After presenting three project pitches and receiving feedback, I’ve decided to combine my project ideas to enhance my portfolio while making sure it keeps my interest.

Originally, I had the idea to design the user experience of a journalling app. I thought that an app design project like this would help my professional UX design portfolio. I had a separate idea to expand upon an advocacy campaign created in a previous design class. The project was focused on helping college students gain control over digital distractions. Initially, I wanted to design a website for the campaign.

When receiving feedback from these pitches, I was told that I should combine these projects. I hadn’t considered extending the campaign into an app, but I think it would still benefit a UX design portfolio while being of greater interest than a simpler journaling app.


The preliminary app name I decided on for this project is “Hush.” Given that the name of the initial advocacy campaign was “Noise Control,” I thought that a similar noise-centered name would be an appropriate mobile app extension.

The features I was interested in implementing for the initial campaign website included mindfulness techniques and study tools. Now that I’ve transferred the campaign to an app, however, I think that other tools would help promote mindful phone usage. I came up with a new short list of possible features (which can be expanded upon or pared down after user research):

  • Tracking screen time
  • Tracking goals and habits
  • Promoting real connections (like call a friend, make a plan, do a good deed)
  • Promote mindfulness (like journaling, music, and mindfulness education)


The project will be two-parted: the prototype and its corresponding case study. The prototype will be created in Figma. I’d imagine that certain screens of the app would require design elements created in Illustrator, too, if not for the app’s general branding. The case study will be completed in InDesign for a PDF portfolio, but I’d like to have the information organized in a way that will make it easy to transfer it to a portfolio website as well (as in, consistent use of headings/text hierarchy).


While researching UX portfolios, I found the website Cofolios. The website is aimed at sharing effective portfolios in the product design and UX design fields. Cofolios also includes some well-done case studies. Cofolios brought me to Emily Shen’s App Design Case Study. The project and case study are extremely professional and well designed — definitely more involved than the scope of my capstone, but a really cool project to try to emulate. I’d like to have my capstone case study be as well-researched as this project, but I’m not expecting the design of my prototype to be quite as refined.

Behance is a platform owned by Adobe for sharing design work. Designers will self-publish their projects and case studies on the site, using it as a portfolio. After searching and exploring UX case studies on Behance, I found a Self-care App Case Study created by Muskan Attri. I’d like my case study to mimic the research and design process included in Attri’s case study. Specifically, this case study inspires me to want to use surveying as a tool to find out what features people are looking for in an app.


Firstly, the advocacy campaign I am basing the app on was created in an Advanced Design class. The topic of the campaign also closely relates to content learned about the relationship between society and media in an Ethics in Communication class.

After taking Visual Design, I wanted to learn more about UX design. We completed projects on Figma and learned about user-focused design. Specifically, I was intrigued by the idea of design as problem-solving. It also complements my classes I’ve taken in graphic design.

This interest in UX design prompted me to take a UX design certificate course, offered by Google. There, I was introduced to every step of the design process and was able to participate in it using Figma. This capstone project will have me apply what I’ve already learned at Saint Joe’s and from the certificate program into a polished portfolio item.


One helpful part of expanding upon a previous assignment is that I’ve already done research on the topic of digital distractions. Research will also be built in as a part of my design process.

User research

Something that can make this project stand out in my portfolio would be implementing user research. As shown in both case studies above, basing features off survey responses can lead to better design decisions. If possible, I’d like to be able to send out a Google form to the Com department to identify the concerns my peers have with digital distractions.

Competitive analysis

As a part of my research and design process, I’m going to have to look at other apps that offer similar features to the app that I’m proposing. One app that I already know of is ScreenZen, which works with Apple screen time to limit time on social media or other apps. Participating in competitive analysis can lead me to features that I’ll also want to incorporate—like, could I include and improve upon this same feature in my own app?

Career research

I’ve already started to research the field of UX design by looking at other projects that interest me. Visiting sites like Cofolios and Behance can show me what’s appropriate and expected in other UX case studies.


Given that my primary deliverable will actually be the case study, the process is very important. Many existing case studies use a design process to tell a story about why they’ve made certain decisions. A popular design thinking process that I’ll likely use has 5 stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. There are many resources online which explain how designers can go through each of these steps to produce a user-centered final product.

Below is a slide of Attri’s case study that explains their own modified design process for a self-care app.

Screenshot of Attri's 5-art design process: discover, define, ideate, design, and recollect.


The timeline for my project will follow the deadlines set by the capstone course. I’ve defined what should be done by each of the following weeks. I’ll be documenting my work for the case study weekly, and I’ll dedicate the last couple weeks to designing it (giving myself room if something takes longer than expected).

  • Week 4: user research surveys written and sent out
  • Week 5: research competing apps, initial branding complete
  • Week 6: use survey findings to define user needs, create the user flow
  • Week 7: sketch low-fidelity wireframes (undesigned app screens) and identify information architecture
  • Week 8: transfer wireframes to Figma and have users test lo-fi prototype (50% complete)
  • Week 9: edit prototype according to user research, document these findings for case study
  • Week 10: finish app branding, create design system (60% complete)
  • Week 11: upgrade prototype to high-fidelity (what the app will actually look like)
  • Week 12: finalize high-fidelity prototypes (80% complete)
  • Week 13: work on case study content
  • Week 14: work on case study content and design (90% complete)
  • Week 15: work on case study design (95+% complete)

Going forward

I’m going to have to be careful with my time to stay on schedule, but I’m confident that I can complete each task I included in my timeline. I’m giving myself a challenge in terms of the quality of work I’d like to have for this project, but I’m excited to use this capstone as an opportunity to make a really useful portfolio item. I definitely think that this project will hold my interest, especially with the direct connection to a project I’ve already completed.