Poz is an iOS app to promote mindful journaling. Poz was published to the Apple app store mid-April, and is completely free to download.
I designed and developed Poz from scratch in 2021, taking the product from idea to the Apple App Store. This project transpired during one of my Creative Computing courses at SMU where students were given full range to pursue any coding project.
At the time of building this, I was a third year Creative Computing and Psychology student at SMU with two major interests
I brought these passions together to create Poz, a mobile iOS app to make mindful journaling easy.
My aim was not to make a viral app nor to was it to get everyone on Earth journaling (though that'd be nice!), I simply wanted to create a tool that I myself could use to build a journaling habit. So for Poz to be a success, it simply needed to work for me. By keeping the core user as myself, I could ensure the app was actually solving a problem.
If Poz can effectively capture the elements of a real life life journal, such as the pages, chronological structure, and simple interface, while incorporating the flexibility of a digital medium, users will be much more likely to maintain a daily journaling practice.
How might we promote consistent mindful journaling?
A bit of scholarly research validated my personal experience of the benefits of journaling. In recent years multiple studies have been published showing that taking a few moments to document your thoughts and mood has visible effects on our mental and physical health. These effects include:
I didn't want Poz to be just another journaling app. To accomplish this, I spoke with several individuals who had at least somewhat of an interest in journaling, asking about their attitudes and behaviors around journaling. To synthesize the findings of these conversations, I created personas to capture the breadth of needs and use cases Poz would need to solve for.
Beginning with some very rough wireframes, I imagined how Poz may attempt to solve some of the pain points identified. This original solution included
Since this was my first time actually coding and iOS app, part of the design exploration involved trying things out with code to see what was actually possible. Thus a back and forth commenced between designing some feature, trying to code it, and then finding some middle ground between there to implement. Below are some of the intermediary designs that came from this phase.
Throughout the process of iteratively designing and developing, due to both technical constraints and UX concerns, many features were excluded, some highlighted, and others marked as post-MVP. The features that made the cut included
What was ultimately shipped was an app that focused on simple, functional, and personalized journaling. Rather than go for fancy features and designs that would take longer to implement, I narrowed the scope of Poz, at least for the MVP, to the screens below
I coded the app from scratch using SwiftUI. This was my first time using Swift, and even coding a mobile app, so there were enormous amounts of limitations/roadblocks in terms of development. The final product that is available on the app store is very much an MVP
Check out the code on github
In April 2021, Poz was published to the app store, and is publicly available to download on all iOS devices.
~ 250+ downloads as of April 2022
I actively use Poz every day to document my thoughts, check in with myself, and reflect on my state of mind. Above all other goals and metrics, this was my main objective for Poz, so to that end Poz is a success!
In addition, it seems that multiple others have also benefited from Poz, citing it as a more fun and simple way to take notes/journal.
Poz is very much a work in progress, meaning that if you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions - let me know! Any input is appreciated and will likely help shape the future of the app.