adaptability to virtual environments and its emphasis on interactive techniques like guided discovery and homework assignments offered a solid foundation to build upon.

Driven by the insight that engaging users in their therapy can significantly boost commitment and outcomes, I designed a solution incorporating CBT principles directly into the user experience. This included interactive activities and worksheets for patients to do post-session, coupled with opportunities for reflective feedback, aiming to deepen the therapist-patient relationship.

User Testing

How user testing shaped the teletherapy app

To refine the teletherapy app and ensure it truly meets the needs of its users, I conducted user testing as a critical step in the design process. This involved presenting the prototype to a diverse group of users to evaluate the intuitiveness of interaction and identify any design limitations.

Through two rounds of testing, I gathered valuable feedback on user experience, usability issues, and feature suggestions. This iterative approach allowed me to make informed revisions, enhancing the app’s functionality and user interface. The outcome was a more user-friendly platform that better facilitated engagement with therapy content, demonstrating the importance of user feedback in driving design improvements and tailoring the app to effectively support users' mental health journeys.


The calming aura of Luma's teletherapy app design

Luma, a CBT-based app designed for teens and young adults, emerged with a refined interface, content, and flow, alongside high-fidelity screens that enhance user engagement. Its branding uses a calming pastel palette that evokes tranquility, complemented by vibrant illustrations for activities and resources. This thoughtful design approach ensures Luma not only captivates but also comforts its users, perhaps acting as a beacon of guidance and serenity in their mental health journey.

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