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MindMax aims to help you “build and strengthen a resilient mind”. There are four main sections of the home page: ‘Train’, ‘Share’, ‘Play’, and ‘Me’. ‘Train’ allows you to choose training sessions with objectives such as building resilience and wellbeing. There are five training sessions available that the user can complete in any order. ‘Share’ opens a community forum where you can share any of your achievements or thoughts with other MindMax community members. Each time that you complete a training session or share in the community forum, you earn “footies”. Footies unlock access to games in the ‘Play’ section. ‘Me’ allows you to update your avatar, personal settings or privacy settings. MindMax was developed by the Australian Football League with funding from the Movember Foundation, a non-profit which looks at mental health through a male lens, focusing on prevention, early intervention, and health promotion.
Available for: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Android 4.1 or later
Developer: AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYER’S ASSOCIATION INC.
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Principles, Mindfulness
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Stress and Anxiety
Target Audience: Adults, Males
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play
“This naturalistic trial aimed to investigate whether MindMax would be associated with improved wellbeing, resilience, and help-seeking. Data was collected from 279 participants (55.9% female; 41.9% male). These participants were directed to download MindMax and create an account and use it as they wished. Surveys that measured wellbeing, resilience, and help-seeking were taken at day 1, day 30, day 60, day 90, and the close of the study, however this report mainly focused on the first two main points (Day 1 and Day 30). It was found that use of MindMax over a 30 day period resulted in positive changes in wellbeing, resilience, and help-seeking intentions. (Cheng, Vanessa Wan Sze, et al. 2020. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214782918300836)
One study sought to find the best way to structure and present the app MindMax. Doing this was done through six participatory design workshops to involve stakeholders within the design and development cycle of the app. In addition, further user experience testing interviews were done on MindMax prototypes, two before the app launch and one after. A total of 40 people participated in the workshops (25 male and 15 female) and 15 for the interviews (10 male and 5 female). It was found that people showed a preference towards activities that required practicing useful skills through active engagement. Participants also preferred an app where they could customize their own app experience. (Cheng, V. W. S., Davenport, T. A., Johnson, D., Vella, K., Mitchell, J., & Hickie, I. B. 2018. https://mental.jmir.org/2018/4/e11068/)
Another study aimed to report on the design of MindMax as well as provide an evaluation of the impact on users. The design process was done through participatory design workshops in Australian capital cities: Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney. Most of the feedback stated if users are to be continually engaged rewards are required in assisting that goal. Participants continued on by saying that gaming could be used as a reward in of itself to motivate engagement in users. In addition, qualitative findings suggest that further promoting social integration within the app will create more meaningful engagement. (Vella, K., Johnson, D., Peever, N., Cheng, V., Davenport, T., & Mitchell, J. 2017. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2055/paper3.pdf)
This research compiles past papers to describe the phases of research that were involved in developing and evaluating MindMax. The phases being: (1) participatory design workshops, (2) user acceptance testing interviews, and (3) a five-month naturalistic evaluation trial. The first two phases informed the development of the app by emphasizing the importance of simple but visually interesting layouts, clear and understandable levels of visual feedback, and implementing in good gaming mechanics. Further principles include: frequent content updates, events, competitions, a personalized user experience, and digital rewards (e.g. avatar clothing, hairstyles, etc.). Phase 3 is still in progress but is expected to provide knowledge of whether or not these principles are positively affecting users. (Cheng, V. W. S. 2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320437838_Studying_the_Effectiveness_of_Game-Based_Solutions_in_a_Wellbeing_App)
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