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Naluri Companions (2)
Naluri6 min read

Naluri Companions: A Guide to Empathetic Design Systems

Given that technology plays a prominent role in our daily lives, there is a unique opportunity to embrace empathy-driven principles to create digital experiences that foster a deeper understanding of the importance of health and holistic wellbeing. And that’s what Naluri aims to achieve with the brand refresh, including an update on the logo and colours and introducing the Naluri Companions into our design system.

As a leading digital healthcare provider in Southeast Asia, we aim for our product ecosystem to not only create sustainable behaviour change and lifestyle modification but also to kickstart a virtuous cycle that sparks meaningful impact in the lives of our members.


The Naluri 4.0 launch

As part of the Naluri 4.0 launch, we have unveiled the first phase of the latest design system that aims to be:

  • Clean: Our redefined experience anchors on intuitive signposting and strategic implementation of content to ensure ease of use, and clutter-free navigation, without overwhelming members.
  • United: Our information architecture is purposefully designed to seamlessly integrate elements, including dynamic additions like Naluri Companions, and create a unified wellness ecosystem  
  • Scalable: Built upon a foundation of adaptability and modularity, our design is meant to seamlessly accommodate a wide range of services without compromising the consistent and seamless experience for members across different offerings.

The Naluri Companions

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Introducing the Naluri Companions - a (growing) family of companions who will be at the centre of how we communicate with our members.

Through the use of personification and non-human characters in our design system, these colour and playful shapes that lack specific defining features are versatile and relatable to a wider audience. They offer a non-threatening and approachable representation that can effectively communicate complex health concepts and navigate sensitive subjects like mental health without reinforcing stereotypes or perpetuating stigmas.

With each companion representing specific health aspects, the Naluri Companions are ready to guide you to a better version of yourself!


Meet the Naluri Companions

Naluri Companions - Nano-Aug-14-2023-03-04-46-6750-AM


Meet Nano, your intuitive and cherished companion on your wellness journey. With an unwavering belief in the power of a holistic approach to healthcare, Nano is here to make a difference in your life.

Through a beautiful blend of multidisciplinary techniques, this warm-hearted companion crafts personalised recommendations to keep you motivated and closer to your health goals. As Nano’s mission is to empower you to take the reign of your health journey, get ready to embark on an exciting adventure towards a happier and healthier you!

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Meet Luna, your compassionate companion for emotional growth and serenity. Always ready to lend unwavering support during tough times, this companion is here to create a safe haven for you.

Endorsing an empathetic nature and soothing presence, Luna offers a listening ear and a comforting shoulder to lean on whenever life throws challenges. A firm believer in personal growth and resilience, Luna wants to help you cultivate inner strength and find your way through life’s obstacles, empowering you to embrace your journey with renewed confidence and determination.

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Meet Luca, your healthcare companion devoted to prioritising physical wellness and nurturing vitality. Energetic and full of life, Luca encourages you to embrace an active lifestyle with joy and determination.

As there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness, Luca is here to help you make informed decisions about your health, tailoring each approach to your personalised needs. With this trustworthy companion by your side, you can rest assured that you’re on the path to a healthier and happier you!

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Meet Nadi, your savvy and wise companion dedicated to unlocking your full potential. This trustworthy and knowledgeable companion stands as your unwavering companion on the path to excellence.

Nadi offers invaluable mentorship and trustworthy advice, empowering you through your journey with sincerity and wisdom. With Nadi by your side, you can make informed decisions and gain newfound confidence and clarity to tackle challenges, learn, and grow.

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Meet Rico, your lively and dependable companion in your quest for self-improvement and a healthier lifestyle. This companion exudes boundless confidence, empowering challenges and cultivating long-lasting healthy habits.

Rico's unwavering support and infectious enthusiasm propel you forward, transforming the journey of growth into an exciting adventure. With Rico, you’re not just setting goals – you’re surpassing them, one inspiring stride at a time.


Humanising health concepts

At the core of an impactful design system lies the ability to humanise health concepts through personification. By giving health-related elements non-human characters with relatable traits, we break down the barriers of jargon and complexity. Health issues, particularly mental health, often carry social stigma. Characters can act as allies, guiding members through discussions about mental health and dispelling misconceptions that may contribute to the stigma. This approach creates a safe and non-threatening space for members to explore health and wellbeing concerns.

One notable example is Sesame Street, which introduced a puppet character named Karli in 2019. Karli’s mother struggles with addiction, and through her story, the show talks about the effects of addiction on families, trauma, and the importance of seeking help. The goal was to destigmatise these experiences for children in similar situations, making Sesame Street an effective tool in promoting mental health awareness and education.

In a slightly different vein, pharmaceutical company Roche launched an animation-led campaign for depression drug Zoloft in the early 2000s. The central character was a sad, blob-like creature that became happier over the course of the ads. The approach was seen as a less intimidating and more approachable way of discussing a severe mental health issue, and the campaign has been credited with helping to reduce some of the stigma surrounding antidepressant use.

Both these examples used characters and storytelling to create empathy and understanding. By putting a friendly, non-threatening face to mental health issues, these initiatives have contributed to ongoing efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.


Encouraging positive behaviour change through connection, education, and awareness

Non-human characters can be educators, providing members with valuable information about health conditions, symptoms, and available support and resources. By making health knowledge more accessible, members can become more informed advocates for their well-being and that of others.

Additionally, gamification elements, such as using characters as virtual companions, can motivate members to stick to healthy habits and maintain their wellbeing routines. Whether it’s a character celebrating exercise milestones or reminding members to take breaks for mental rejuvenation, these characters can be a reliable source of encouragement.

For example, the "5 A Day" campaign was launched in 2003 by the Department of Health, United Kingdom, to combat rising obesity and diet-related health issues. The campaign used animated characters called “Fruit and Veggie Pals”, which were colourful, friendly fruits and vegetables with distinctive personalities and voices.

As each Fruit and Veggie Pal represented a specific fruit or vegetable, they all had their unique message about the health benefits of consuming them regularly. The “Fruit and Veggie Pals” campaign helped break down barriers to healthy eating, especially among children and contributed to increased awareness and positive behavioural changes in the population. Over the last two decades, the campaign’s enduring presence and impact demonstrate the effectiveness of using non-human characters or animations to promote healthy behaviours.


The Naluri difference

By infusing empathy-driven principles into our design systems, we aim to humanise health concepts, foster emotional connections, address stigma, promote education, and encourage positive behaviour change. Moreover, embracing inclusivity ensures that these digital experiences resonate with all members, regardless of their backgrounds.

Download or update your Naluri App via the App Store or Google Play, or experience Naluri Web!