In order to ensure the safety of others, it is important to maintain social distancing and stay at home when possible. Keeping that in mind, this app idea came from a unique problem that people are facing in quarantine.

How do you say goodbye to loved ones who have passed away during a pandemic?

Hopeful was a submission for the Hack’20 Virtual Hackathon competition. During this 24-hour time period, my team chose to work on the “quarantine track”. This track focused on solutions that relate to how staying at home has transformed how we interact with others, stay active, and remain productive in school and work.

Research Methods

During the early stages of our project, I wanted to learn more about how people were handling the death of a loved one during a pandemic. I interviewed users and did secondary research on news related to COVID-19. One of my interviews came from a UX mentor that joined our team Zoom call and he shared his experience with losing a friend. My market analysis came from various articles on mental health and funeral service within the last 6 months. 

Key Findings:
Funerals are being transitioned to a virtual experience due to social distancing.
• There is a rise in mental health disorders  from an unexpected death of a loved one.
• People are confused and need guidance on how to navigate losing friends & family.

Identifying Solutions

Using the user research data, I collaborated with my team and used the HWM model to begin thinking about solutions to address user wants and needs. People who lose their loved ones during the pandemic often feel overwhelmed by this situation.

How might we:
Make mental-health resources available and accessible?
• Allow others to pay their respects and honor the deceased?
• Encourage others to seek counseling and stay connected with loved ones?
• Help raise money to support the family with funeral costs? (funeral service, hospital bills, etc.)

From there, I built out a simple flow that depicts how a user will start the app and access each of the different pages to fulfill their immediate needs. This exercise helped me plan out the UI and the various usages of this app.

In the example above, the user is feeling nostalgic and wants to pay respects to their loved one. User would write a message and upload images/videos to the memorial page for others to see.

Using a user journey, I was able to think about what grieving friends/family members needed. This helped me design with a user-focused approach, as well as how I should address their needs while they are experiencing loss.

Questions to Consider:
• How are these users handling their negative emotions?
• What activities do they typically participate in during the loss of a loved one?
• What resources do users receive and how effective is it for them?

User Flow
User Journey Map

Final Design

While creating wireframes of the app, I created a style guide to help create a cohesive design and assist hand-off to developers. The predominantly blue theme creates a calming atmosphere for stressed users, and the soft appearance of Adobe Calson Pro and Avenir convey a feeling of support. Hopeful uses a dove as the logo to symbolize hope and promote positivity. 🕊️

High-Fidelity Wireframes
Design Style Guide

Find support with your community

Hopeful supports and connects users with their loved ones during a difficult time in their lives. 

Upon sign-up with the app, users will be able to sync their account with a memorial and fundraiser page. You can leave messages with photos/videos on the memorial and donate money to the fundraiser.

This app allows you to quickly join live sessions like funeral service and counseling from their phone. You can also read recommended articles and videos related to mental health in their free time. 

My goal was to provide grieving users quick and easy access to essential resources they might have trouble organizing, especially during this hard time in their life.

Organize calls and fundraisers

Hopeful helps users who are grieving over their loss, while accommodating social distance restrictions.

Organizers will be able to create new fundraisers, schedule Zoom calls, and share an ID number for new users in their network. Additionally, users will have access to their donation history, schedule, and family member contacts.

My main objective with these features is to give users more control during a situation that might make them feel the opposite.


Hack’20 was the first hackathon I’ve ever participated in and the first time I’ve worked on a cross-functional team with developers and other designers. 🙌🏼

Due to the short-time that I had to work on the project, I wasn’t able to test the prototype with potential users. In the future, I would like to work on defining success for the app (ratings in app store, # of downloads, etc). I also could have put more effort in encouraging developers to contribute ideas too. It was difficult to decide on a concept that we all liked and fit the theme.

Collaborating virtually was definitely a challenging and fun experience. I hope to participate in more hackathons in the future, as well as practicing how I communicate my ideas to non-designers.

Let’s connect! 🌿
Website Built and Designed by Tim Pham.