November 10, 2020 | 4min read
Sesh Therapy: Connecting Users with Mental Health Professionals. How We Built a Health-Tech App
Created in collaboration with Carbon Five
Polidea, along with Carbon Five, developed a group support app MVP for Sesh Therapy—an emerging mental health startup based in the US. Described as providing a supportive community for “people of various identities” by NYMag, Sesh is a human-centered digital solution that can bring long-term positive changes to people’s lives.
In the wave of new apps released every day, only some can count as true examples of #PositiveTech. At the same time, it is estimated that 44mln Americans suffer from mental health problems. During the pandemic times, the need to reconnect, share experiences and nurture contact with others has become even more apparent.
Vittoria Bergeron and Alyssa Musket founded Sesh in response to that need. It’s a US-based healthcare startup to make mental health care accessible through a tangible digital experience—intimate and secure online group support facilitated by licensed therapists. The video meetings are led by certified professionals and are centered around topics such as: anxiety, stress, parenting, community-specific support, pregnancy, relationships, art, and more.
We are happy to be a part of this #PositiveTech project, especially with such great partners as the Carbon Five team.
GrzegorzCEO,PolideaWe witness an increasing need for technology that would alleviate the challenges of modern times. When the Sesh Team approached us we were convinced that being a part of such a journey would be an enriching experience. It’s an element of a bigger picture—meaningful digital solutions that directly serve people.
Our team delivered the iOS and Android app that is at the center of the product—it provides access to the available Sesh sessions via Firebase API and integrates with the Stripe payment service for monthly subscriptions. The app allows users to browse through the sessions, book them, and finally participate in online group support sessions in a seamless way. As for the tech background, the app was written in React Native (you can learn why cross-platform development is good for business).
Vittoria BergeronCo-Founder and CEO,SeshCustomers have responded positively to the final MVP products, rating them 5-stars in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
The Polidea team joined the project with a clear goal in mind—releasing the iOS and Android apps to the AppStore and Google Play. The challenge lied in the tight deadline, thus, at the very beginning, our team presented an honest evaluation of the project’s scope. Upon agreeing to the schedule, we started the work. The team at Carbon Five had laid the foundation of the app including the design, architecture, and initial development before pairing up with us to extend the runway. Throughout this intensive phase, communication was key. To avoid any misunderstandings, we maintained daily contact, which in reality meant having update meetings in (at least) 3 time zones. Thanks to the agile approach, we had various touchpoints and we were able to keep up the pace.
Naturally, user experience played a vital part in this journey. The primary goal for design was to create an easy way for participants to reserve and join group support sessions with a focus on a smooth user experience. The visual design came as an extension from the initial brand work emphasizing empowerment and individuality. The vibrant color palette, energetic forms, and photos distinguish Sesh in a growing marketplace of mental health solutions.
Given the short timeframe and limited budget, design emerged quickly after a 2-week discovery phase, thanks to active participation and clear decisiveness from the founders.
We ran remote design sprints where we could test multiple concepts to uncover the best way for users to discover sessions that would be most relevant to them. This method allowed us to quickly identify the pattern driving the key action we wanted users to take on mobile—explore the diversity of sessions available.
Mandy ValladaresSenior Designer,Carbon Five
Further user testing was done on the app navigation to find the pattern for session discoverability. And, to give development a lift on the designs, the team selected Paper UI, a component library that could be altered to align with the design and branding.
React Native and Paper UI provides components that are visually reflected in the same way whether you’re on iOS or Android. This enables design to solve for a single experience that still feels native to both platforms. To achieve this, design leveraged mobile best practices using the tab and navigation bar paradigm, screen transitions, and card layouts for effective discoverability.
The Sesh app is up and running. You can download it via AppStore or GooglePlay. Believing that this is a true #uniquetech bringing positive change, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the Sesh Team!
Graphics from Sesh press kit
Head of Marketing
Managing Director, Carbon Five
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