Goodness repository for mental resilience

my role
User Research
UI  & UX Design
Google Forms
time frame
36 Hour Hackathon (Jan 2021)
Team members
Me — Design, UX Research, Branding
Kun Zhu — Market Research, Video Editing
Sidney Li — Developer
Don L. — Developer
at a glance


COVID lockdowns have brought adverse emotional and mental health stress to post-secondary students studying remotely. Numerous studies have proven that prolonged isolation has damaging impacts on both mindset and confidence levels.

For the hackathon, my team decided to build a "goodness repository" to remind people of the small joys they find in their everyday lives.

My contributions

As the main designer on the team, I was responsible for UX research, UI & UX design. My teammate, Kun led the market research and helped me analyze our user research results. I carried out the rest of the design process through prototyping in Figma.

Design Challenge

How might we help student reflect on their emotional well-being & build mental resilience during social isolation?

Competitor Analysis

What's out there?

Kun & I examined existing apps for intrapersonal reflection, comparing and contrasting their features. The majority of the available competitors had a similar pattern of breaking up deep reflective periods into twitter-like bursts.

Dissatisfied with the options, we wanted to offer a more guided approach to self-reflection that empowered users by providing personal insights to help break negative thought patterns.

Examples of the existing apps analyzed

User research

Listening to the users

To gather a round of general feedback on our idea, I opted for a survey to help clarify the existing habits and pain points experienced by our user demographic. The questions below are a copy of the questions I formulated.

Research findings

Key Insights

4 out of 5 users felt emotionally & mentally drained

80% of the participants reported feeling lonely, stagnant, and energetically drained.

"I don't know where to start"

Numerous users reported feeling "overwhelmed" or "unsure" regarding how to start a journaling routine.

Feeling trapped & tangled

Participants also reported struggling with feeling trapped inside their homes, with no productive method to help sort through their tangled thoughts.



Based on the user data collected from 16 participants, I created a persona to define our demographic and pinpoint our project direction. This was a crucial step in compiling my survey data into usable insights that determined the development of the features later on.

Features development

Upon our analysis of the research results, my team gathered to brainstorm a list of features in helping users to resolve their pain points. While we were clear on the issue at hand, I needed to develop a series of interactions that can provide relief for the user. Some ideas we played with included emotional labeling, daily gratitude, moments with friends, etc...


After confirming the final flowchart, I pieced together features that built the most intuitive userflow. The MVP was strategized down to 3 main features (as visualized by the branches shown below):

Emotion tags

Labelling emotions have been statistically proven to help mitigate negative emotions. The act of identifying their emotions enables users in piecing together scattered thoughts and build a coherent personal narrative, increasing their sense of control amidst trying times.

Journal prompts

Prompts are available from the homepage to enter guided introspection sessions. Users are encouraged to write out their thoughts and uncover deeper patterns through a series of guiding questions.

Find it in the Archive

Posts can be readily accessed for users to reminisce past memories in customizable folders. The Emotion Tags also act as a search method in categorizing previous memories based on their tags.

Design time

Wireframes to prototype

I consolidated the user requirements into feasible wireframes that supported the end-to-end user journey. After confirming final design decisions with my teammates, I made iterations from low-fidelity to finished mockups.

Experimentation with different layouts & display animations
Rough wireframe/sitemap hybrid
Final high-fidelity prototype

Which shade of green should we choose? 

A soothing monochromatic colour palette was chosen to align with the intention of the app. Noto Serif and Inter were good for simplicity and legibility, helping to reduce fatigue over long paragraphs of written text.

give it a go

Final designs

In the last hours of the competition, I cleaned up our final mockup.
Click the button below for a better look: 

View Prototype
A look back...


Importance of user research

Initially, we had real trouble framing the problem, it seemed like we had to solve for everything. It was only through our user survey that we were able to determine the most pressing problems encountered by our demographic. We had good ideas bubbling from our drafts but I was able to collect real data that provided live insights and set our project direction on the right path.

Working with diverse roles in teams

Due to the 24-hour time limit, it became crucial to distribute tasks effectively so that we developed the product to meet all the deliverables.

Despite not knowing any of them prior to the competition, through determining our individual specialties we were able to norm into a team and work harmoniously with each other. We were clear on our role division and offered key insights concerning each of our respective domains which productively shaped the product development process.

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