Puggy app.

A symptom tracker for people suffering from chronic skin conditions


SEP - DEC, 2019

(4 months)



Competitive analysis,

Desktop Research,

Affinity map,


User scenario,

Low-fidelity prototype,

Usability testing

High-fidelity prototype,



Personal project


Emmy has been suffering from a chronic skin allergy for two years. . .


Painpoint#1 Communication with doctors

Emmy has seen doctors in both the US and China, and unfortunately, none of these experience solved her problem:

  • In the US, she has to wait for 3 weeks for the specialist, at that time, her symptom has already disappeared, she felt hard to describe it.
  • Back in China, she had to wait for 5 hours and only see the doctor for 3 minutes.

Wherever she is, she always feels even more anxious after seeing the doctor.


Painpoint#2 The negative feedback

Skin conditions are largely affected by mental status. As Emmy got more and more anxious about her problem, the problem becomes worse...


What are the specific feelings that result in Emmy’s anxiety? there are main three of them:

  1. Helplessness: doctors are not as helpful as expected.
  2. Exclusion: can’t hang out, date, wear makeup, join social events
  3. Lack of control over life: breakout is so unpredictable and never-ending.


Puggy - A Gamified Allergy Tracker

4 Core Features - Overview

Frame 32 (2)

4 Core Features - Hi-Fi Detail

Why Puggy?

why puggy


Gathering qualitative data from multiple resources

A lot of people have suffered from chronic skin conditions, however, the breakout only lasts for a relatively short time span. Collecting the at-that-moment experience is the key, I’ve tried different approaches, and here is the pros and cons of each approach I‘ve used:


Using affinity map to find patterns in qualitative data


Using 5 whys dismantle the huge problem

With these data gathered, I was able to use the 5-why method to dig deeper into the problem.

By asking a series of whys, I dismantled the huge, complicated problem into different layers, and find corresponding solutions for each of the concrete problems:


Low-fidelity prototype and usability testing

Using the low-fidelity prototype, I’ve run 3 rounds of usability testing. The feedback I gathered from testing helped me with further iterations 

Iteration detail#1

From pig to dog

In the first version, the animal was a pig, as pig generally has a positive image in my own culture.

During the user testing, some users expressed that they’d rather see another animal. After research, I realized that in some cultures, like Islamic and Jew culture, pigs tend to have a very negative impression. So I changed the animal figure into a dog.

Group 93 (1)
Iteration detail#2

Find the most effective layout for the spreadsheet

I interviewed skin specialist and re-arranged the information hierarchy of the spreadsheet based on the following order: picture > evaluation > medical/tobacco/alcohol usage > possible allergens

Group 94 (1)


Designing for vulnerable groups.

Vulnerable groups are elders, children, pregnant women, people with mentally and physically sick, people with disabilities, less income, minorities...

As Microsoft’s inclusive design highlighted, those designs originally intended to help vulnerable groups always turn out to benefit people universally. I also found that designing for vulnerable groups helped me to grow as a designer:


Using virtual assistant to add personality in product design.

As I was doing desktop research, I found that there is an increasing number of digital products using virtual assistants.

Virtual assistants can explain complicated concepts (machine learning and blockchain) in an easy way, as well as making burdensome experience (banking and healthcare) less daunting.

Like skeuomorphism, which helps users quickly build mental models of digital controllers, virtual assistants help in expanding the horizon of digital products.


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