WEconnect Recovery


Senior Product Designer / UX Lead


WEconnect Recovery




WEconnect Recovery is a healthcare technology startup focused on solving the biggest public health crisis of our time: addiction. Using technology to tackle one of society's most pressing issues, WEconnect is a Seattle based startup designed to help people who are in recovery from substance abuse disorder by improving their relationship with drugs and alcohol. Applied to substance use disorder, this progress-rewarding app can helps positive behavioral change for people recovering from addiction

Here's a short animation I created in After Effects to help explain the WEconnect app.

“The WEconnect app leverages data for improved outcomes, and has helped thousands of patients stay in recovery. Our mission is to save lives, and I’m proud our team is doing that every day.”


Reward your recovery

The WEconnect app rewards you for staying accountable for your recovery. You can use it to track your healthcare appointments and the healthy activities you do every day, like meditating, attending support meetings, or journaling. By following through with those activities, you earn gift cards. In addition, members earn rewards for their hard work by creating a recovery plan and following through with healthy daily routines. This positive reinforcement helps keep members motivated and on track in their recovery.

The Problem

Addiction is the largest public health crisis of our time. 23 million individuals seek treatment yearly, but only 3.1 million people get treatment. And even with treatment, a staggering 85% of patients relapse after treatment in the first year. After treatment, people are left with little to no guidance on navigating their world with drugs and alcohol. Also, with pandemic restrictions from COVID-19, the CDC saw an increase in individuals with SUDs, with 40% of U.S. adults reporting mental health symptoms or having started or increased substance use to cope.


The first step for me was to lead numerous user interviews with individuals in recovery to better understand SUD.I quickly understood that everyone's path to recovery is different. I also found out that one of the best tools for healing is the feeling of connection with people and also replacing bad habits with good ones.

I compiled all my data and created user persona's and then journey mapped someone's path from addiction to treatment to aftercare.


The idea behind the app was to create a supportive community and incentives for people in drug and alcohol recovery treatment to prevent relapses. Like many startups, WEconnect was pondering out what features were important and how to best get there.

There was a specific focus on the user's in the first few months of recovery because it's the most critical time in a person's recovery. So first, we mapped out an experience via Miro and then pitched a concise experience based on UX research and the data from in-depth interviews with people in recovery. We kept in mind that data showed that this target demographic has a shorter attention span and sometimes a lower reading level than the average population.

Critical features of WEconnect recovery include:

  • My Day - allows members to build and track recovery routines for support and self-care and offer suggested routines.
  • Mobile recovery support meetings - held throughout the day to accommodate every schedule, with discussions led by peer recovery support specialists who have firsthand experience and understand what members are going through
  • Specialized support meetings - for harm reduction, women, and family members supporting individuals living with a SUD and the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Recovery insights and notifications - track engagement with the app and keep members engaged and motivated.
  • Verify when members are attending physical support routines by GPS location verification.
  • Utilize contingency management and gamification to reinforce good habits

Design + Build

The heart of the app was getting new users to create new routines, check-into them, and gain motivation to continue with their recovery. The app is just a tool, but time and time again we were told that support and encouragement of people is what make people stick to their recovery.

Attending physical or online support meetings became Support routines while doing things like meditation or reading a book became Self-care routines. Finally, after extensive research into behavioral psychology on cognitive bias, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and the motivational effects of reward systems for staying on track.

Users would get timed challenges and be rewarded for completing several weekly routines. Complete enough challenges, and you will receive a gift card. 

To round out the rest of the app finally we added one-on-one Peer support. Peers are people in recovery that help user's with their recovery from someone who has personal experience dealing with addiction. Peers help members develop a recovery plan that matches their strengths, goals, and priorities, then check in regularly to offer support and cheer them on.


In a single year, we went from delivering contingency management gamification core experience and then Online MeetingsSurveysWalletMessagingInsights features, and other vital features.

  • After 6 months, 84% of surveyed members agree or strongly agree that WEconnect helps their recovery.
  • Through user research, I improved onboarding with SMS account creation leading to faster account creation by 23%
  • At month 6, surveyed members report an average 75% reduction in substance use frequency.
  • Created Ambassador Program to gain important qualitative data from our members and deliver product solutions that met core customer's needs.
  • Created and wrote Help Center with Freshdesk Integration and Nurture campaign for new members who gave additional knowledge to our members and reduced calls to customer care.
  • Won Tiger's Award 3 times for outstanding grit and the rapid pace of my work.
  • Created push notification strategy, including retargeting pushes, which helped recapture 19% of churned members.
  • But most of all, I'm proud to help thousands of people stick to their recovery and help save their lives.

To learn more visit WEconnect's website.

““I am  very thankful WEconnect contacted me right in the nick of time when I seriously needed them. When I wouldn’t have know myself how badly I would need them! Thank You So Much! 💕””