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CHXD workshop: Designing for Mental Health

March 8, 2018

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness, yet many UX designers lack the necessary training to effectively design for those struggling with mental health. UX practitioners Jen Smerdel and Marli Mesibov have spent the last year researching and exploring the field of mental health alongside experts to identify gaps in design knowledge. They have developed a set of guidelines leveraging behavior change recommendations for increased engagement with a population that struggles to access their motivation.

In this workshop, participants will learn a set of skills designed to improve their UX design abilities in the mental health space. Participants will also explore their own assumptions and beliefs around mental health, and practice designing real-world solutions using a combination of mental health design guidelines and UX best practices.

Why Should I Attend?

Empathy is the key to both health care and UX design. If you’re a UX designer, a strategist, or working in any form of communications with patients, this workshop is for you. If you work at a hospital, a healthcare organization, a pharmaceuticals company, or a design agency, this workshop is for you. No design skills are necessary. Just curiosity and an interest in problem-solving.

What Will I Learn?

You will leave the workshop with:
  • Design guidelines focused on reaching people with mental illness
  • A deeper understanding of mental health and how to improve it utilizing digital technology
  • UX best practices for designing applications
  • Problem-solving skills to ask the right questions and uncover answers

About the Workshop Facilitators

Jen Smerdel and Marli Mesibov are UX practitioners at Mad*Pow, a design agency dedicated to improving lives through digital experiences. Jen is an Experience Strategist at Mad*Pow, where she combines her analytical thinking and creativity to help our clients overcome roadblocks and reach solutions. She has presented at many conferences on various topics surrounding strategy, research, and mental health. Marli is the VP of Content Strategy, where she helps organizations better communicate with their target audiences. She is a frequent conference speaker, a former editor of the UX publication UX Booth, and was voted one of MindTouch’s Top 25 Content Strategist Influencers in 2016.


General Assembly Boston
21 Melcher Street
Boston,MAUnited States
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