JournAI logo
University project • 2022
Project Overview
With the introduction of the MidJourney open beta in mid July and before the actual AI hype, I wanted to include the possibilities of generative AI in an app-design. Therefore my team and I chose the matter of journaling apps as a fitting framework for utilising AI.
My Contributions
• UX design
• User- and desk-research
Screenshots of the JournAI app
Besides using AI as a buzz-word in annual reports of companies, generative AI might also actually benefit people. Psychological stress, mental distress or depression is such a matter where we saw potential for its inclusion. Our idea was to combine, so far semi-successful, journaling apps with a more efficient way of input as well as a more sophisticated method of visually showcasing your past entries. Therefore, we argued that generative AI might help counter the negative sides of journaling, which is the big time consumption and that people stop again shortly after starting.
↪ Journaling + Generative AI
Journaling can help you break away from nonstop cycle of obsessive thoughts through analytically making you aware of what happened in your life lately. It helps you understand your emotions better, encourages you to open up and respond to thoughts more appropriately. Some studies showed journaling can be as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy and boost resilience. Besides text form, visual journaling through painting or taking photos can also be beneficial.
↪ Potential of journaling
Desk Research
We then conducted a first round of explorative in-depth interviews with our potential target group, people who are willing to invest in their mental well-being and who are interested in art. Among others, we wanted to find out if a personalised art piece might provide value to our interviewees. Furthermore, understanding the pain-points of journaling was key here. We found out that most people did try journaling but stopped because of three main issues: A lack of time and of a direct reward.
↪ Understanding why users don't do it consistently
User Research 1
Value proposition canvas, User Journey Mapping and a rough sketch of app screens
Based on our initial research, we created a lean canvas with our unique value proposition as well as a first draft of our user story map. Both were iterated on an ongoing basis throughout the two weeks of designing. Our non digital MVP above was the first sketch based on the LC and USM.
Afterwards we transfered it into a digital prototype for ongoing testing.
↪ Value proposition, user story mapping & prototyping
After designing the first low-fidelity prototype, we held a co-creation workshop with people within our target group to understand their needs better, validate certain design-decisions, generate new ideas and find out if our proposed solution and procedures actually provides value.

People from different vantage points brought a great variety of new ideas. Based on the insights we iterated the prototype multiple times and removed the sharing feature, for instance, since most users mentioned that even an abstract image of their emotional state is too private to share.
↪ Co-Creation workshop
User Research 2
Picture of people sitting together in a design workshop, notes from the workshop and a photo of a user flow sketch
Through two rounds of think-aloud user-testing with the participants we gathered quantitative data during the test as well as more qualitative data in semi-structured interviews afterwards. Affinity mapping helped us to organise and transform those findings into actionable conclusions. The incorporation of think-aloud testing and comprehensive user research played a pivotal role in shaping the final MVP prototype. Think-aloud testing provided real-time insights into user interactions, allowing for iterative improvements and enhanced usability. Concurrently, in-depth user research, encompassing the workshop, interviews, and competitive analysis, ensured the prototype aligned with user needs and preferences. The resulting MVP prototype not only met requirements but also surpassed expectations, a testament to the power of user-centered design and research-driven development.
↪ Think-aloud testing
& final MVP
User Research 3 & Design