Finding a therapist isn’t easy.

With the onset of the pandemic, the number of individuals seeking mental health resources has skyrocketed.

One of the biggest barriers to inclusive mental healthcare is the therapy search process. Though the number of individuals seeking therapists has increased, a lack of guiding information and the ability to search by criteria like cultural knowledge, therapist identity, and therapeutic method still deter many from seeking therapy.

Affinity is an MVP mobile app aimed at providing users with a simplified inclusive therapy matching service.


Update the existing website

Jul-Oct 2021

Product Designer (UX / UI)


Understanding the Problem

Problem Statement: 

My current application is huge to maintain which is not necessary for my business. Business analytics is not perfect to understand my business progress. Doctors and Patients can not access the current application. 


Want to track Doctors and Patients to schedule & manage their appointments. Keep track of hospital management. Provide a safe environment for patients & staff alike while increasing productivity & efficiency. Increase hospital appointment attendance. Automated accessible appointment reminders are a great feature. Gain performance insights with reports on no-shows, service demand, busy times. Keep patient information safe.


Get a solution where I can track everything for my hospital business. I want a customized application that will serve my business purpose. Doctors and Patients can interact with the application. As I want automation.

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The Hypothesis

An app-based tool that offers individuals the ability to research and connect with culturally responsive therapists will improve access to quality mental healthcare, reducing both the stress and time commitment of finding therapy resources.

Though there are a handful of websites that offer the ability to search for inclusive therapy, mobile technology offers a unique opportunity to provide increased access to mental health services. Reliance on smartphones and app-based tools is common amongst communities of color as well as Americans that fall into low-income brackets, making an app like Affinity more viable for a wider range of individuals.

The Challenges

In tackling this project, I knew there would be crucial considerations for the research and ideation process.

  • The topic of mental health is sensitive, it is important to account for hesitation on the part of research participants. How might I provide empathy and transparency in the research and testing process?

  • The process of finding therapy is already overwhelming, how might I keep the content and design choices straightforward and supportive?

  • How might I close the gap in my own industry knowledge in the process of finding solutions?

The Research

In starting the research phase of the project, I knew that I would have to account for the stigma associated with talking about mental health. This consideration led me to implement three research methodologies:

A user survey allowed me to capture quantitative and qualitative data while also offering anonymity for participants. The survey was sent to a focused audience of individuals that identified as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC), or as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

User interviews gave me the opportunity to build empathy by having a close conversation with participants. I interviewed individuals who had searched for mental health resources or currently see a therapist.

Lastly, I talked with therapists themselves as a part of subject matter expert interviews. These conversations gave insight into the industry and barriers faced by practitioners and patients.

Exploring Solutions

User Frustrations

Users expressed a great deal of frustration with the therapy search process. Many were at a loss of where to begin, some felt too vulnerable in the selection process, and others weren’t clear about what criteria they could even search for.

In order to narrow the scope of a potentially feature-heavy project, I focused on 4 pain points that showed up in almost all of the user research I completed. With each pain point, I tried to pinpoint a possible solution to include in the initial wireframes and designs.

User Flows

Initial design and branding. Screen show case here

Prototyping & Testing

After the key high-fidelity screens were created, they needed to be tested by actual users. I conducted usability testing via Zoom, allowing users to explore the home screen, matching quiz, search results, and therapist profile screen.

Key iterations included changes to the Therapy Matching quiz, the Search Results screen, and the Therapist profile. Look at the right prototype.

Key Changes

Simplifying the Flow

As users tested the Find a Therapist matching quiz, I noticed that my attempts at a unique “messaging style” UI were falling flat. Multiple users suggested distinguishing more clearly between input fields and buttons, and almost all requested that all inputs be the full width of the screen.

Additional adjustments made included simplified language to support users with the challenging aspects of the search process – such as understanding therapeutic method.

Improving Interactions

During testing, many users expressed wanting a stronger solution to liking and saving therapist information. I tested both a bookmark and heart icon on but many users thought the icon made the therapist cards too busy.

To solve this I used a swipe to save interaction to save space on the card itself while offering users the ability to save therapist listings to their search history.

Final Designs

The future looks promising…

This project gave me the opportunity to explore an unknown industry, but it also showed me the importance of adaptability and how to redirect for the sake of the user. I learned the crucial skill of simplification and gained insight into my own capacity as a designer of one.

Through Affinity, I was able to pair my passion for inclusion with both the community need for culturally responsive support, and the growing need for mobile tools to support mental health.

As for the future – Affinity has incredible growth potential.

If I were to continue this project I would focus on:

  • Thinking deeper into accessibility – especially in regards to users experiencing mental health crises.

  • Building out the features in the Hub including group therapy, personalized articles and other wellness tools.

  • Exploring what the practitioner side of Affinity might look like – how do therapists and practices engage with and use this platform to connect with patients?