Product Experience

Problem Space

The problem space for HealHaven is Mental Health Support and Therapy and our Focus is to bridge the Cultural Gap in Therapy.


HealHaven is a culture-matched mental health platform that helps patients find therapists who understand their cultural background. It employs a smart matching tool to connect individuals with therapists who genuinely understand their cultural background. With HealHaven, therapists can highlight their cultural expertise, and clients can provide their cultural preferences. This ensures therapy sessions are more effective and relatable, making mental health support accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Problem Background

From the research we carried out, we were able to devise our problem's background, which is that individuals seeking therapy often encounter challenges in finding therapists who understand their cultural context. Also, we found that cultural understanding is crucial in therapy, as it significantly impacts the effectiveness of sessions.

Research Insights

According to research carried out by the team, we found out that:

  • Culture repeatedly stood out as a pivotal factor in choosing a therapist, with 4 out of 5 participants emphasising its importance.
  • A notable 9 out of 11 respondents rated cultural understanding as the highest importance in therapy.
  • Studies show that between 28% and 75% of young people prematurely terminate therapy, often due to a lack of cultural resonance.
  • A 2021 study found that people from racial or ethnic minority backgrounds experience greater barriers when engaging with mental health services.


Global Market Growth

  • 2022 Valuation: The global behavioral health market stood at USD 152 billion, establishing a strong base for growth.
  • 2032 Projections: The market is expected to reach an estimated USD 293 billion by 2032. This near-doubling in value is projected to occur at a robust CAGR of 6.78% from 2023 to 2032.

The US Market Forecast

  • Current Market Valuation (2023): The mental health market is currently valued at USD 87.3 billion, marking a solid foundation for growth and investment opportunities.
  • Projected Market Size (2032): By 2032, the market is expected to swell to USD 136.6 billion, underpinned by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.10%.

User Pain Points

Having spoken to people who have been to therapy in the past, those who are looking sign up for therapy and also therapists who have delivered quality services to clients, we realised mental health patients are experiencing difficulty in finding therapists who genuinely understand and resonate with their cultural background. Also, these patients mentioned that previous therapy experiences felt disconnected or ineffective due to cultural misunderstandings or lack of cultural resonance. Furthermore, Therapists found it challenging to connect with clients who specifically seek their cultural expertise, leading to less effective therapeutic relationships.

While there are mental health therapy platforms, there is still a gap to be filled. The absence of a platform tailored to culture-specific mental health needs means many individuals discontinue or avoid therapy due to feelings of being misunderstood, which means many people do not have access to the right kind of therapy

Solution explanation 

Based on our research and feedback, we knew we wanted to create a culture matching mental health therapy platform. 

  • A major feature is user highlighting their cultural preferences 
  • Second major feature is matching them with therapist who have highlighted these cultural features on their profile. 

User Persona 

After defining the product problem and features, we crafted a user persona for our ideal user. Raj is an international student in the UK who has just moved for his studies and is feeling isolated and stressed. He wants to speak to a therapist who understands the cultural nuances and challenges of being an international student.


  • Survey participants and interviews consistently highlighted the significance of cultural understanding in therapy.
  • The need for therapists who can provide culturally resonant support is a recurring theme in user feedback.

Mi-fi and Hi-fi Mockups 

Therapist Matching Mi-Fi
Therapist Matching Hi-Fi
Therapist result page Mi-Fi
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Therapist result page Hi-Fi

Iterative Design Learnings

Home page redesign: The home page underwent a vibrant color enhancement. Coupled with sharper, impactful text, this redesign has elevated user engagement, making the platform more inviting and relatable to our audience.

First Design
Second Design 

Questionnaire Feedback: We presented the therapist-patient matching questionnaire to both therapists and patients for their insights. This exercise illuminated which information was deemed essential and valuable by both parties. Feedback also provided clarity on the questionnaire's comprehensibility and ensured it wasn't overwhelming for users, optimizing the matching process.

Therapist Recommendation Page Redesign: Initially, the therapist recommendation page featured a set of details that users found less relevant. Feedback indicated a desire for easily scannable information that accentuated the therapist's strengths. In our second iteration, we refined the page to prioritize scannability and spotlighted pertinent details, enabling users to make informed decisions more efficiently.

First Design
Second Design 

Future Steps


  • Beta Testing and User Feedback: We will roll out a beta version of the platform to gather feedback from both therapists and clients. This feedback will help in refining the platform's features and user experience.
  • Develop for Mobile 
  • Continuous Platform Development: Based on user feedback, continuously develop, test and iterate. This includes improving the matching tool, therapist and client profiles, and overall platform usability.
  • Security and Data Privacy: Develop robust security and data privacy protection to build trust among users. Compliance with healthcare data regulations.
  • Find Product market fit- Onboard our first user and therapist. 

Go-To-Market Strategy

According to these tables above, it is evident that. 


  • Both BetterHelp and Talkspace have a strong presence on mobile web, with more than 60% of their users accessing their services through mobile devices, which means, as a brand entering the market, we must leverage on user-friendly mobile app 

Marketing Channels

  • BetterHelp primarily receives traffic through direct visits, while Talkspace relies heavily on organic search traffic, indicating a strong online presence for Talkspace in search engine results. This means we must focus on a multi-pronged marketing approach, including direct marketing, organic search engine optimization (SEO), and paid search to attract users.

Demographics and Age Distribution

  • Both platforms have a predominantly female user base, with males making up a significant but slightly lower percentage. Both platforms see substantial user engagement from individuals aged 25-30 and 35-44. Young adults aged 18-24 are also a significant demographic for both platforms. HealHaven must tailor its content, advertising, and services to align with the demographic and age distribution of this target audience, critically emphasizing cultural understanding and resonance.

Social Traffic

  • Both platforms receive a considerable amount of traffic from YouTube and Facebook, suggesting the importance of visual and social media content. Talkspace, in particular, has a notable presence on LinkedIn and Reddit. We will use social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit to reach a broader audience. Creating engaging and culturally relevant content to attract and engage users.

Organic Search

  • Like BetterHelp, we will target relevant keywords related to online therapy and mental health to improve organic search rankings and increase visibility in search engine results.


Where is it hosted?  

  • Frontend - Vercel
  • Backend - Render.

What is your tech stack? 

  • React
  • TypeScript
  • NodeJs
  • MongoDB
  • Express.js


User Authentication:

  • The user interaction begins on the front end, hosted on Vercel. When a user attempts to log in or sign up, the React front end takes the input and validates it using Zod (for schema validation) and React Hook Form (for handling form states and validations).
  • Once the input is validated on the client side, a request is sent to the Node.js back end hosted on Render.
  • The back-end Express.js server processes the authentication request, often by interacting with a user database managed by MongoDB to verify credentials.
  • Upon successful authentication, a token (e.g., JWT) is generated and sent back to the front end, which the client can use for subsequent authenticated requests.

Find Therapist Form:

  • The authenticated user fills out a "Find Therapist" form on the React front end. TypeScript helps ensure that the data structure used is consistent with the one expected by the backend.
  • The form data is sent to the back end and stored in the MongoDB database with the user's preferences and search criteria.

Algorithm Matching and Recommendation:

  • An API endpoint on the Node.js server is triggered, typically with a RESTful API call, to retrieve the user's stored preferences from MongoDB.
  • The server runs a matching algorithm that takes the user's preferences and matches them against available therapists' profiles stored in the database.
  • The matched results are then formatted as a response and sent back to the front end.

Therapist Selection and Call Scheduling:

  • The front end displays the recommended therapists to the user using React's dynamic rendering capabilities.
  • The user selects a therapist and chooses a time to schedule a call through the interface.
  • This selection and scheduling information is sent back to the server, which creates an appointment record in the database.

Call Scheduling Confirmation:

  • A confirmation of the scheduled call is generated by the back end and sent to the user's front end.
  • The details of the appointment are stored in MongoDB, which may trigger additional processes such as sending a calendar invite, email confirmation, or other notification to the user and the selected therapist.


Hardest Part of Development:

  • Deciding on features was a complex task as it required a balance between user needs, business objectives, and technical feasibility within the time constraints.
  • Limited available time posed significant challenges in implementing features to their fullest potential, often necessitating prioritisation and scope adjustments.
  • Sifting through numerous tools and best practises to find the most suitable ones for our needs was time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming.


Currently, the web app does not exhibit scaling issues due to careful planning and the choice of scalable technologies and platforms like Vercel and Render that can accommodate growth as user demand increases.


  • Clear and effective communication is paramount for aligning team members with the project's vision and ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding features and implementation strategies.
  • Leveraging existing tools and resources can vastly accelerate development and lead to more reliable and tested solutions, as opposed to building everything from scratch.


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Product Manager Learnings:

Olajumoke Adigun

User Research: I learned the art of conducting and analysing user research to ensure product decisions are deeply rooted in user needs and behaviours.

Product Strategy: I developed the ability to craft a compelling vision for products and outline the strategic roadmap, setting clear milestones and deliverables.

Design & User Experience: I applied basic design thinking principles to my work, advocating for user-centric design processes that enhance user satisfaction and engagement.

Cross-Functional Team Collaboration: I learned how to collaborate with engineering and design to create a product mental health patients will love.

Iterative Improvement: I learned the effectiveness of an iterative development process where continuous feedback is integrated, ensuring Healhaven evolves to meet and exceed user expectations.

Designer Learnings:


Empathy in Action: Designing for mental health emphasized the deep importance of truly understanding user needs, beyond just aesthetics.

Valuing Cultural Sensitivity: HealHaven's focus on cultural matching highlighted the profound impact of recognizing and respecting diverse backgrounds in design.

Simplicity Speaks Volumes: In sensitive domains like mental health, clarity is paramount. This project reinforced the power of minimalist design.

The Strength of Teamwork: Collaborating with developers, therapists, and users enriched the design, underscoring that the best solutions come from collective input.

Never-Ending Learning: Feedback, user testing, and staying updated were crucial, proving that in design, learning is continuous.

Developer Learnings:

Ope Kareen

Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) - Gained comprehensive knowledge of the full software development cycle, from initial ideation and conceptualization to deployment and production stages.

Frontend and Backend Hosting: Acquired practical skills in hosting front-end and back-end components separately, understanding the nuances and benefits of decoupled architectures.

Validation and Linting Tools: Learned how to use Zod for robust type checking and data validation, ensuring input integrity across the application. I also learned how to utilise eslint to enforce coding standards, leading to cleaner, more maintainable, and error-free code.

Adoption of TypeScript: Started to integrate TypeScript into development practices, appreciating its advantages for building more reliable and refactor-friendly applications through strong typing.

Developers Learnings:



Hosting Frontend and Backend: I honed my skills in leveraging Vercel for frontend and Render for backend services, appreciating their contribution to my app's modular architecture and performance.

Database Setup and Server Connection: I developed proficiency in MongoDB integration with Node.js, focusing on secure, efficient database interactions and schema design.

Email Verification with Nodemailer: I successfully implemented a user-friendly email verification system using Nodemailer, enhancing my understanding of full-stack communication.

Writing Cleaner Code: I learned to write more maintainable code, emphasizing clear variable names, modular design, and the value of linters and code reviews for quality.

Full Team Learning

The HealHaven team's collaborative learning journey has been transformative, with each member drawing rich insights from their specific roles. Our Product Manager, Olajumoke Adigun, leveraged user research to align our product with real user needs, establishing a strategic roadmap for development. She underscored the importance of cross-functional collaboration to create a product that resonates with mental health patients. Our designer, Ayesha, embraced empathy, cultural sensitivity, and minimalist design, learning that understanding the user is as crucial as the design itself. Developers Ope Kareem and Bidemi immersed themselves in the technical depths, mastering the intricacies of modern hosting environments, robust database design, and the nuances of front-end and back-end integration. They also embraced TypeScript and advanced coding practises to ensure our codebase remains clean, maintainable, and scalable. Together, the HealHaven team's synergy led to a deeper understanding of creating impactful, user-centric solutions, leveraging existing tools, and embracing continuous learning for product improvement.