Supervisor Session #9

Today we had our final supervisor session of the first semester. It’s crazy to think how quickly those few months went!

First, Daniel & Hugh talked about the Prototype & Presentation that’s due on the 11th of January. One of the main things they said was the importance of practicing your presentation beforehand, knowing how everything works, and being organised. Also, they said the design of your presentation is important too – don’t use PowerPoint templates! We’re designers and we’ve learned lots of design stuff so make it visually appealing and not just a black and white presentation with bullet points.

I spoke about what I was planning to do for my prototype: research document containing app statement, features, user personas, colours, fonts, etc. as well as sketches, wireframes, mockups and an app prototype using a prototyping tool like Mockingbot. I showed Daniel and Hugh my user personas, sketches, app statement, features and my point of view statements. Daniel suggested looking at other prototyping tools such as Invision as it’s nicer looking than Mockingbot.

With regards to the prototype, they said to try to be innovative with it, instead of just having a normal prototype. One idea was to create a short video of someone having a panic attack, opening up their phone and using the app to calm down (using After Effects). I really like this idea and think it would work well and be something different!

I feel comfortable where I’m at with the project and I’m planning to get a good bit done over the break. The prototype phase is the most important and carries the most marks so I need to do a really good job!


Point of View Statements

Point of View Statements allow you to define the user, the need and the insight of the challenge that you are faced with.

The way a POV statement works is:

[user] + [need] + [insight]

Based on my app idea, I’ve come up with three Point of View Statements:

  1. Students need a step-by-step way to help deal with panic attacks because they need to be able to calm down and control their thoughts
  2. Students need a quick method of helping an oncoming panic attack as they may not have the necessary time to complete a full meditation session
  3. Students need different methods of helping a panic attack as each person deals with them in different ways.

App Statement & Features – New

I previously did a post with the App Statement and features of the app, but I’ve changed them slightly. So here are the new versions:

App Statement

This app helps students who suffer with mild panic attacks calm down, reduce panic and lessen their attacks through different coping exercises.


Step-by-step process on how to reduce a panic attack immediately as it’s happening

Various exercises to reduce a current panic attack, or one that is just about to happen

  • Breathing exercises
  • Games
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Thinking exercises


For the app, it’s important that I choose colours that promote positivity, relaxation and calmness.

Suitable colours:

Blue –

Promotes peace, calmness and gentleness.

Helps relieve stress

Helps calm your mind, slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety

Go for a soft and neutral shade


Green –

Restful and quiet colour

Comforting colour – reflects nature

Attracts harmonious feelings that diffuse anxiety and help you stay calm and refreshed

Beige greens and pale yellow greens are best


Pink –

Promotes tranquillity and peace

Soothes various energies in a room and keep them understated

Promotes balance of your energies


 White –  

Promotes clarity and freshness

Helps with stress

Bright whites – not dull, dark whites


Purple –

Signifies strength and wisdom

Bring balance and feel inner peace

Creates a peaceful environment

Power of meditation can be ten times greater under violet light


Grey –

Very soothing and cooling presence

Works well when paired with blue or white


Yellow –

Promotes positivity


Makes you more active


After looking through different colours, the ones I feel that would work the best would be blue, green or purple.





Supervisor Session #8

So on Wednesday we had another supervisor session. I was a little late to this one due to filming for another assignment, which got delayed.

I spoke about speaking to the college nurse, speaking with different mental health societies around Ireland, and I also talked about the When Panic Attacks book.

I explained that I want to focus on helping students who suffer with mild panic attacks by giving them different ways on how to cope when they experience a panic attack.

Both my supervisors said my research was good and that I’m at a good place. Next I just have to think of the prototype I’m going to show in January. What I need to show is:

  • Background research
  • App Statement
  • Features and refined features
  • User personas
  • Point of View Statements
  • Colour palettes
  • Fonts
  • Wireframes
  • Mockups
  • App prototype
  • What kind of design I’m going to use
  • The exercises I may include

I’m glad I was given a rough idea of what I needed as I wasn’t too sure what they really wanted. Pretty much I have to look at the process we completed during our App Design & Development module and follow that. I also will have some of these requirements ready to show for next weeks final session of the semester. As of now I am happy with my project and where I’m at!

Please Talk UCD & AIT

In my previous post, I mentioned sending a message to different mental health college societies in Ireland. As of now, two have gotten back to me – Please Talk UCD and Please Talk AIT.

Emmet from Please Talk AIT said he would love to help and gave me his email to ask him a few questions and he will try to answer them as best as he can. Here are the questions I asked:

  • What methods do you find most effective when trying to stop/deal with a panic attack?
  • Are there any signs that you experience which tell you that a panic attack is about to happen?
  • Is there anything that triggers panic attacks for you?
  • What symptoms do you experience (both physical and mental) when you have a panic attack?

I asked him if he anything he felt would be a good addition to the app to let me know, and I also told him of the idea of a panic attack diary as well as rating your panic attack and getting steps related to the rating you chose.

I only sent the email this morning so I haven’t gotten a reply yet.

I spoke to Please Talk UCD as well.

Beatrice has been dealing with panic attacks for a few years and this is the information she gave me:

Generally, when you’re experiencing full blown panic attacks (and these symptoms vary hugely depending on the person) it consists of muscle tremors such as hands shaking, a strong feeling of nausea, heart palpitations and shortness of breath / difficultly breathing for essentially, no obvious reason. I have experienced severe stomach cramps when having a really hardcore panic. Those would be the physical symptoms, while mental is obviously harder to pin down. Disorientation and racing thoughts, followed by confusion or thinking that you are experiencing death is pretty common I think!!

Dealing with panic attacks is really subjective – this app is a really good idea for helping people who suffer from them! I, personally, try do breathing exercises when I recognise I’m panicking (breathe in for a count of three, hold for three, release for three) and if I can I sit down and call a friend to just come sit with me. If I can’t do that then I clench and un-clench my muscles really slowly working upwards from my toes – this just brings me back into my body. A lot of dealing with a panic attack is to recognise that that is what’s happening and then to wait for it to pass. Panic attacks are basically a huge surge of adrenaline in your system and this goes away after some time. Afterwards I try to get some water or hot tea into me and something sweet to calm me down if I’m not feeling too sick.

She mentioned that the information she gave above was focusing on severe panic attacks, and with smaller anxiety attacks, there would be different coping mechanisms. She said she will run it by the committee to see if they can post the project on their Please Talk UCD page to see if any members can contribute.

The information that Beatrice gave me was very valuable, her coping mechanisms are good and I also learned some new information.. I never thought of having a drink of tea to help calm you down! This whole process is very insightful and I’m learning a lot. Hopefully more societies get back to me so I can get some different perspectives and info.