An app centred around the theme of improving life’s worst experiences


This project looks at the experience of growing up too fast. The end-product provides users a way to improve their life experience by providing support, guidance, and progress to the user.

“Life experience” or life insight is to imply you are “experienced at life”. It is also the catalyst to growth and wisdom. Everyone encounters life experiences as it is a natural event. However, this experience can alter their life path for the best, or worst.

Growing up too fast can be a result of parental divorce, the death of a loved one, or moving home.



Create an outcome that enhances life’s’ worst experience of growing up too fast.



To create a mobile application focused on providing support, guidance and visual progress for young adults growing up too fast.



Grow is an evidence-based app created to support those who are growing up too fast.

Problem Statement

A teenager who grows up too fast needs accessible support and engaging resources that can both help prepare for adulthood and offer professional advice on how to cope.

This user has experienced a traumatic experience and as a result has impacted on their physical and cognitive wellbeing. It is important to note that the user will be exposed to adult-like experiences at an earlier age due to their brain evolving more rapidly to those at a similar age bracket. This means the user will need better support whilst maintaining a sense of their rightful age.


Initial research began with outlining the varies degrees of trauma as a worst experience. Areas of psychology, parental divorce, growing up too fast and health UX-UI interfaces theories were also gathered. The following showcases the 12 key points and how they were implemented into the app.

In addition, user research found 2 key focus areas (1) providing research around 4 topics and (2) providing a space for mentorship and support. Surveys were completed in MailChimp.


Literature and content about life experiences

Recommended resources such as books, blogs, podcasts and apps.


Provide ways to learn new things that are engaging

Gamification through myths and facts about life and its experiences.


Virtual mentors for support and encouragement

Chat functionality with experts in the field to find support services.


Goal setting for engagement and relatability

Goal setting to track progress and personalisation in the profile.


Provide ways to aid in self-help aesthetically

Intuitive and user friendly interface with organic branding.


Display memes and gifs as a coping mechanism

Increase relatability and visually convey information about life experiences.


Provide evidence-based support for credibility

The app is 100% evidence-based from users with first-hand trauma experience.


Provide ways to easily keep up with world trends

Trends section containing music, art and design, news and sports in the form of gifs.


Dedicated sections with the app based on user needs

Top 4 topics found self-care, money, life and travel are the most sought after.


Provide a way to create collective action

Avatar selection as a form of identity and community to empower each other.


Provide reflection and individual growth

Notifications of words of wisdom that provide reflection.


Connect with other like-minded individuals

Chat functionality with mentors who have lived similiar life experiences.

Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design


The brand name GROW derives from the concept “helping the individual grow and find themselves”. The design of the GROW logo showcases two different looks. The first simply shows GROW in its organic, handwritten style. The second shows GROW with a line through the 4 letters. This line angles upwards through the vertices or crossbar of each letter to signify the only way forward is to grow.

The sans serif typefaces chosen are both modern and digitally user friendly. GROW uses a gender-neutral colour palette and matches each colour to a topic. Throughout the app, organic and imperfect illustrations are used to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Each topic includes a background artwork, avatar, topic icon and individual illustrations.

Another element to the branding was the iconography. While these would not be used in a real-life application, it was an opportunity to experiment on an icon set that matched the branding aesthetic.

Gifs were created for the onboarding experience to engage and excite the user. Each gif focused on the 3 pillars, support, guidance and progress.

Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design


The impact of GROW was measured through user testing. Results showed that a 60% increase of all users felt less overwhelmed and more than 90% of users felt more confident and prepared for adulthood after using the app.

Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design


The outcome aims to provide support from experts in the field and mentors who have lived similar human experiences. With assistance in delivering guidance through recommended resources, tips and trends, grow offers a safe and transparent space to aid young adults in growing up.

The final product was prototyped in Figma.

Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design

"Grow is an evidence-based app created to support those who are growing up too fast."

Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design
Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design
Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design
Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design
Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design
Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design
Grow Mobile App UX-UI Maddy Mengel Design

Grow, Mobile app ux/ui 2020

User reviews

"I think this app is perfect. Definitely something I didn’t know I needed and certainly wish I was equipped for this when I left school."
User 1
"This app would have been great for when I had to move out of home to another city. Hard to find answers from other people who may have been in the same situation as yourself or just another personal to talk to that had an outside perspective on things.”
User 2
"I think the thing I like best about this app is that it is a one stop shop for all things adulting as opposed to just googling and hoping that what you click on would be helpful.”
User 3