Space Explorer: connecting parents

A mobile app that helps parents
find a broader community network in urban spaces

The first collaborative project in my Masters program challenged my team to identify an urban problem space, and ideate a design solution.

Problem setting

Caregivers raising children in urban areas need family-friendly resources and support networks

Social connections are critical for navigating city life, adapting to new stages of child development, and maintaining personal health and stability.

But social resources are often limited to known friends and family.


Seattle is now the fastest growing big city in the country, with the second-lowest number of households with children

Programs exist to support Seattle parents, but often only serve to strengthen existing social connections.

Opportunity    ⟩      

Help Seattle families expand their networks for resources and social connection

Spaces and places

My team realized that businesses could become a nexus for social connection between different caregivers.

Family friendly spaces are important for urban parents on-the-go. But once together in the spaces, we learned that caregivers who didn't know each other seldom spoke with each other.

We traveled to family friendly businesses to test paper prototypes with caregivers.

In my early prototype caregivers with a mobile app enter a participating business, then make their avatar visible if they want to connect with new people.

Personal information is concealed and revealed at different moments in the exchange.

Map location helps people connect with each other.

We developed design principles from our test findings.

Space Explorer

We developed a narrative about cosmonauts and rocket ships to inspire the exploration of new locations, and encourage new connections.

Narratives shift user mindset in powerful ways, and offer cues toward suggested behavior.

Interaction flow

I designed this flow to show how app users would connect with each other once at the same location.

Some flow elements were user triggered, while some were environment triggered

Final prototype


Sketch  •   InVision  •   Principle

Interactive animation

I designed wireframes, comps, and interactive animations for our final on-site screens, detailing social connection and information elements.

My talented teammate Will Oberleitner drew the cosmonaut and planet figures that illustrated our narrative.

Hero flow



Mobile UX design

young Seattle &
future news

UX design & research

interactive door

Physical prototyping

financial goals
vr app

Virtual reality

dynamic food

Design fiction

museum tech

Data visualization

Let's talk ( :