KindStack is a prototype application that aims to nurture individual's abilities to recognize reasons for gratitude in their environment and help them express these thoughts better. Through these exercises, we hope to inculcate a positive and vibrant culture amongst people and help them take charge of the their own mental health. We also hope this would serve to prepare them to face the challenges of everyday life with a better outlook and inspire others through their positivity.
Purpose & Motivation
The state of the world as we know it today has struck fear in the hearts of everyone. Experts have noted that if left unacknowledged, the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to one of the largest waves of mental health problems the world has ever faced. Some evidence of this can already be found by the 1000% increase in federal emergency hotlines for people in emotional distress as reported by Washington Post. The numbers are daunting and our systems are not prepared to face it. This stems from the hopelessness people feel in their everyday life in our new reality.
One of the most vulnerable populations to this thought process are healthcare workforce who now have to manage their own fears while placating those of their patients while still warding off the negativity associated with the pandemic in many places. This could leave them feeling particularly uncared for and drastically affect their mental health. In an attempt to address the root cause of the problem, we wanted to give people, especially the frontliners, something to hope for, to hold on, something that would give them a reason to be grateful for the world they live in. This lead to the birth of KindStack, a prototype application that consists of various activities and features that will help express people's gratitude for each other and hopefully bring back everyone's smiles.
What it does
The 3 main features of KindStack are as follows:
- Appreciation: In this section, we encourage the users to express their gratitude to other people. This can be done either through the means of sending messages to the person or through purchasing kindness memorobalia and gifting it to the intended recipient. Through a mutual culture of gratitude we hope everyone can realize how much the people in their lives appreciate them through these simple gestures and express the same to the people in their life.
- Journal: Gratitude is not only about expressing it to others, but also realizing it for oneself. The Journal section of KindStack aims at imbibing this by motivating self reflection. This includes pushing the users to actively find moments in their every day that they never really internalized gratitude for. Through this repeated exercise, we hope that the positivity stacks up and people feel less burdened by any obstacles they face by realizing there are just as many things to be thankful for.
- Meditation: While the Journal section promotes active reflection, Meditation tries to combine a more passive and spiritual approach to the process. It consists of various exercises delivered in the form of audio tracks that guides one through the journey. This is especially useful for those with little time in their hand and in the need of wanting more guidance away from the strains of their ordinary life and helps slowly build back their mental resilience.
Every person on the application will be encouraged to partake in each of these activities as combined they help build a healthier mental self.
How we built it
We started by conducting a user survey of the KindStack app and found that most of our respondents are receptive to the features enlisted about and have attempted in the past to engage in any one of them. We also used the survey results to determine which of our feature subsets we should go with as well as any additional ideas our users thought would fit well into this application. We then spent some time think about the concept map and layout of the application. This included some research into color tones that encouraged positivity and template set up. After this initial brainstorm we iterated through building the prototype using Adobe XD.
Challenges we ran into and Accomplishments that we're proud of
While we did start out wanting a working application, our combined research and application setup left us a little short handed to make a scalable implementation of the project. This is one of our biggest challenges and we hope to address this by bringing the application to functional completion beyond the hackathon. Our team was also new to prototyping which made us invest a lot more time in thinking about all the points to be included. This experience taught us all that goes into the end to end process of bringing an idea to fruition.
What's next for KindStack
We believe kindness and gratitude is something the world is in desperate need of today and hence our work doesn't end here. One of our first objectives for this project will be a fully functional mobile application that can be hosted in both App Store for iOS devices and Play Store for Android devices. We intend to make this scalable by hosting the database on the cloud. We will also be including easy-to-add barcode gratitude messages for individuals that can be accessed near hospitals and other places of work for frontline workers to make it easier for everyone to add messages to them.