Addapp Research Sprints (Generative Research)


May - June 2016


At Addapp, our leadership team decided to pivot to a new product direction within the health and wellness space. With open minds, an appetite for creativity and possibility, and shared understanding for user needs and behaviors, our team of 12 (comprised of developers, designers, data scientists, product manager, researcher and CEO) went into research and ideation mode. I led the research portion of this project, spearheading ten week-long research sprints that directly illuminated the rest of the team’s design sprints each following week.

With iterative user research as the guiding force, Addap aimed to land on a new product focus within the health and wellness space.


  1. Our team decided on a handful of topic areas within the larger "world" of health and wellness that we wanted to dive deeper into. Those topic areas included: women's health, sleep, behavior change, company wellness programs, and aging populations.

  2. For each topic, I would spend five days on user research: developing a script, recruiting participants, running five user interviews, developing synthesis, and producing a share-out for my team.

  3. On the last day of my research sprint, I would lead the share-out with my team to walk them through problem areas, user needs, and insights that emerged. We would go through some activities together to immerse them in these findings and kickstart the ideation process with How Might We exercises.

  4. From there, the team would spend five days ideating, developing product prototypes, and running usability tests with target users. Meanwhile, I moved onto the next research topic and got involved with ideation with the rest of the team whenever possible.

  5. After we ran research and design sprints for each of the above topics, the Addapp leadership team shifted their focus to the following areas: aging populations, behavior change, and autoimmune conditions. We found these areas to be especially promising based on research findings and ideation inspiration. We repeated a similar process of research and design sprints for these topics. So that we could dive even deeper, we changed the length per sprint from five work days to eight.

  6. I also led a round of interviews with Subject Matter Experts in health insurance and primary care to understand experts' perspectives on these topics.

  7. When going through findings across these topic areas, the Addapp leadership team realized that stress served as a common thread through these topics. I went through a few different iterations of interviews with users—those with demanding jobs (a spinal surgeon, an ICU nurse), those with high-risk pregnancies, those who have suffered burnout—to understand stress in new ways.

  8. After collecting research findings and going through more rounds of ideation, Addapp decided to focus on two different target user groups within the stress umbrella: mental health professionals and working professionals.

  9. Addapp had a pitch day, where we each pitched our product ideas and voted on our favorites.



We developed two MVPs, one for each target group, to understand which would do better with our test markets. I managed research for both products during our MVP phase. This phase led to the development of our new product, Therachat, a tool that is used by over a thousand mental health professionals to help improve client homework completion and overall outcomes.