Download The App

Apple store logo
Play store logo



Feb 28 2024

Building bridges between tech and mental health: Insights from a software engineer

Franklin is a software engineer and technical writer with over 5 years of experience in the software industry. In this post, we talk about his work at, how technology impacts mental health, and his thoughts on the prospects of technology.

Hello, Franklin! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Before we jump into the details, please introduce yourself. Mention your role at, your years of experience, and your strong points as a front-end developer.

My name is Franklin Okolie. I’m a software engineer and technical writer, and I’m the front-end engineering lead at I have over three years of experience in the software engineering world. My strong point as a software engineer is that I focus on user experience and accessibility. I build websites and products with awesome interfaces that give users smooth and seamless experiences.

How did you join What’s your best part of working there?

In August 2022, Oluwaseun (the CTO and co-founder of reached out to me, and we spoke extensively about his plans for and how he’s focused on making mental healthcare accessible to Nigerians at affordable prices. We also spoke about developing my skills. So, he invited me to join the team, and I did.

Working at has been an incredible experience. I’ve grown both as an engineer and as a leader. For instance, I was solely responsible for building the website and blog from scratch. I also made important decisions like SEO, mobile responsiveness, and user accessibility. The experience—and others like it—helped me hone my skills to the point where I now take on decision-making roles concerning the front-end technology of I’ve also learned to take initiative and build the discipline to see products from ground zero to 100.

Moreover, prioritizes collaboration; everyone is involved in the company’s process, and we’re always encouraged to bring our ideas to the table without fear of being shut down or ignored. also looks out for the personal and professional growth of the team. We get access to different resources to help us improve our skills.

I’ve had countless calls with Oluwaseun to review my personal development in software engineering. I’m sure every other team member can say the same.

Of all the features you’ve worked on for, which are your favorites and why?

I’ve worked on numerous features for, like the website, the blog, the team’s internal dashboard, et cetera. So far, my favorite feature—I’d rather call it a product—is the therapists’ portal. The therapists’ portal helps them communicate directly with their clients, update their bios, set pricing, and schedule availability. My best feature of the product is the real-time communication feature that allows therapists to connect with their clients via different means—video calls, audio calls, or chats.

The therapist portal is one of the toughest features I’ve ever built, and that makes it my best. It stretched me a lot—I had to do a lot of research, rewriting, and restructuring of the code, and it made me a better developer.

I  love it because it adds color to the entire black-and-white we’ve been building at from the start. It’s an intricate and integral part of We already built the blog and website and even had a store, but the therapist portal was the actual product and essence of every other feature. Through it, therapists can offer their services to users, and users can access therapy anywhere in the world. 

What do you think sets apart from other online mental health platforms, and how does frontend development contribute to its success?

First, has a simple, seamless, and straightforward sign-up process for both users and therapists. For users, booking a session is done in 4 easy steps:

  • input non-intrusive info
  • fund your wallet
  • find a therapist (choose one or get a recommendation from our therapist allocation algorithm)
  • book a session

So, if you get the app by 12:00, by 12:15, you’ve already booked a session.

For therapists, the process is simple, detailed, and straightforward as well:

  • Sign up with your info
  • Tell us about yourself
  • Upload your credentials
  • Wait for your verification process to be completed.

Also, therapy on is affordable. We have a wide range of therapists with different price ranges. For instance, there’s 3k, 5k, 10k, 20k, and even 50k per session, so users can go on the app and choose what they can afford—and all offer the same high-quality mental healthcare.

Moreso, categorizes therapists. We have therapists that specialize in trauma, marriage counseling, substance abuse, depression, personality disorders, anxiety, et cetera, and we group them so it’ll be easy for users to choose therapists that align with their needs.

So, how does frontend contribute? Front-end development lets users and therapists sign up seamlessly and make transactions without hassles. The front-end also helps therapists manage their profiles, clients, and availability. These things won’t be possible without the work of the front-end engineers. 

Can you walk me through a recent project you worked on at What challenges did you face while working on that project, and how did you overcome them?

It’s not complete yet, so I’ll just call it a feature because it’s not new. The project is making the website more descriptive and accessible to the therapists, from sign-up to everything on the dashboard. We’re adding descriptive flows, error messages, and labels. 

One of the challenges I face is having to think like a user. It’s just like a civil engineer building a bridge or house. When he draws the plan, he already knows where all the rooms will be, but it won’t make sense to anyone else. So, I have to take many steps back and think like a user who doesn’t understand the technicalities I’d get as a developer.

Is there anyone you look up to in the front-end development space?

I look up to many people in the front-end development space, like Josh Comeau (I’ve never seen anyone as good as him in CSS). Evan You (his JavaScript framework is amazing), and Tanner Linsley (his open-source library portfolio is insane.) They inspire me so much.

There’s also Dan Abramov (he works with React at Meta) and DHH—his name is a mouthful, so I’ll just use his initials. I want to write quality code like them.

Segun Adebayo also inspires me deeply. He’s a Nigerian developer who built the open source project in Africa, and it’s recognized in the global engineering space. His achievements make me see all the possibilities that exist in the engineering space. The interesting thing about Segun Adebayo is that he used to be a designer. He switched to software engineering to build a project and is now one of the best in the field. That is mindblowing.

Outside work, what do you do for fun?

I play a lot of video games. I also read a lot; I write tech articles, so I read a lot of tech articles, fiction, nonfiction, and the likes. I enjoy movies, too. You can list 20 movies created between 2000 and now; I’ve watched 15 of them. I love movies that much.

In your opinion, what role can technology play in improving mental health awareness and treatment?

Well, technology is a double-edged sword: it can be used to destroy peoples’ mental health; it can also be used to improve and repair their mental well-being. How? By creating helpful platforms and programs amplified by technology.

For example, a degrading post on Instagram targets a particular set of people and affects their mental wellness. The same technology used to make hateful comments can be used to say words of affirmation, spread accurate information, recommend therapists, and encourage positivity.

It’s what is doing; we’ve used technology to create a safe space for people. We’ve created a platform where people can communicate in real time with therapists in a safe, encrypted space. So, ultimately, technology plays a vital role in improving mental health.

How do you incorporate user feedback and testing into your front-end development process?

There are different kinds of feedback: Improvement feedback— a user wants a particular feature; Corrective feedback—a user thinks you didn’t make a feature properly and wants it a certain way, so we do all we can to block the need for users to give us corrective feedback.

We do this by going through thorough testing for every feature or product. We start testing right from the development stage, then submit it to the CTO or code reviewer to test it. Then, we ship it to a development server to check if it works well. If it does, we ship it to users. 

Then, we accept user feedback and treat them accordingly, depending on the bulk of work required. If the feedback is urgent and of high priority, we do it immediately. If it would take a week or 2, work on it and revert when it’s done. That’s how we incorporate feedback in our front-end development process.

How important is accessibility in front-end development, particularly in the context of mental health services like those provided by

Accessibility is an integral part of any website, so you can’t make products that can only be used by people with mouses or keyboards; you must build your product to accommodate everyone. For instance, deaf people should be able to see transcripts, and blind people should be able to use screen readers to access your product.

In the context of mental health, your website has to be as accommodating as possible, as accessibility starts from the words. So, the words on your site have to carry a warm, welcoming aura that make users feel secure in your product.

What are your thoughts on integrating artificial intelligence into mental health applications?

AI is an interesting piece of technology. It can be very useful, but it has a limited capacity to handle mental health. No matter how much AI is configured, it has no emotions or warmth to offer users, so the lack of humanity will be telling. So, it should be used sparingly or for specific tasks. For instance, at, we can use AI to recommend therapists to users based on their specific needs. Since it also gives generic answers, it can be used to create a chatbot to answer users’ questions.

In essence, AI is great, but it can’t be used as the main asset of mental health applications; it can assist therapists and users.

What technological advancements in software development do you find most exciting or promising?

Thank you very much for this question. I look forward to the integration of AI into software development and how the web will change. I also look forward to advancements in Virtual Reality and Alternate Reality.

Apple released the Apple Vision Pro, and I think it’s a taste of the exciting technological advancements in the future. 

I think AR and VR will change the way we see the world. For instance, they can enhance travel—you can wear a headset and take a meeting anywhere in the world without leaving your house. They’ll make education enjoyable, too—imagine students learning about the solar system and being able to see it in real-time. Medicine will change a lot as well; doctors will be able to see through your body without needing to use an X-ray or cut you open. I’m really excited about how technology will evolve and develop the world as we know it.

Share this post


More Than Just An App; It's A Companion.

There are no limits with the mobile app by your side. Get access to features delicately designed for improving your mental health on the go. It's therapy in your pocket!

Apple store imagePlay store image