Helping people record, store and organize their thoughts

MARCH 2023 - APRIL 2023
chunk iPhone


Chunks gives people the digital space to record, store, organize and analyze their thoughts through journaling by providing an enjoyable experience that allows them to customize a lot of its content, like fonts, colors and themes. This app also lets people set the frequency of notifications and establish their own habits and the frequency to practice them. Additionally statistics about mood, habits and other things can be retrieved in the app. Aiming to motivate individuals in keeping the habit of journaling while reflecting and being mindful.
Led the design from research to testing. In the future stage of the product I will be in charge of the front-end layout.
We ended up with a prototype of Chunks that has been tested and has received approval and compliment from potential users.
Gabriela Perez - Designer
Project Details
Journaling is a way to achieve goals, track progress and growth, regulate emotions, gain self-confidence, improve writing and communication skills, reduce stress and anxiety, find inspiration and strengthen memory. Journaling has many benefits and has been trending in the past few years.
People want to document simple and special days in their lives, what they did, how they felt and how they looked but often fail to do so because of the effort it takes. Many of the people that attempt journaling face inconsistency during the process and end up giving up.

People want to journal but need the experience to feel effortless. Some of the attributes need to be: it can be done from anywhere, it is not expensive, it allows some level of customization, it can be done fast, it is private and it is easy to remember.
Design an app that simplifies the act of journaling and offers a seamless digital journaling experience. We focused on the main ways the experience could be eased to build up the features of the app.

We wanted to enhance the digital journaling experience by focusing on providing a smooth experience while improving the habit of journaling.
Research objectives
  • Learn about what motivates people to start journaling.
  • Discover the journey a person follows while journaling.
  • Recognize pain points and unmet needs that people face while journaling.
  • Uncover if people would use a mobile app to journal.
  • Explore existing apps for journaling and their reception.
  • Learn about how people currently journal.
  • Find out about the benefits of journaling.
User interviews
We conducted interviews with 8 participants that have tried to journal, some of them have been successful and some others haven't. We asked them questions that were focused on learning about their journaling habits, motivation, journey, feelings and writing experiences. And also about what types of journaling they have tried, what materials or devices they have used and if they would download an app for journaling.
User interviews: Main insights
Main insights statistics
White paper research
Starting with white paper research, I began to draw from research articles on the topic of journaling, benefits of journaling, how to journal and different types of journaling. I discovered that about 8% of the population currently keeps a journal or diary, although an additional 22% have kept a journal or diary in the past.
Competitive analysis
Then we conducted a competitive analysis to study how other applications function. We analyzed 5 popular apps that were meant to be a journal or diary. We paid close attention to what features they focus on, their visual communication, their reviews and how they communicate their product.
Competitive Apps
Competitive analysis: Main insights
  • There exists a very wide landscape of journaling apps, even though most of them offer some level of customization, it is not enough to get close to resembling paper journaling.
  • Privacy is not always taken into account.
  • Most of the applications explored do not remember their users to journal.
  • Analytics about the mood are not always provided.
  • Very few applications provide the right mood, some feel very formal, some others feel very playful.
Target User
We defined the target user to help guide our design decisions in the future:
  • 17 to 35 years old (but not limited to)
  • Aware of mental wellness
  • Creative enthusiasts
  • Mindfulness practitioners
  • Progress tracking junkies
  • Wants to maintain their journaling practice
User Archetypes
Creative souls
Users who are interested in creative writing and see journaling as a form of self expression. This could include individuals who enjoy journaling as a hobby or creative outlet, or those who use writing as a means of processing emotions and experiences.
Mindful beings
Users who want to improve their mental health and well-being through regular self-reflection and introspection. This could include individuals who are interested in developing a daily mindfulness practice, managing stress and anxiety, setting and achieving personal goals, and tracking progress towards personal growth and development.
Memory saver
Users who want to keep a record of their daily experiences, thoughts, and emotions. This could include individuals who are looking to document important memories, events, or achievements in their lives.
User story
Samantha, joyful woman
Meet Samantha
Samantha is a busy professional, she wants to use a journaling app to help her manage her stress and organize her thoughts. She needs a simple and intuitive app that she can access on her phone, where she can quickly write down her thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

She wants to be able to set reminders and notifications to encourage her to write and help her stay consistent with her journaling practice. She would like the app to have a variety of customization options, such as font choices, colors, and backgrounds, to make her journal feel more personalized and enjoyable to use.

Additionally, she would like to have the option to add photos, audio recordings, or other multimedia elements to her entries to help her remember important moments or thoughts. Finally, she would like the app to provide insights and analysis on her journaling patterns.
User flow
We created the user flow to illustrate the user’s main goal and steps to achieve it.
User flow
Product Vision
As a product, we wanted to position ourselves as the leading journaling app with 4 key focus areas:
  • Customization
    Personal and flexible. We want to have a well rounded experience for everyone that uses the app by allowing customization in a lot of things around the app so they can use it their own way and boost its potential.
  • Reliable
    Accessible and supportive. We want to assist individuals while creating the habit of journaling by letting them set reminders and notifications so they can remember to write.
  • Analytical
    Insights and analysis. We want to help individuals be aware of their journaling patterns by allowing users to access analytics so that they can use that information to improve and reflect.
  • Approachable
    Simple and intuitive. We want to provide an experience that really eases journaling by creating an interface that is easily understandable and a flow that is smooth.
Friendly, clean, modern, flexible and simple.
Brainstorming ideas
Before getting into any design, we decided to create the sitemap to better understand who we were going to structure the information/features.
Paper first
We began sketching some ideas on paper. These initial wireframes were very exploratory. Taking the time to draft iterations for each screen on paper provided diverse results and ensured that the elements that made it to digital wireframes would be relevant to address the user pain point. The idea was to play with the elements on the screen to find the best distribution, interaction and flow to provide the best experience of digital journaling.
hand wireframes 1hand wireframes 2
From paper to digital
We then transformed the paper wireframes into digital low-fidelity wireframes, for this we carefully selected the elements for each screen and refined the screens.
digital lo-fi wireframes
We built a prototype with the low-fidelity wireframes to use for user testing to collect feedback and iterate on the design.
We conducted moderated in-person tests with 5 people that are our potential users. We wanted to validate the design and the features to see if they would solve their problem.
  • Positive experience
    Overall, the participants had a positive and meaningful experience during the testing and can’t wait to see more from it.
  • Dark theme
    Participants would like to see more dark themes.
  • Smoother transitions
    Some of the current transitions don’t feel as smooth as they should be, one is too long and the others don’t work as expected.
  • Hint more information
    Participants think the entries from the home view could display more information than just the title, to get a little more context about that day, they think it could help them find an entry or remember a day easier.
  • Visual cues
    The current design is missing some visual cues that could help the accessibility of the app.
  • Disable pin
    Some participants don’t think a pin is really necessary since their phone already requests for a pin, pattern, face recognition or fingerprint recognition, and think it could be optional to enable it.
Refining the design
Based on the insights from the usability testing, we implemented design changes to the screens and interactions, and upgraded the prototype from low-fidelity to high-fidelity.
Final design
Introducing Chunks
Chunks mockup
A journaling app that eases the experience by providing the digital space to record, store, organize and analyze thoughts allowing people to customize a lot of its content and set notifications. People can practice journaling in an easy and intuitive way and never forget to do it, getting the multiple benefits journaling has to offer.
Visual Style
The visual style guide was created to ensure the style and components are implemented consistently across the app. It was also created with the purpose of facilitating collaboration and implementation when developing the app. The visual style guide includes details on color palettes, typography, icons and reusable UI elements and components.
chunks style guide
Next steps
These are the next steps we’re considering for Chunks:
  • Features
    There are some features that we would like Chunks to have in the future, after developing the MVP and conducting more rounds of testing it would be great to start adding these features. These features are the ability to create different journals and the ability to create vision boards.
  • More customization
    We would like to go a little bit further and allow even more customization, this by enabling custom colors for the themes instead of preselected color combinations.
  • Voice writing
    Something that we would like to implement not only to improve the experience but also to make the app more accessible is voice writing.
  • Export
    To provide another way of storing the entries or to transform them from digital to physical, we would like to implement an export as pdf feature.
  • Continuity
    Since the app is initially for iOS (iPhone) we would like to also work on the availability for apple watch and iPad to provide continuity between the devices but also to allow people to journal from whatever is most convenient for them.
What I learnedBy creating Chunk I learned:
  • Microinteractions make a huge difference
    Microinteractions can make a huge improvement in the experience of a product, people don’t always notice that they are there but they are surely missed when they are not. Microinteractions can make a product feel more human by appealing to the movements of the human body and also by providing some sort of feedback on what is happening.
  • Accessible products improve everyone’s experiences
    This is not a secret but I reaffirmed this during this project, we took a lot of accessibility consideration while creating this product and I think at the end it is something that everyone benefits from and enjoys.
  • Sometimes more is better
    Minimalism isn’t always the answer, it is important to focus on the needs of the user rather than in following a certain style by simply the fact that it looks better. Sometimes the user needs those elements that you are trying to hide, it is key to listen to the user to improve the experience.
  • Brainstorming is a great technique
    Brainstorming really helps get ideas out of the head that could end up being great features for the product. It allows you to visualize all these ideas you have and order them in a way that makes sense and really tackle the user’s problem.
  • Define a user
    You can’t always build for everyone, most of the time you have to define the user that would be using your product. This is not something bad, and should be seen as an opportunity to build the greatest product for the right people, it can also help to guide the marketing strategies and advertising.
  • Every product is always a work in progress
    Every product is always a work in progressThe product is never going to be really finished or done, it is a constant work in progress, there will always be something to improve or to update, and that is ok since the goal is always to build a better experience for the user.