Mood Patterns - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

Yes, I had some prior experience coding but no formal development education.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

Finding time to do it. I started with this app while I finished my doctoral degree, and my wife and I had our first child.

I was born 1980 in Austria. After high school, I worked as a paramedic to finance my study of psychology. Currently, I work as a data scientist in the industry and as a post-doctoral researcher in the field of occupational health psychology. In my free time, I enjoy being with my family, skateboarding and developing apps (like Mood Patterns).

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

Run an Empire: Great gamification of running/walking

Yoga Dog Down: IMO, the best mobile yoga app

Podcast Addict: great pod player

Egao: This is one of my own, so I am biased, but it prompts me to smile and this minimal intervention improves my mood.

How long have you been working on this app?

I cannot quantify it in hours. Hundreds, if not thousands, over the years. It is my most beloved hobby.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

As a psychologist, I know that measuring and tracking are necessary to (evaluate) change. Mood Patterns helps the users do that with their feelings in a scientific manner called experience sampling. Further, as this data is sensitive, the app has no internet access to uphold the users' need for privacy.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

1- I believe it is the only mood tracker that uses experience sampling for data collection. Instead of asking you at the end of the day to summarize how you have felt in the previous hours, it asks at random times how you feel exactly at that moment. This allows capturing change over the day and avoids bias by more salient experiences that overshadow everything else that has happened.

2- It has no internet connection; your data is only locally on your device and is encrypted. You don't need to trust me with your data or trust that I never get hacked and it gets stolen. The app will keep your data secure and private. And as a bonus: since it has no internet, it cannot show ads.

3- It is very data-centric. Originally, I built the app for myself, and I am a data guy. It has many ways to slice and dice the data and look at it from different angles. Further, you can export all the raw data.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

Integration of sensor data from wearables. Especially the sleep capturing and evaluation will hopefully get more love from me in the future.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

Take your time to explore the app and click the question marks at the top left of its pages to get short intros. The app has many features and can be a powerful tool. Unfortunately, this comes at the price of some complexity. But I am always happy to help at [email protected]. And if you like the app, please rate it and spread the word.

Thank you!

Mood Patterns

About App:

Gain insights into your feelings
A mood journal or mood diary is a great way to keep a record of your feelings, but Mood Patterns can do much more for you. It is not just a mood tracker but links how you feel, to your location, company, and activity as well as to how you slept and to recent events in your life. Use it to explore the patterns in your mood.

Capture how you feel in your daily life
Classical diaries have one major flaw - they are subject to recall bias. Some activities in our lives are more salient than others. We remember them better and more vividly and therefore often believe they take a larger part of each day than they do. However, for most of us, routines fill the largest part of our daily life, and those are often overlooked in diaries.

To capture all parts of your life that matter Mood Patterns uses a technique of the social sciences: ecological momentary assessment also known as experience sampling.

You are unique
Where we go, who we meet, and what we do is individual. With Mood Patterns, you do not have to choose from a fixed set of categories but can tailor your options to your personal needs. Be as nuanced as you like in configuring places, people, and activities.

Your data is yours
How you feel is sensitive private data. We believe it should not be carelessly entrusted to anybody. Mood Patterns does not request Internet permission, therefore no data transfer in the background without your knowledge is possible. Mood Patterns will not send us or anybody else your data.

Your data is safe
Denying Mood Patterns Internet access frees you from the need to trust us, but what about others? An app lock assures that only you can use your Mood Patterns app. To prevent that the app lock is bypassed by connecting your mobile phone to a PC, all data is 256-bit AES encrypted. Unfortunately, there is no 100% safety, but Mood Patterns makes it hard to get your data without your consent.

General Features
* usable as a mood tracker, mood diary, and mood journal
* further application fields: symptom tracker and sleep journal
* avoid recall bias with experience sampling
* as many surveys per day as you like
* 30 predefined mood scales
* 30 fully customizable scales

* customizable additionally data:
- places - people - activities - factors - sleep - events - phone usage

* set alerts to be notified if your mood level or variation changes
* get associations between mood and additional data
* explore mood before and after an event
* surveys can include notes
* markdown formatting of notes
* see data in beautiful, zoomable graphs
* export graphs
* export data
* light and dark theme

Security Features
* NO internet connection
* App lock (with fingerprint)
* encryption of stored data

Categories: Health & Fitness

Date: February 20, 2023

Developer: Dr. Bernhard Piskernik

About developer: I was born 1980 in Austria. After high school, I worked as a paramedic ... Read more



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