McMaster University | JoyPop

JoyPop is a mobile platform designed to improve mental health research and treatment. Spearheaded by McMaster University's Department of Health Sciences, the solution helps researchers and youth engage, connect, and learn to better understand and treat mental health.

We helped McMaster translate its vision of resiliency training into an engaging mobile experience, bridging academic research and mobile best practices to create an intuitive, user-focused solution for iOS.

Client Challenge

McMaster University is a public university located in Hamilton, Ontario. It’s Department of Health Sciences had an abundance of research underlying the concept of “resilience”, and how to improve it in people who have experienced adversity. They approached Clearbridge to help translate their vision of improving mental resilience in vulnerable populations by reaching them where they are active - on their smartphones.

Translate academic research on mental resilience into engaging and effective app features

Incorporate pedagogical concepts like cognitive organizing into a mobile experience

Establish and develop a secure cloud-based data storage system

Build for a dual user base – end users in vulnerable populations and mental health researchers

Support McMaster's goal to design, develop, test, and evaluate trauma intervention methods



Clearbridge and McMaster University underwent an intensive five-day Design and Discovery session to help distill the concept of resiliency training into an engaging mobile experience. Employing design thinking principles, the session delivered a thorough understanding of product goals, prioritized product features that would best resonate with McMaster’s users, and a clickable app prototype. The Design and Discovery session produced deliverables including the initial app visualization, user journeys, wireframes, and a prioritized product roadmap to set the foundation for development.

Using the foundation created in the Design and Discovery session, we developed JoyPop for iOS – an intuitive and engaging mobile experience designed to help users build and improve their mental resilience through a set of activities, games, and reflection all facilitated via JoyPop.

Product Discovery

UX/UI Design

iOS Development

“I’m pleased with the level to which Clearbridge delivered what we wanted: a simple, intuitive, and engaging product…When I give presentations at conferences and workshops, the international community (and especially the students) want to talk about the app. Individuals who’ve designed other kinds of trauma intervention solutions and worked one-on-one with youth have been impressed with our app’s look, flow between features, and safety measures.”

Dr. Christine Wekerle,
McMaster University

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