Background & Summary

in-the-kNOW is an HIV prevention and optimal sexual health promotion mobile app created based on formative work with Black women to increase HIV testing, promote PrEP uptake, and reduce HIV risk behavior. The domains described below (My Logger, My Test, My Resources, and My Circle) were created based on formative research and will be supported by the app’s integration into AHSI.

Part of a collaboration between Emory and Georgia Institute of Technology. I worked on this project with the Wellness and Technology lab for a period of 1 month. During this period I was in charge of communicating with the stakeholders, and designing the overall experience of the application based on existing research.

The stigma around HIV compounded with the isolation minority groups can face, provided me with an opportunity to create a notable impact through my design.

The Process

This was a one month sprint and I had to collaborate with a developer to deliver the required amount of screens before classes started. As a result, I had to work with strict deadlines and focused on pushing out as many iterations. I would then rely on constant feedback from the PhD student throughout the week and then get further feedback from stakeholders during weekly meetings. I also had to make sure I was ahead of the developer to give her enough time to implement the designs.

Experimenting with color theory, font styles, shapes, my design decisions were motivated by the primary aim of reducing anxiety and establishing a personal connection with users. Starting right from the color palette - I iterated through different shades of red in order to make sure the application did not look “too feminine or stigmatizing” (as users complained during focus group meetings) but still resonated with our goal. Paired with white, I was able to achieve the right balance. To make users feel more at ease and reflect the intimate nature of the application, I welcomed users with a greeting including their name, in a significantly bold font. A stakeholder confirmed she felt it was personal and empowering. To reduce the stigma around mental health application, I iterated through different images of candid smiling women of color and placed it on the fore front of the application on the login page. This was again well received by the stakeholders.

The sense of achievement I felt when these decisions resonated well with my audience and stakeholders, introduced me to the rewards of working in the field of healthcare. I realized that this space allowsme to significantly impact peoples lives by channeling innovation and positive emotions into the experiences I design.


3-4 Weeks
July 2021

Project Members

1. UI Designer
2. Frontend Developer
3. PhD Student
4. Professors and Researchers


UI Designer (Lead)

Skills Learned

Iterative Prototyping
Stakeholder Communication

Week 1: Login & Onboarding

Initial Approach:

My first iteration of the onboarding experience focused on making the healthcare application feel less intimidating through the use of illustrations. This was however not well recieved by the stakeholders as they felt that the designs were good but not suitable for the user group they were looking at.

Alternate Approaches:

During our stakeholder meeting, I looked to gain more clarity on the user group, and what would resonate more with them. I understood that the initial focus group meetings have suggested that the women would prefer to see real images of people, especially women of color.

For my next set of iterations, I looked to incorporate different stock images that would play a central role in influencing the users initital impressions and set the right tone for their in-app experience.

All 3 of the iterations were well recieved. We were not able to narrow down on one iteration and color palette, as a result of which a temporary color palette was decided until we settled on an iteration. It was important to keep moving forward, as spending more time than what was available would hinder development and our planned timeline.

Week 2: Dashboard

Menu layout:

The application has several important sections and funcitionalities. Therefore, it was important for me to create a dashboard that helps the user understand the navigation but at the same time is not too cognitively challenging.

My iterations focused on creating a link between the parts of the application. It being a personal health application, it was important for me to make users feel central to the experience. Keeping this in mind, I settled on a circular layout, placing the user profile and image at the centre. This layout helped me communicate the "linking" of the application. While the firstiteration looked to convey these links directly, I looked to make it more subtle across the other iterations.

Dashboard elements layout:

Once I settled for the 2nd iteration and received the go-ahead, I received feedback that there was too much white space on the screen.

To work on this feedback, I brainstormed through ways to utilize space. Given the different features of the application, I looked to incorporate "widgets" that helped users perform quick actions. My idea was that users can later customize the widgets they want to see on the home screen based on the features of the application they use the most. I felt that the "Quick Log" widget would help reduce the actions required to do so, and in turn encourage logging.

Given the nature of this application, I felt the whitespace could be used to establish a more personal connection with the user. I included a personal greeting in place of one of the widgets to achieve this goal. This design decision and iteration was the most well recieved in the stakeholder meeting with one stakeholder mentioning that along with the user image in the centre, the dashboard felt "personal" as well as "empowering".

Week 3: My Logger & My Feelings

My Logger:

The My Logger section focuses on helping users maintain a record of their health data.

Design challenges I had to face here involved in the presentation of questions to users. I had to make sure the user wasn't overwhelmed with questions, but at the same time there weren't too many screens to go through. I solved this by using skip logic and grouping similar questions in a single card.

While designing the history section, I looked to give users as much useful information at a glance. Using colored squares, I also subtly integrated their "moods" on the particular day, if they had logged it using the My Feelings feature that I will highlight below.

My Feelings:

The My Feelings section allows users to log their feelings in an intuitive manner. I incorporated a slider that allows user to slide through different emotions. My aim was to make the process as simple and interactive as possible in order to encourage users to log feelings more often. I also included optional features for elaborating on their emotions through text, audio or video before they logged.

Week 4: Final Iterations

The final week of the project was focused on finalizing the color palette as well as making minor design iterations.

Onboarding and Dashboard Screens
My Feelings Screens
My Logger Screens