resilient mind

Empowering SEL learning in India


Sept 2020 - Dec 2020


Mental Health, Accessibility


Figma, Bubble, User Testing


Anuja Verma


Michelle Gantos

Project Lead

Daniel Chen

Product Design

Jake Nuesca

Product Design

Allan Lee

Product Design


Anuja Verma



Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a well established methodology focused around self awareness, relationship management, social awareness and decision making. Several SEL curriculums are in place for teachers to integrate into classrooms.

Our partner is a personalized Social Emotional Learning e-learning platform for rural and urban high-schools in India aimed towards helping teachers efficiently foster SEL skills at classroom level by creating a personalized curriculum for each student, while tracking each student’s progress.

The problem

Current SEL programs have two major shortcomings. Existing curriculums rely on someone to teach the activities, so users cannot access or practice SEL on their own. With a complex variety of activities, learning styles and user needs it can be difficult for users to find the best activities for themselves.

Who is our user?

Undergraduate Students

who experience stress and anxiety, either consistently or at certain points in time

Our users need...

Support in their quest to build social and emotional skills to better manage responses to adversity.
Engaging activities that match their personal needs and learning styles.
Easy access to SEL curriculum and activities they can perfom on their own.


We completed the initial steps in developing a mental health application geared towards young adults in an academic environment and backed by Social and Emotional Learning research. This included conducting user interviews, prototyping the User Interface, and building a Minimum Value Product using a Web Editor to use for future user testing. .


Algorithmic Approach

How might we recommend the right set of SEL activities to undergrad students to help them get control of emotions to better manage stress and anxiety?

There are many factors that influence the social and emotional development of an individual. Our goal it to use an alorithm to be able to better direct our users SEL development.

There are many factors that influence the social and emotional development of an individual. Our goal it to use an alorithm to be able to better direct our users SEL development.

We conducted user interviews with:

  • High school and college students
  • Working adults from various industries
Using survey feedback, we can fine tune a pretrained model that can recommend activities to a user based on their specific needs


UI and Theme Design

How might we design a user experience that promotes an undergrad student to perform the activity regularly?

For the UI design, we focused on engagement and usability. We felt that these aspects are crucial features missing from most SEL curriculums.

We included features such as:

  • A progress page so that the user can track improvement over time
  • A dynamic progress bar to incentivize users to continue using the application
  • A comprehensive activity guide so the user decides on what activities to pursue
The eventual goal of the application is to add different features to a personalized forest by completeing specific SEL activities.

Within the app, not only do we want each user to be motivated to continue learning, but we also want to promote an atomosphere that is tailor-made for each user.


Minimum Value Product

How might we create a personalized, engaging, and soothing in-app experience for users when selecting and completing an SEL activity?

We built a Minimum Value Product using the Editor as a tool to present a realistic in-app experience for use in future user studies. Accurate feedback is essential to the project’s goal of motivating users to regularly engage with the app.

The MVP recreates the most essential pages and features from the UI prototypes and allows the user to walk through the app from the initial registration to the completion of a limited number of SEL activities.

The app guides users through a selected activity in a step-by-step manner with each step on its own page leading to a final reflection and subsequent “Completed” page where they can see the “forest elements” earned by completeing the activity.

We hope this serves as a motivating force for the user to complete more activities and in doing so add SEL skills to their mental health toolbox.