Bridge are a leadership training company that help people find ways to be less stressed, happier, and more successful at work. For 25 years they've done this by working with individuals and groups within organisations. They do an amazing job in person, but they wanted to help more people.
I partnered with Made By Many to help Bridge figure out the next phase of their business, focusing on how they might use technology to scale efficiently. There were two distinct sections to the project: working out what to build, and then building it. My role was to lead product and design across both parts.
The work culminated in the creation of Realist — a mobile app that aims to help people spend less time feeling stressed, and more time feeling like the best version of themselves. It does this by encouraging users to identify the events that make them feel bad, and then actively guiding them into making choices for dealing with those events more effectively. Realist is currently being piloted with Bridge's clients in organisations around the world.
So Bridge wanted to use technology to reach more people. Great! But how? What does that even mean? To start with we needed to spend some time getting to know their people, their clients, and how they work in order to decide on a path forwards.
We went through one of their in-person training programmes and observed sessions with corporate clients. We also interviewed people from within Bridge, as well as past and potential clients from all around the world. This helped us uncover what makes them so good, and enabled us to identify opportunity areas.
The following opportunity areas are based on what we found customers wanted. Each represents a different starting point for creating new products or services:
We developed service ideas to bring each area to life. This allowed us to have richer conversations with their customers, and helped narrow down what to focus on for the next phase.
In the end it was decided the first area — 'practice and apply skills' — would be the focus for the second part of the project, as it was the area that would have the most immediate benefit to people. We would build something that specifically helped users take what they had learned from Bridge and apply it in daily situations. It would serve as a good test ground for developing further products.
We took everything we'd learned so far and started thinking of ways to help Bridge's customers practice and apply the skills they were learning at the in-person workshops. I sketched and prototyped a number of different routes before landing on the idea of guided practice. This would take what Bridge were best at — face to face help — and put it in users' pockets to access any time.
I created a series of prototypes using Marvel, and recorded one of Bridge's coaches, Jane, talking a user through an issue. To be honest, the end result pushed the boundaries of what you could even call 'rough and ready', but it was good enough to begin testing. Kind of. We took the learnings of a dozen or so interviews and quickly designed up the user flows.
As ever, time was tight and money was an issue, so working with Made By Many's dev team, we decided to use React Native in order to reach as many people as cost effectively as possible.
Below are some screens directly from the app. They show sections from the main features: recording the moments that make you unhappy, and reflecting on them to make smart choices for the future.
A little bit more on those features:
Below is a quick video showing how the audio guide works (you'll need the sound up). Also note the 'stars' in the background, and lack of visual content. It's all designed to calm users and not distract them. The stars gently blink and pulse away. I recorded the audio with Jane after work in the Made By Many office one day.
If you'd like a demo, to hear more about the project, or to talk about how I might be able to help you launch a new product, you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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