Last year I had the chance to participate in Codepath's excellent iOS for Designers course. I worked with 2 other designers to develop Dreamcatcher, an app to help people more easily remember, record and analyze their dreams.
The basis for the app originates in research that shows writing as a key way to improve mental health and build toward a happier life (you can read some of the research in this NYT article). Separate research indicates that dreams are content that better help us understand our subconscious. Our goal in designing the app was to create something that would allow for people to better reflect by tackling 3 main challenges:
Recall: recollection of dreams is difficult. Most people forget within a couple seconds of waking up.Writing more often helps.
Input: make it easy to input whatever comes to mind
Analysis: highlight themes that arise from dreams
How we addressed the challenges with the app:
Recall: built an alarm into the app that sends a push notification reminding you to enter what you can remember
Input: blank canvas to input any type of information you can recall, as well as allowing you to select from predefined photos to capture the essence of the dream
Analysis: the app surfaced themes, frequent locations and affiliated emotions (some research indicates these as important aspects of dream reflection)
We built a working prototype in Swift and presented to the class