An inclusive
non-profit addiction recovery experience


Responsive web


Discovery, Research, UI/UX, Design System, Development

Building on an evidence-based recovery approach

The MindShift team came to us with the work of a noted psychiatrist and a desire to create a digital experience using the evidence-based approach he’d created. The approach was unique in that it can work in conjunction with other recovery methods and has a heavy emphasis on changing behaviors.

Our goal was to help discover what this experience might look like when translated into a digital product. We got to work immediately on whiteboarding workshops with their team to start understanding their goals, their recovery methodology, the people in recovery, and what a minimum viable product might look like.

Cranking up the empathy to 11

We conducted multiple workshops with the MSR team and immediately realized how engrained inclusivity and sensitivity to those in the addiction recovery field are. We knew that way of thinking was paramount to anything we did going forward.

We conducted persona creation, journey mapping, objective and key results, north star metric, and “how might we?” workshops with their team and researcher to get quickly onboarded to the recovery mindset.

Turning method into digital action

Our challenge was taking mindfulness exercises and tools in the workbook the MindShift team was writing and translating them into digital experiences that didn’t distract from the actual action of being mindful.

Of course, to do this, we’d need to see what other apps and websites were doing in this space. We conducted a competitor analysis on apps like Calm, Insight Timer, Sober, and more. This sufficiently armed us with great design patterns to follow. Identified some poor experiences to avoid and helped narrow down the scope for launch.

Armed with the discovery workshops and the competitor analysis, we began working closely with the stakeholders on lo-fi wireframes. We wanted to be sure we got these things right, so we created multiple versions and isolated important journeys we’d need to usability test.

A/B testing with people in recovery

One of the most fulfilling moments in this collaboration came during our moderated usability testing. We were able to see people in recovery try out the designed experience so far and provide amazingly insightful feedback.

The feedback from the tests resulted in some sweeping changes to our planned core features. A major one— A journal-like check-in— got scrapped altogether, with a portion of it being used elsewhere. Other areas, such as the Craving Helper Tool became more seamless and intuitive.

Launching soon and continuing to grow

We’re currently in the process of developing the launch product, but already have community discussion features in the works as a fast follow. Additionally, we reworked the scrapped check-in feature to create a fun community version.

We’re excited to see the impact this experience might have in the addiction recovery space. The MindShift team has continued to be a great partner to work with.