Headly, the headache journal

May 7, 2013 ,

Because I love psychology, human behaviour ánd design I graduated on ‘design for behaviour’. In collaboration with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) I’ve created an app (prototype) to easily track headaches and migraines.

My graduation project was divided in two phases. First, I explored behavioural design and tried to came up with a behavioural model for designers. With this model I could substantiate my design in a later phase. I wrote an extensive post at UNITiD.nl about this model.

Then my research focused on examining how behavioural design could help with maintaining a headache journal. The end product should not only meet the user goals but should also meet the doctors needs. Both target groups need insight in the headaches, but on a different level. LUMC is also involved in extensive research of headaches and migraines. So they wanted to gather all the app data to get bigger insights on headaches in general. I looked into a lot of headache journal apps, but didn’t find one that was user friendly and looked nice as well. I also reviewed apps that track activity or food intake.

I interviewed migraine patients to figure out what they want and need exactly. The biggest problem I found was that they simply ‘forgot’ to keep track of their headaches. Also, current apps and other methods to keep track of headaches are too hard or time consuming so patients are not tempted to keep track. I wanted to create an app that was super easy to use and maybe even somewhat fun to use. I also wanted to reward users when keeping track of their headaches by using things I learned on behavioural design during my research. Because this was my graduation project I was responsible for everything involved. Research, user research, interaction design, visual design, prototyping, user testing etc.

Headly was rewarded with a 9 and nominated for a Golden Dot Award.

You can download my thesis and attachments (Dutch only).