Breaking Social Media Addiction with Positive Reinforcement - UX Case Study

Ironhack Week 1 Project

Wicked Problem: Conscious Information Consumption

To kick-off the boot camp, we were divided into teams to design a solution for a Wicked Problem, focusing on isolating, researching and understanding the problem. Starting on Monday, Dustin, Jiao, Ipek and I would have four days to come up with our solution before presenting it on Friday morning. Out of five possible options we chose the wicked problem:


As a result of conducting a 60 user survey and 5 in-person interviews, some pertinent research insights were:


Affinity Diagram close-up

“Seeking Life Balance” Annie

User Persona
User Journey Map
Storyboard (drawn by Jiao Wang)
How Might We statements

How Might We make it taboo/uncool to spend too much time viewing content online?

There was some group discussion on whether making something “uncool” would be achievable with an app, however in the end, we decided to continue in this direction.


Armed with a more clearly defined problem, we started working on the solution. After some research into the nature of addiction, we decided to try reversing the How Might We statement and instead use positive reinforcement, a motivating factor that encourages repeating a behaviour.

Solution: Bellence

And here is our the lo-fi wireframe for our app Bellence (a play on the word “Balance”), where users “Collect happiness” i.e. collect reward points.

  • a gift voucher for an online store
  • a donation to the charity of your choice
  • a free yoga lesson


For speed purposes, we constructed a paper prototype for user testing. As the points for rewards concept of our app had the potential to be confusing, we anticipated a few iterations.

Paper Prototype


We conducted user testing with 4 fellow students, which proved very insightful, resulting in the following changes:

  • Adding a detailed onboarding page to better explain the concept
  • Keeping the usage tracking simple i.e. a daily goal
  • Easier navigation: the main features (Goals, Offers) shown on the home screen
  • Adding a data privacy statement, that user’s news feed data would not be shared/stored

Next Steps

Based on the user feedback we had more ideas for further iterations, however unfortunately ran out of time before we could prototype them:

  • Including other social media platforms such as Twitter/YouTube
  • Defining what would be the more attractive goal for the user: collecting a large number of points, or redeeming then straight away


  • The focus of this week’s project was defining the Wicked Problem itself, which I think we completed well. Although not the aim of the project, I would have liked to create a mid-fi prototype had there been enough time.
  • Although we decided on a How Might We statement by Dot Voting, there was still some internal resistance on whether this was the right choice or not. Which perhaps negates the purpose of the voting (i.e. making a quick decision) as we wasted some time on second-guessing the decision.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Amanda Low

Product Designer @HelloFresh. Inspired by sustainability and functionalist design. Motivated by office dogs.