Problem: At the end of 2020, 25.6 million cases of COVID-19 have been report in the United States. Due to social distancing guidelines, Americans have been unable to attend their loved one's funerals.

Solution: Hopeful is a wellness iOS app that provides virtual community support and funeral services. This project was a submission for the Hack’20 Virtual Hackathon. I was the UX/UI designer on a team of developers.

Research Methods

During the early stages of our project, I conducted research interviews and news articles related to COVID-19. I wanted to learn more about people who have lost a loved one during the pandemic.

Key Findings:
Funerals are transitioning to a virtual experience due to social distancing.
• There is a rise in mental health disorders from the unexpected death of a loved one.
• Families need to contact multiple agencies to receive resource like funeral services and counseling.

Identifying Solutions

Using the research data, I collaborated with my team and used the HWM model to begin brainstorming solutions. This was a team exercise to rapidly generate and refine our ideas. We focused on actionable solutions to user needs and frustrations relating to funeral activities.

How Might We (HMW):
Make mental-health resources accessible?
• Allow users to pay their respects and honor the deceased?
• Encourage users to seek counseling and stay connected with their friends/family?
• Help raise money to support the family with funeral costs?

From there, I built out a simple flow that depicts how a user will start the app and access Hopeful to find the right resources. This app gives users immediate options, and reduces the time and energy required for people to receive help.

Using a user journey, I was able to empathize with grieving friends/relatives and identify their frustrations. In a typical situation, a user would need to navigate finding the right people to talk to in a stressful state of mind. This exercise allowed me to think about ways to address user needs in that scenario.

Questions to Consider:
• How are these users handling their negative emotions?
• What services do users receive during the loss of a loved one?
• What are effective ways to provide users with mental health resources?

User Flow
User Journey

Visual Guidelines

While creating the high-fidelity wireframes for Hopeful, I worked on establishing the branding and visual identity. This deliverable was helpful in creating a more cohesive design for the app and assisting the handoff process to developers.

Design Rationale:
• Dark blue theme creates a calming atmosphere for stressed users.
• Soft appearance of Adobe Calson Pro and Avenir convey a feeling of support.
• Logo uses a dove to symbolize hope and promote positivity. 🕊

High-Fidelity Wireframes
Design Style Guide

Final Prototype

After 24 hours, we finally finished our project! Below is the submission video that we showed to the Hack'20 judges. As UX/UI designer, I was responsible for creating and presenting this video to judges.

Organize calls and fundraisers

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

Organizers can create new fundraisers, schedule video-calls and invite new users to their newtwork.


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. Unfortunately we did not win, but I gained valuable knowledge and experience from this project.

Looking back... I wish I could have tested the prototype with potential users to iterate and improve the design. In the future, I would like to work on defining success metrics for the app (ratings in app store, # of downloads, etc). I plan to put more effort in communication with developers in order to develop more ideas. We did not have a PM leading this project, but I would try to fill a leadership role next time.

Did I have fun? Yes! Collaborating virtually was definitely a challenging but rewarding experience. I hope to participate in more hackathons in the future, as well as practicing my teamwork skills with engineers, PMs and fellow designers.