The Healing

Cultivating a Digital Wellbeing 


Holistic Wellness Mental Health Community Building


User Research
UX Design 
Product Design


Design Ops Lead                                              Sr. Product Designer  



The Healing Chi was born from a profound recognition of the mental health challenges Black men faced, especially amidst the tumult of 2020. This initiative not only aimed to provide a reservoir of resources but to also cultivate genuine connections and community for Black men globally. Amid an oversaturated Wellness digital landscape, the task was to create an online sanctuary that echoed the essence of The Healing Chi while catering to the unique and evolving needs of Black men globally.


As the globe grappled with the sorrowful demise of basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the underbelly of systemic racism became starkly evident. The tragic losses of Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd became emblematic of this disturbing reality. The confines of pandemic lockdowns amplified collective grief and introspection.

Amid this turbulence, Andrew Smith and Tristan Lewis discerned the profound resonance of these events among their peers. A pressing need to address not only contemporary traumas but also those echoing from the past culminated in the birth of 'The Healing'. Beginning as an intimate weekly yoga congregation, it swiftly evolved into a beacon of hope - a nonprofit sanctuary dedicated to the holistic wellness journey of Black and Brown men in Chicago.


The expansive digital wellness realm was our oyster. Yet, the goal was not just to add another digital entity but to sculpt a virtual haven. Through a rigorous regimen of interviews, surveys, and immersive user sessions, a pivotal truth emerged: Black men sought more than mere information; they longed for a genuine connection, guidance, a community, and a tangible sense of belonging.


Target Audience

Black Men across the globe, focusing primarily on young to middle-aged adults. The Healing Chi's digital platform is designed to be inclusive, appealing to those at different stages of their mental wellness journey. Whether a newcomer seeking introductory resources or someone more advanced seeking community support and advanced tools, the platform serves their diverse needs.

  • Age: Millz (13-26), Millennials (28-40)
  • Gender: Male.
  • Ethnicity: Black and Brown.
  • Location: Chicago & Washington D.C.


  • Blacks with clinical signs of anxiety or depression (1.4MM)
  • Blacks living below the poverty level - 2X More Distressed -As compared to those twicethe poverty level
  • 2018: The death rate from suicide for black men was four times greater than for African American women
  • 2019: Suicide was the second leading cause of death for blacks or African Americans, ages 15 to 24
  • 2022: Black male suicide rising faster than any other racial groups

Behavioral Insights

  • Actively seeking wellness and mental health resources.
  • Prioritize genuine, trustworthy platforms.
  • Seek community connection.

Understanding the User

To grasp the depth of our task, we delved deep into the vast realm of digital wellness platforms. Beyond merely crafting another website, our goal was to create a digital haven. Through interviews, surveys, and immersive user testing sessions with 13 vital participants, a pivotal realization surfaced. Black Men weren't just seeking information; they yearned for connection, guidance, a nurturing community, and a profound sense of belonging.


A mentor, guide, and pillar of inspiration in The Healing community 

  • Inspiring: His story and actions motivate others to embark on their healing journey.
  • Wise: His experiences have endowed him with wisdom which he generously imparts.
  • Self-Aware: Recognizes his strengths and weaknesses and works continuously on self-improvement.
  • Emotionally Intelligent: Can navigate complex emotions and is empathetic towards others.
  • Confident: Firm in his beliefs and actions, he instills confidence in those around him.
  • Trustworthy: Reliable and genuine, he's someone you can confide in.
  • Approachable Cool: While he exudes an aura of wisdom, he remains relatable and approachable, making him an ideal mentor figure.
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From community building to partnership endeavors, The Healing continues to expand its outreach, ensuring that more Black and Brown men have access to the resources and support they need. Through its various programs, The Healing provides a platform for members, including The Enlightened Big Bro, to connect, share, and grow together.

Armed with our insights, we distilled our mission

"Design an interactive web space that resonates as a sanctuary for the mental well-being of Black Men."


Persona Archetype: The Enlightened Big Bro

The Enlightened Big Bro is not just a mentor but a figure of inspiration in the community. He has journeyed through life's highs and lows, emerging wiser, more self-aware, and emotionally intelligent. He doesn't just preach; he practices what he believes in.

Role Within the Healing

  • Serving as mentors and guides for newcomers.
  • Leading discussions, workshops, and sharing personal stories to inspire and educate.
  • Acting as community ambassadors, representing the values and mission of The Healing.


The Enlighten Big Bro wants a safe space community with access to self-care resources so they can have social support and guidance as they work towards their health and wellness goals.

The Healing has created a community for Black and Brown men that actively fosters experiences designed to fuel healing on an emotional and physical level through the practice of yoga but wants to become more scalable through funding to provide more resources so they can continue to elevate their members and community.


Strategic Highlights and Features

Our design journey intricately wove user feedback with innovative creativity. As initial wireframes transitioned into high-fidelity prototypes, user-centricity remained our compass. Feedback became our guiding light, illuminating navigational enhancements, feature inclusions, and content tailoring.

  • Safe Space: A zone offering immediate assistance and counseling.
  • Community Hub: Encouraging users to share stories, experiences, and form connections.
  • Resource Center: A rich library with vlogs, interactive stories, voice-optimized articles, and more.
  • Empowerment Portal: Celebrating community successes and providing avenues for involvement.
  • Connectivity: Bridges users with professionals in the mental health sector.

Design Iterations:

In our effort to assess the usability of The Healing digital platform prototype, we conducted an unmoderated usability test using Maze with a total of 8 participants, 2 of whom were already familiar with The Healing. Participants were tasked with two main objectives: first, to find information about The Healing, and second, to discover future events.

Our prototype was designed as a one-page continuous scroll, which presented a slight learning curve for users. Remarkably, 50% of participants found this navigation style very easy to use. However, it's worth noting that two users encountered difficulties, potentially due to technical constraints preventing the creation of a true continuous scroll within Figma, resulting in a series of clicks instead.

Crafting the Final Solution

Our designs and user pathways channeled the persona of "The Enlightened Big Bro", ensuring the platform exuded attributes of wisdom, emotional intelligence, trustworthiness, and approachable charisma, resonating deeply with our core audience.

The Ask and The Solution Revisited


In the vast tapestry of the digital realm, The Healing now stands out as a luminous patch, guiding Black Men towards a brighter, mentally healthier future. By integrating user feedback and leveraging the latest design principles, our team meticulously crafted an intuitive and engaging digital space. The Healing's online platform serves as a beacon of hope, fostering genuine connections and delivering essential resources to a community in need.

The holistic design approach prioritized user accessibility, ensuring that the platform remains inclusive and supportive for individuals at every stage of their healing journey. Our solution was not just a website; it represented a comprehensive digital ecosystem that seamlessly combined information, interaction, and community engagement, amplifying the impact of The Healing's mission.


Preparing for Handoff:


Our team has meticulously documented all aspects of the design and development process, ensuring that the transition to the next stage is seamless and efficient. Detailed guidelines, including design specifications, style guides, and coding documentation, are being compiled to facilitate a smooth transfer of responsibilities.

In addition, we conducted a workshop for the internal team, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and tools to maintain and evolve the platform in the future. The handoff process is being carefully orchestrated to ensure that The Healing's digital space continues to thrive and serve as a beacon of hope and healing for the Black Men community worldwide.


Every journey has its challenges. Managing a constrained budget, juggling between teams, and ensuring timely delivery often tested our resolve. Yet, the passion and commitment of everyone involved, from board members to designers, fueled our journey. The culmination was a platform that stands testament to what dedication, collaboration, and user-centric design can achieve.

My Personal Journey


Leading this project was both an honor and a challenge. As the product lead, my journey spanned from curating product documentation, managing the design team, overseeing development, and ensuring every stakeholder's vision was honored. The experience was humbling, teaching me the value of collaboration, resilience, and the profound impact of empathetic design.


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