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HSP Planet

Help highly sensitive people (HSP) grow and connect

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May 2022- September 2022
Passion Project
UX Researcher;  UX/UI Designer

It all began when a friend of mine reached out to me, asking if I could take a look at an article she was writing for a website called Highly Sensitive Refugees. A few weeks later, I gathered a group of like-minded individuals who shared the passion in UX design and proposed the idea of redesigning this website. Here is what we got: HSP Planet-- an app.


About HSP

Highly Sensitive People: a group struggling and striving.

Highly Sensitive Person(HSP) to refer to people who have a  sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment. (Elaine,1991) According to Aron, HSPs make up about 15% to 20% of the world's population. 

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Most HSPs are ashamed of telling others about their emotions because of social stigma and they tend to deal with intense emotions by themselves. While longing for connections with like-minded people and self-gowth, they feel insecure and disoriented.


How might we help HSPs connect and receive professional guidance for personal growth?



# A safe place where thoughts flow

  • Three writing modes: free writing, prompts, grids. 

  • Private to oneself

  • Daily Inspirations


#Share your personal story. 

  • Readothers' stories

  • Share stories on self-growth with public or certain groups 

  • Follow, message and comment on others' posts


Article and More.

#Professional guidance all-in-one

  • Research-based articles, tests, books and podcasts...

  • Selected professional resources 


#Discover more possibilities...

  • official notification

  • private conversations


How I get there?

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User needs: Aspiration for deep connection and self-growth.

To dive deeper into potential users’ needs and barriers in accessing HSP-related websites and information, 6 people were interviewed after initial screening over text and zoom. An affinity map was created to map out users' ideas.


Current products: Fragmental Information and single function

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We found an opportunity to fulfill user needs and fill a blank market. We may create a collective platform to help users connect with others and seek for personal growth.

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Product Goal:
a collective platform for HSPs to connect and achieve self-growth systematically.



We use CRAZY 8s to sketch out possible solutions, present our sketches, discuss and vote for features.


Lo-fi Prototype

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We decided on the visuals and branding and created hi-fi prototypes. Through the 4 rounds of usability test, we iterated our products accordingly. 

Key Iterations

1st version

2nd version

3rd version

4th version

Journal: Less is more.

4 different versions of journal page is a story about deducting features and colors. Users are very confused at first of all the features without titles. At first, we hope to get everything we think "user needs" on the page. After several iterations, we found that the features within the journal function is of different priority. So we re-ordered the priority of features:

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Decision and why:

Delete the mood tracking feature -- avoid overwhelmed information load; decrease complexity

Calendar shown as an icon -- decrease text information; less prioritized; visually appealing

Write icon to replace text; all-time shown-- highlight major function; decrease overwhelming information

My Profile: Make is relevant, make it belong.

1st version

2nd version

4th version

Journal is deleted in my profile and moved to Journal.

Usability test suggests that users tend to look at the original interface after posting their journals and looking for history posts,  therefore we moved the journal history to "Journal Session."

The place of setting and message are exchanged.

Message function is more often used and as most users are right-handed, we changed the place of the message icon.

Content of collected articles shown is changed to picture and title

Usability test demonstrated that users tend to look for "related content" first before looking at the authors name and profile. We reorganized the priority of information.

Final Product


1. User research can take place in different stages and different forms.

User research should be involved in different stages to avoid heart pain in the final stage. There is good chance that some of the ideas might turn out not working well or some other questions popped up during the design process. Even in the middle of designing, some small-scale or semi-formal interviews/survey can help collect useful information and help us decide the next step. 

2. "Teamwork" is not cliche.

Everybody can claim "I am a good team player.". However, it is not easy at all. As I initiated and oversaw the whole process of project, I found working with a team was as challenging as marrying the "right" person. As this is a passion project, it took lots of effort to get everyone on the same page. Teamwork means responsibility, boundary, initiative and communication together with a common goal. I am glad this project could be done with a team of four with people from different backgrounds.

3. Iterate fast.

Iterations is a more "real" way to test the usability of a product and collect feedback through real clicks and complains. Iterate fast and let the fact lead the way.

4. About users. But not all about users.

Yes, UX is about user-centered design. But it doesn't mean we need to take every pain of users into consideration. Select and prioritize. Also, don't take negative comments personally. In the hi-fi usability test, one of our team members said she had hard time processing the comment from a user who said "I won't use this product at all." I was glad that she shared it with us as I believe it is a lie if a designer does not have expectations on others to "recognize" the design. If it is a real bad design, we can always revise it, but sometimes we just need to focus on the groups who really hope the product/solution can be there.

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