By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications

For many people facing melanoma, finding someone who is going through — or has gone through — a similar journey, can be a big source of comfort. Just knowing that someone else is being treated at the same cancer center, or is taking the same medication as you, can make it easier to let your guard down and to talk candidly about what is happening in your life.  

Understanding this, we launched our own online community, the Melanoma > Exchange, in partnership with Inspire in late 2017. Since then, with more than 2,300 members, the community has become a thriving place where people affected by melanoma can ask questions, get support, and build community. 

And now, with the launch of the brand-new Inspire App, the Melanoma > Exchange community is getting even better. Available for iPhone and iPad — the app was designed from the ground up to make connecting and sharing even easier and as mobile as you are. 

“Life doesn’t always happen when you have a keyboard handy,” says Lizz Sommerfield, director of member product at Inspire. “Maybe you are in a waiting room or in line at the grocery store when you think of a question — with the app, you can now access the power of Inspire from your phone.”

The app also brings new features that aren’t possible on your computer. For example, using the app, the moment that someone replies to your post or sends you a message, you’ll get a notification. “With one click, you are there,” says Lizz.

“We did a lot of user testing to make sure that the app was as friendly as possible. I may be an engineer, but I also have a background in psychology and have focused my career on improving the way people interact with computers,” says Lizz. “With the app — you’ll see big buttons, clear labels, and an intuitive layout that we hope makes sense to all users.”

“We’ll be making changes and adding features based on user feedback; so if something doesn’t work for you — please let us know using the contact us section of the app or on our website,” says Lizz. “Your feedback will go directly to the team responsible for the app’s development — and we really look forward to hearing what’s working, or what needs more attention.” 

The app, and the many lessons learned through its development, will also help inform future improvements to the Inspire website and the Melanoma > Exchange community. “The internet has really changed in the last 15 years, and we want to keep improving with it,” says Lizz.

“Finding someone like you — who has gone through what you have — that matters. We are excited to make that even easier.”

This post was originally published by the Melanoma Research Alliance. It is republished with permission.