#SelfCare with Eve Thomas & Brie Code
#SelfCare, an interactive app that combines game theory and wellness, has our attention – commendable, given the plethora of wellness apps in the running today. Its creators, Eve Thomas and Brie Code, while mindful of the dangers of infinite scroll addiction, are confident of its promise: rest, recharge and realignment.
Brie is the developer, and founder of Tru Luv – a Toronto-based tech design studio, while Eve’s marketing background prepared her to write all content, ensuring that with every interaction, users truly feel a sense of care. Their collective insights make #SelfCare well worth a download, alongside gorgeous artwork, serene background music and an ad-free experience:
With all that we know about wellness apps, how is #SelfCare different?
Eve: It’s funny, when we started making #SelfCare in 2016, Brie and I had to explain what the term meant to so many people, especially in the tech world! And now, it’s Apple’s app trend of the year.
We wanted something that both reflected the emerging online self-care movement and its aesthetic, and let people participate in it themselves. In this case, your avatar never leaves bed, and the point is – that’s okay! You can use it for as long or as little as you want, and your mood lifts as you interact with objects and puzzles in the room. The sun rises, the cat starts to knead its paws, the tarot cards get more optimistic, the words become more encouraging.
Despite the upswing in wellness apps, I think we continue to stand out because of our rare overlap between people with good taste and strong technical skills, who also actually know and care about their demographic.
What problem were you hoping to solve?
Eve: I want people to open #SelfCare when they’re stressed out, use it for a while, forget why they were stressed, and close it feeling calm and refreshed. For me, it’s a nice break in that cycle of checking emails, social media platforms, texts, etc.
Brie: When I launched Tru Luv, my intention was to make video games, or something similar, with and for people who don’t like them. I know that play serves an important function in our lives – to relax, center ourselves and grow – but what the gaming industry was making didn’t work for many people. In trying to find out what that might be, we engaged with people who aren’t always considered when making either a game or wellness app.
What guided your creative process?
Eve: Throughout the process, I asked the designers and programmers what was realistic to include, and the answer always surprised me. For example, you can add a million words to the word games and it’s simple and won’t take up room. But creating the perfect, moving fur on the cat was apparently a ridiculously laborious task.
“Perhaps what’s most remarkable is what #SelfCare lacks versus other free wellness apps. Brie was clear about having no loud pop-ups, constant prompts to review the app, nor obnoxious calls for in-game purchases.”
What’s been the most valuable feedback?
Eve: As someone with a marketing background, I know how rare it is for people to reach out or leave reviews unprompted (unless they’re angry!). Seeing so many good reviews on iTunes, social media, our YouTube channel etc. has been wonderful.
Brie: The feedback ranges from, “It’s like it put me in a trance… it’s the most calming app I have!” to, “I feel the little avatar’s looking out for me as much as I’m looking out for it.”
“We need to figure out how to make technology work for us. This doesn’t just mean developing better habits – it might also mean making better apps. #SelfCare is designed to be there for you when you need it but not to hold your attention for longer than to relax you.”