Curing stress with laughter one answer at a time
UX and product designer
Collaborated with three teammates
Client / Duration
School Project / 5 weeks
How can we redesign the Magic 8 Ball to help people working from home relieve stress through humor?
Before COVID struck, you were a social butterfly who enjoyed dressing up for work. Now you find yourself using the bathroom as your extended office.
If you can relate to this scenario, then know that you’re not alone.
KiA, an amusing AI companion who provides funny answers to users’ questions with the goal of alleviating stress. The app is currently under development.
The classical popularity of this toy suggests that, for many people, even receiving a simple response to one’s worries and doubts is a solace. Therefore, my team and I designed KiA to benefit from the communicative characteristic of the Magic 8 Ball.
Watch this 1.5- minutes video of the key features of the final prototype.
The prolonged physical disconnect from friends and communities has led many people to report feelings of isolation, uncertainty, among other tolls on mental health.
To evaluate how effective they are in address users' emotional needs.
Direct competitor, Ask 8, a digitalized magic 8 ball:
Indirect competitor, Woebot, similar to Ask 8, it interacts with users through Q&A.
Gather quantitative data to gain a purview into our potential user’s areas of stress as well as their existing coping strategies
I used Excel pivot tables and polynomial regressions to analyze the data.
The result revealed that people are feeling most uncertain about their financial stability and their physical health. Their main coping method is to divert their attention to other activities that required high concentration but less brain processing power.
Participants revealed challenges in user engagement with mindfulness apps and most of them preferred an App that is humorous.
Out of 114 survey participants, five people agreed to be interviewed: 2 working from home with no kid, 1 working from home with kids, 1 essential worker, and 1 unemployed.
“There is a commitment that the apps assume of you”
Many have previously tested out or are currently infrequent users of these self-alleviating apps. However, users often abandon such Apps because they disrupted daily routines and many pressed for engagements with daily tasks which made the users feel guilty if they didn’t complete them. Moreover, a majority of them prefered an App that is humorous.
“Knowing your friends are still there...Knowing that they don’t forget you is nice”
Pain-points and opportunities
Cross-analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data to defined the pain-points that people are having.
Keisha needs an outlet to dump all these stressful questions so that she can refocus on her job and her present life.
Keisha Wright, an urban-dweller working as a marketing professional. She enjoys hanging out with her friends, taking long walks in the park, going to the beach, and trying new food.
The pandemic has disrupted her routine and social activities. She now works from home and feels uncertain about the state of her professional career. She can’t stop the little voices in her head that are asking all these “what if” questions. She needs an outlet to dump all these stressful questions so that she can refocus on her job and her present life.
The problem that Keisha might have encountered when first interacting with KiA:
New users can experience immediate benefits of the Q&A features. Returning users can also expect an increasing satisfying experience.
To address the problem statement and Keisha’s pain points, the top priority is to provide a simple and fast onboarding process so that new users can experience immediate benefits of our Q&A features.
Returning users can also expect an increasing satisfying experience each time they reopen our app because we constantly refine the accuracy of our responses. Users may also choose to spread their humor throughout the forum.
Keisha navigates the main feature “Ask KiA”.
To overcome the limitations imposed by the Magic 8 Ball’s repetitive and chance-driven answers, we incorporated AI technology.
Tests and Iterations
By time boxing the process of brainstorming, rapid prototyping, and empathy mapping, I led the way in building the UI and prototype through a Lean-like framework.
4 rounds of testing
16 total different participants
Through Crazy 8, we have identified the key elements for KiA such as the text field and answer display. We decided to skip the paper prototype as our team was collaborating virtually.
We have learned that instructions would defeat the purpose of creating an intuitive app and stressed the users.
In the first usability test, we asked the users to:
Ask KiA a question > Get an answer > Share the answer > Visit the forum > Create a post > View a thread > Comment on the thread
However, we then learned these instructions would defeat the purpose of creating an intuitive app and stressed the users because they have to perform tasks. So we scrapped our first script and went with this:
“You are getting anxious by the number of uncertainties in life; you want to divert your attention to something that helps you to alleviate this feeling.” We then ask them to explore KiA while thinking out loud.
Throughout the iterations of Ask Kia, I have discovered that:
In the Forum feature, I have learned that:
We get it. Life’s tough and your existential shoes are just too tight. KiA’s here to untie those shoelaces and throw them into the ocean.
When designing for KiA, my team and I are committed to provide an experience that is intuitive, functional, scientific, calming and joyful.
I led the effort to develop these words into visuals while ensuring that all design elements comply with the iOS Design Guideline. I established a design system that unifies the visual presentation across all prototypes, branding materials, and PPT presentations. I also taught my teammates how to use the library and component features in Figma to improve our work efficiency.
Wordmark logo used a modified form of the Berlin Sans FB typeface.
Colors are inspired by the radiant hues that one would see at sunrise. These colors are psychologically proven to evoke positive emotions.
Gradients add warmth and help enhance the feelings of calmness, coziness and safety.
I conducted accessibility evaluations against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(WCAG) to ensure that all colors have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1. I also used the color blind checker in Adobe Color to ensure that all users can distinguish the changes in color.