Empowering colleges students with the tools to overcome sexual egos and live healthier, safer lives




My Role:


Cognitive Theories: 


November 2017 - Ongoing

College students who feel overwhelmed when it comes to sexual health

Understand user needs developing tools to alleviate pain points

User Research, Persona Development, Design Thinking

Gender schemas

You are not your user and it takes multiple steps to understand your user!

Since this project is ongoing learn about where I currently am and how I got here.


Today, sexual health and safety are like a dark cloud over the college experience.

1 out of 4

1 out of 4

1 out of 20

college students contract an STI

female college students are sexually assaulted

male college students

are sexually assaulted

While there are resources to support students through their recovery, there are ultimately no prevention methods in place.

My goal is to use design thinking to develop tools that will empower college students to develop a more proactive relationship with their sexual health and lives.


During my time working with CMC Advocates, I have had over a year of experience working with directly to educate students on sexual health, aiding survivors of sexual assault, and helping students understand their health after contracting a life-long STI.

With their permission, I interviewed 10 of those students to uncover any key insights that could shape my design.

Hover to discover the key insights I used to shape my design:

"When someone is making me feel uncomfortable and unsafe at a party, I just hope that one of my friends walks by so that they can distract the person and help me escape the situation."

"There's no way anyone that I have been with has ever had an STI. I would just know, you know?"

"I am positive for Herpes and I have no idea how to practice safe sex. I also have no idea how my future partner will react when I disclose my status. A lot of people have so much stigma against it. They do not know how common it really is."

From this I developed user personas which would help me narrow down the specific user pain points that I needed to design solutions for.

User Personas:

Exploratory college student who is still forming their sexual identity. As a result, their journey when accessing sexual health information tends to be covered with potholes of emotions, hindering them from getting the information they need,

Social, outgoing, and eager college student needs to be able to access their friends quickly because them saying "no" does not matter to a predator and the most successful prevention method they have is the support of their friends

Brain Storming (How Might We):

initial prototype

Prototype includes three main components. Click on the arrows to see all three parts.

Alert System:

Getting out of a dangerous situation is now as easy as calling an Uber


  • Users upload a list of contacts to the app

  • When they feel like they or someone else in is danger or are being sexually harassed they can click the alert button

  • Mass text and their location will be sent to everyone on created contact list

user testing

I interviewed 20 college students.


Students were interested in the "Sexpert" and "Alert System", however, many did not see themselves using the "Activity Log". 


7/9 masculine identifying male students that were interviewed described the overall interface as a  feminine or "bit too girly" for their taste.


One student mentioned that if a student were to want to press the alert button, then they would need to open up the app. However, if the person making them uncomfortable is close to the student, they could see the student opening up the app and thus, students may find it too dangerous in that situation to use the button.

prototype #2

Prototype includes three main changes.

1. Activity Log was removed


2. Alert System was redesigned:

Redesign allows user to send an alert secretly.

Students can now go onto the app and turn on "Alert Mode" before going out.

When alert mode is on, students will receive a link. If the student goes out and feels like they are in danger, all they have to do is open up their messages app and hit the link.

3. Interface redesigned​:

Gender schemas associate lighter color with women.

As a result, I opted for more gender neutral colors for the redesign while still maintaining the light "peach" branding.

I also was interested in making the experience a bit more fun. One of the biggest insights was that college students' feelings around personal identity/ego are the main source of friction when accessing and discussing sexual health information. So, I wanted this redesign to feel more fun and lay-back. This way users do not feel overwhelmed and care ease their way into the experience.

wireframe explorations for the homepage



visual adjustment when alert mode is on


I am developing our MVP (the alert system) with my engineering team as well as brainstorming new and more impactful tools to include.


While this is an ongoing project, I have already learned a lot about user research and empathy.


As someone that has a passion for sexual health, it was easy for me to assume other users would instantly share my interest and disregard that other users (who could care less) could even exist!


Yet, this experience taught me that as a designer, I need to be aware of my biases and really listen to my users, including them at every step of the process. If I had not gone back and done more user interviews, I would never discovered the insight that is now shaping my designs (the relationship between sexual identity and ego)! I also learned not to generalize users and that there can be discrepancies based off of gender/socialization patterns.