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Portfolio \ Brightn

AI-Powered Wellness Apps

Location 📍
Cedar Rapids
Expertise 🎨
Branding | Design | UX
React Native | Serverless
Platforms 🤌
iOS | Android | AWS | ChatGPT

"Purpose becomes passion when it gets personal. For me, it's personal"

- Jeff Johnston, Founder of Brightn, and the Living Undeterred Project

Rooted in personal loss, Brightn emerged to deliver personalized resources, shifting focus from identification to empowerment. After experiencing deep personal loss, Jeffrey Johnston started the Living Undeterred Project -- to bring awareness to mental health and addiction, and to rally forces across the country, so that we can tackle these challenges together.

Health, Wealth & Purpose

In late 2022, Jeff met with the team at 3Advance to discuss how an as yet unnamed app could empower young people, helping educate around three pillars of wellness - health, wealth and purpose. The goal was to provide adolescents the tool to create their own personal wellness plan, focusing on the prevention of future mental health issues.

Embarking on this journey together, the 3Advance team led with Product and User Experience workshops, fueled by research and a common goal to create an app that is tailored for young people. So many apps out there are detrimental to our wellbeing, but Brightn, the name that emerged from our branding exercise, was to be that app that tackled it head on. Learning from gamification strategies while respecting a 'thrivers' boundaries was crucial to the success of an app like this.

A "One Page Mental Health Plan"

At the heart of the Brightn app were two key components - education and planning. The app was aimed at encouraging users ('thrivers') to learn concepts that would build resilience to future mental health challenges. While the 3A team wrote the code and developed the experience, the Brightn team focused on content -- accessible videos and tutorials that gave thrivers the opportunity to learn, and feel good about it. Every week, thrivers would be prompted with opportunities to learn and act in ways that will improve their wellness, while being rewarded with points within the app. A unique take on a 'to-do list' would allow thrivers to accept the challenge and with personal accountability built in, complete their commitments. Friendly reminders and supportive big-ups would help thrivers continue to build their confidence and resilience.

Generative AI for Defeating Procrastination

One of the key requirements of the app would be to allow thrivers to create and update a personal mission statement, aptly named a "Unique Life Statement". While this would hopefully feed into a thrivers realization of their purpose, it is also a major ask, especially within an app. Enter Generative AI. Instead of forcing users on the spot to be creative, literary and precise, we proposed 'an easier way'. After prototyping with OpenAI (GPT 4.0 API) and a Slack bot, we then designed and created a simple, safe interface for a thriver to generate a ULS without typing in a word. New users could simply choose a few things they care about (eg. compassion, the environment, self-love), decide the tone (formal, friendly or funny) and then Generative AI did the rest. Guard-rails were put in place so results were always safe and supportive, and the results were spectacular. Within seconds a thriver has their very own ULS. They can always edit or replace it later, but this procrastination killer allowed, and continues to provide thrivers a quick win immediately on entering the app.

Brightn + College Partnerships

While Brightn was live and growing for the first six months months, learning and iterating based on early adopter feedback, the growth strategy was always based on a B2B (business-to-business). In this case, that meant partnering with schools, colleges and other communities that would enable wider distribution of the app. In March 2024, the first signed partnership deal was inked. Rockland Community College in NY became the first school to officially endorse and distribute the app to their students. This was a major win and with other partnerships in the works, 2024 is looking Bright for this impact driven startup we care so much about.

Greg Farrand

Executive Director

Second Breath Center

"It’s in your head for so long as a concept, and then you actually begin to see it, begin to get a framework, and it becomes real. It’s really cool! Lots of great feedback. People are loving it."

Try it out!