This week, it’s my aim to really spend time working on the app that is accompanying the subscription box.
I’ve been looking into fonts for apps – I’d initially used Lobster and Krub fonts as these were well matched in terms of aesthetic. However, upon further research I realised that Lobster was perhaps to flamboyant for an app and not reflective of the clean, simplistic aesthetic I was aiming for.
I’ve since reassessed the font choices and how it links to my subscription box and the fonts used there. Amatic SC was used initially for it’s very simple, sans serif, all-caps features. It’s easy to read and can be used throughout as a heading. I’ve matched this with opensans, another sans serif font which is ideal for app usage. This isn’t to be used in the subscription box, but just helps when reading an app. It’s in size 18 and this, from my research, is the best size for app fonts.
I’ve also upgraded the colour choices – I’ve taken pictures of my own plants and took the colours and shades from my real houseplants. This gives the app a softer, more natural look and helps promote the bright, vibrant greens in the pictures.
Subscription box progress
I’ve been making some good headway this week with my subscription box and design – I’ve found it really difficult to mock up something on photoshop that reflects the quality and design I’m looking for. I therefore decided to order the products I needed and created an example subscription box. So far, so good – I’ve got the right products, the compostable elements and I’m able to really put a lot of thought into the layout and look of the box when it’s a physical object.
I’ve also been using the products I’m supplying in the box myself, I have a large number of cactus and bunny tail seeds that can be planted for indoor use – I’ve gone ahead and used a base of the box, the seedling bags provided and the specific compost to plant my own seeds! If they grow quick enough, I’ll try to update my blog with the pictures of the growing seedlings yay!
Above is an example illustration that I’d use in each new box – I’ve decided to keep the boxes the same each month and focus on having really beautiful handdrawn illustrations on the QR code leaflet. I drew these cacti on Autodesk Sketchbook (as I don’t have an iPad to use procreate this is the next best thing). They’re all free hand and based on my own cacti or other pictures. I’m going to try and do more illustrations for other plants as examples. I also want more of this hand drawn element in the app.
As I do not have access to a means to print on the box, I’ve drawn the logo on by hand as it was drawn at the beginning. I am so happy I stuck to using plain black line drawings, it adds a really lovely element of simplicity and minimalism I’m aiming for.
I’m aiming next week to take some really lovely product photography shots using dried eucalyptus and real products. I am also aiming to complete the app and provide a video run through.
The past two weeks have been so heavily focussed on the design and apperance of the box and app, I’m very keen to keep on track of the main objective of this product. Improving mental wellbeing.
Speaking to my fiance’s mum (a nurse at York District Hospital), she’s put me in touch with a mental health practitioner at the hospital to answer a few of my questions. Because of the current situation, she didn’t have time to email answers over which I’d originally tried to do, instead she gave me a quick phone call and was able to really help me understand how this product can help improve mental wellbeing.
I had a small list of questions that I needed answering – when dealing with somethin so severe as mental wellbeing, it can’t be a “half-assed” effort to shove something to do with mental health in. This product needs to not only provide a break away from the normal world, but also needs some substance in terms of mental health provisions. Questions and noted responses below:
How can I include something related to mental wellbeing in my app? Should I bring in a new element like meditation or could that get confusing?
- It needs to be acknowledged and shouldn’t be something that is hidden in the app
- Needs to be easy to find
- Meditiation could be confusing as this takes training and, as with hypnotherapy for mental wellbeing, it could get mis-communicated.
- Stick to simple, honest advice and follw up with further guidance to NHS
Do you have any advice on the information I can provide to users of the app?
- Basic info – don’t go in too deep, don’t probe too hard and don’t push them for answers
- People who are seriously struggling need direct access to NHS services
- Some people might just need someone to talk to – if this is a part of the app, then great, if not, provide guidance to people to talk to in the NHS (or even boss at work, friends or family).
Is there anything I need to be careful of when including mental wellbeing support?
- You really need to tread carefully – it’s a tricky topic and there’s so many apps out there that are doing more harm than good.
- Please ensure constant access is provide to further links to NHS or Mind etc.
- Don’t provide medical guidance – you’re not qualified and it’s not been signed off as medically correct. Basic, simple advice is the best way around this and back it up with NHS
Do you think a questionairre is a good way to help people acknowledge their feelings?
- yes! We have an NHS mental health quiz online and encourage other companies to use this to assess mental wellbeing. It’s not a difficult or pushy quiz, it’s very basic and could definitely be used as a starting point.
- Just remember to always direct people towards NHS guidance for more support.
- If they’ve reported anything at all that could be worrying, direct them straight away to NHS help.
The mental health practitioner gave me some fantastic advice here and it’s information I need to bear in mind when creating my questionaire. I’m looking forward to creating this and have ideas already building in my mind.
I’ve really found this week a valuable step forward to seeing the completion of this work – the combination of product photogrpahy and physical objects alongside testing the digital aspects of the work has been fantastic. I’ve really utilised the feedback in the best way to develop this project and ensure it’s progression is in the right direction.