Project Goal: Design and launch software that will improve communication and quality of life for individuals with autism and their loved ones.  

Role: User Experience Researcher

Methods: Interviews, Affinity Diagramming, Storyboarding, and Usability Testing

Highlight: Interviewing parents of Autistic Children and narrating a trailer for our app

Outcome: Working tap-to-speech app to help individuals and Best Video Award

The UCI Autism Appjam began as parents of Autistic children shared stories of courage, resilience, and love to an auditorium of 200 captivated individuals. 

My team and I felt touched. We sincerely wanted to create software that would have a positive impact in our community and beyond.

As the Head User Experience Researcher in a team of five, I led generative and validation research to empathize with users.

At the end of two weeks, we launched a touch-to-speech web app called Pressa, which helps individuals to express themselves by forming spoken sentences through tapping word tiles and icons. 


Affinity Diagraming revealed Communication & Interaction as a design space for our project. 

During the Discovery Research phase, I interviewed several parents who had children with Autism. Each become emotional upon describing the first time their child spoke.

It was powerful. 

This became our inspiration. 

We created personas, storyboards, and wireframes.


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Two weeks later, after conducting user testing with prototypes, we emerged with a fully functioning web app that enables users to generate spoken sentences.

The responsive design makes the app accessible via any device with a web browser. 

Feedback from users led us to use playful icons and colors, an intuitive user flow, and friendly error handling to encourage free expression.

The appjam judges praised our design and execution.

We hope pressa makes a positive impact for its users and their loved ones.