Industry Project
MACCI: A Therapeutic App that Helps Children Suffering from Chronic Illness

An innovative way to boost both physical and emotional well-being of pediatric patients.

Research, Design, Branding, 3D Modeling
May 2022 - September 2022
XFN Team
1 Project Manager, 1 Designer, 1 Marketer, 2 AR Developers
Adobe Creative Suite, Procreate, Maya, Mudbox, 8th Wall

What are the problems for children with chronic illness?

Difficult to find peers who have similar circumstances as them
Hard to disclose the full extent of emotions to their parents
Few books for children focus on chronic illness and related mental health concerns

Solution we designed

Fostering a Community of Mutual Assistance
Browse available tasks to book the help you need. You can also create tasks to offer practical help for others!
Connecting Cultures, Creating Friendships
Browse posts to learn about diverse cultures or share your own experiences. Whether you're interested in discovering similarities or embracing differences, this is your bridge to forming meaningful connections with people from various backgrounds.

Our process

  • Interview
  • Affinity Mapping
  • Personas
  • SCAMPER ideation
  • Wireframes
  • User feedback
  • Hi-fi Prototype
  • Usability Testing
  • Design Iterations

Semi-structured Interviews

10 families at the University of North Carolina Medical Center
We covered various aspects of their lives, including daily routines, social interactions, and educational experiences. During the interview sessions, we created a warm and welcoming environment to ensure participants, especially the kids, felt comfortable sharing their experiences. We then analyzed the results into themes using Dedoose.
Interviewing a family at UNC hospital (obtained permission to show the photos)
Identified stressors associated with chronic illness


After summarizing our design requirements as shown below, we used the Crazy 8 technique of brainstorming and came up with 50+ ideas. The following are the top ideas we voted for.


Usability Inspection

This is a hard group to recruit, so eventually we tested with three kids who were respectively 7, 8, and 12 years old.

Participants were given five task scenarios, here are three we focused on:

Register an account and sign in
Create a new journal
Making friend with Bob on Penpal panel

First challenge: the shyness of Anna

It was hard to help her relax
Anna wasn’t used to the setting of  “getting tested” by a stranger and couldn't fully relax. When asked open-ended questions, she was a little nervous and couldn't quite express her thoughts.
Anna was trying to complete the second task
I reflected, researched, and decided to switch to “friendship pair testing”
I paired Ben and Sue to complete the test together. We provided the same tasks and encouraged Ben and Sue to explore this App together.
Successfully communicated using the children's mental models
It was very interesting to see that when one child was confused, another child could reorganize the task content through the child's language. I also learned a lot in the process of how to better approach youth users and support their interactive experience.

These kids like the design

What could be improved

Difficult vocabulary
The term “register” and "block" is out of some kids (around age of 7)'s vocabulary
Solution: Change to simple words
Change "register" to "sign up"; Explain "block" on the pop-up before confirmation
Confusion between icons
Journal and Book icons are too similar for kids to differentiate
Solution: Create distinct icons
Change book icon to a open book instead of the book cover

Planning for Future Development

Collaborating with Book Writers and Illustrators
For the bookshelf section, we will recommend personalized books on chronic illness and mental support to the kids, but there are not many books out there that focus on chronic illness for children.  So we will have to recruit writers and illustrators to create books tailored for our users.
Recruiting Health Professionals
Chronic illness takes a toll on individuals both mentally and physically, so we want to provide support in managing both aspects.  

Check out my other projects!