Shara Chao


Case Study


Whispr is a place for new parents to network with other experienced parents. Whispr matches new parents and experienced parents with their city's location and the similar parenting issues they faced. Allowing parents to have heart-to-heart conversation about their parenthood problems, help build their confidence and letting them know they are not alone in this journey.

Project Time: 10 Weeks

Platform: Android


As a student at BrainStation, for my Capstone Project I was challenged to:

  1. Identify a compelling problem space to respond to.

  2. Investigate the problem space.

  3. Propose a design response to the problem space.

Discovering My Problem Space

When it came down to identifying my problem space, it was difficult because there were already so many apps out there trying to solve everyone’s problems. I started to ask all my friends and family members what were some daily problems that they were still going through. After having to ask everyone that I know of, one problem topic that stood out to me the most was the challenges of being a new parent. This problem space fascinated me as I recently had a baby sister and thought to myself “how great it would be to help out my stepmom solve her problem as a new parent?”. So, I decided to follow through with this problem space.

With my chosen problem space, I needed to get the right frame to my design challenge, so that I could organize how I would think about my solution and help push my design forward. From my secondary research I gathered on new parents challenges with having a newborn, I used the “How Might We” format from Jake Knapp to capture the opportunities that might be interesting to explore.

How Might We... help new parents feel prepared for their journey to parenthood?

The Insights I Found

To better understand about new parents’ difficulties in parenthood, I decided to interview five new parents and one experienced parent. This allowed me to understand what their needs and desires.

From the interviews, I gathered 3 main insights:


All the new parents ensured that they are fully well informed on what to do when their newborn arrived, but wasn’t well information about what they themselves would face.

Exhaustion & Depression

Most of the new parents developed exhaustion and depression when adapting to their new lifestyle as a parent. Even though they were fully prepared, they didn’t know how big of an impact their newborn would be on their lifestyle.


Most of the new parents did not have many of their friends that were parents. However, they did developed a sense of comfort when they were able to talk about their problems with other experienced parents that they’ve meet from prenatal classes.

Meet Mia

From the insights I gained, I created Mia Smith to better understand who my key user group is and be able to empathize with them. Mia also helped with my design decision making in order to design the best possible experience for my key user group.

Mia Persona.png

What Are My Opportunities?

I wanted to deeply understand Mia’s journey to parenthood. So, I created an experience map from the time she was pregnant till where she is taking care of her 1 month old baby girl. This allowed me to figure out what are the opportunities that I could leverage from.

Experience Map.png

My major finding

From Mia’s experience map, I realized there was a gap in between where Mia didn’t have the accessibility to meet other parents because her daughter wasn’t at the stage where Mia is able to leave the house so often. So I thought, this would be a great place to fill in that gap.

After figuring out where my design challenge would be focused on, my How Might We question changed.

How Might We... leverage the community to give confidence and comfort in parenting for new parents?

Finding My Task

I created a list of user stories and decided on which task I would follow through. My first task selection was allowing the users to post a feed, but soon realized it didn’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say to Mia’s needs and desires. I looked back at my How Might We question and really tried to focus on what was the key design to fill in the gap? I started looking through a variety of communication app and came across Tinder. Although, it may sound weird but I thought using Tinder’s match-making feature would be a unique experience for Mia to connect with other experienced parents. Hence, my main task selection came to selecting a parent to connect with.  

Task Flow.png

Low-Fidelity Mock-Up


Validating My Design

In order to validate that my design was understandable for my key user group, I did a total of ten user testings and four of the testers were new parents that I interviewed previously. I did two sessions of user testing with five testers per each session.

First Session

Throughout my first session there were three main findings that were pointed out to me:

  • Unclarity with adding child’s information

  • The insecurity of inputting home address

  • Unclarity with some wordings

Second Session

After the first session, I made iterations from the feedback I received from the first user testing. During my second session there were three main findings that were pointed out to me:

  • There was still unclarity with inputting child’s year and month

  • The inability to skip adding profile photo

  • How to validate if these parents would respond back

High-Fidelity Mock-Up

Hi-Fi MockUp.png

Whispr’s Visual Identity

Colour Palette

When creating the visual identity for Whispr I knew I wanted to aim for a calm, friendly and approachable visual identity. I started off with creating a moodboard that relates to it.


These were the images that I felt captured what I wanted the brand to represent. From those images, these were the colours I was able to extract from it.

Colour Palette.png

Although these were the colour I was able to extract from, they were not colours that were accessible enough for my design. So, I changed the saturation and brightness of the colours to make the colours accessible and alive for my design.

UI Colours.png

How I came up with Whispr

I knew that I wanted my design challenge to be soft tone and a verb that relates to communication app. I started off with writing down a bunch of words that are related to my design challenge.


From there I realized “whisper” was the perfect name for my design. It gave a soft tone and still feels friendly in a way. It also relates to some sort of communication. Whisper came to my head when I thought of parents want to whisper because they don’t want to wake up the kids. To make whisper a bit unique, I decided to take the “e” out of whisper and that’s how “Whispr” came to be.

Application Icon

For the application icon, I wanted to create an icon that could relate somewhat to Whispr. Below are the sketches that I thought would work well with Whispr.

From my sketches I decided to go along with a cloud and making it look like a speech icon.


Approaching to Different Platforms

From my design challenge I was challenged to create a marketing responsive web for my proposed design and see if I could have my design be approached on different device platform.

Marketing Responsive Web

Project Time: 5 Days

When designing for my marketing responsive web, I wanted to make sure my web targets Mia. When coming onto the web Mia who was feeling sad, stressed and lonely should start to feel calm and relaxed. In order to make Mia feel this way I made sure the brand voice would sound soft tone and calming and the design layout should feel soothing as well.

Below are links to my desktop and mobile version of responsive web.

Android Wear OS

Project Time: 4 Hours

For the different device platform I chose to go with an Android Wear OS because there are some new parents that have a handful of stuff to do and doesn’t always get the chance to be holding their phone. So, if these new parents have their Android watches on them, they could check their specific Whispr friends’ notifications and respond to them quickly through voice speech or the given pre-determine messages. As well, if they were scheduled to meet somewhere, the user can send their location to their friends to let them know where they currently are.


Future Thinking and Next Step

After alleviating Mia’s pain points, I started to wonder the impact Whispr could create if my proposed design were to come to life. I thought about the worst case scenario that could happen to Whispr.

What if a ‘bad actor’ were to use Whispr as a tool to target children?

As my proposed design has the ability to post images of themselves and their children, there could be a possibility were a bad actor would use Whispr to target children. So, how could I prevent these bad actors from entering Whispr? One solution I plan to focus on as my next step is to ensure all users would have to enter their valid government ID to prevent bad actors from getting in. But in doing so, I want to experience of entering their valid government ID to be less intimidating as possible as the design should feel friendly and approachable.

My Reflection

As this was my first design challenge, I’ve learnt so much throughout this journey. Overall, I’ve learnt that diving deep to understand and empathize with the users and very important. In addition, the importance that designing wasn’t about what I wanted but was what the users needed and how I could use my skills and design in a way that it would be understandable and meaningful for them.

Throughout the design process, I’ve learnt three main things:

  1. Accessibility. I’ve learned through designing Whispr was ensuring my design was accessible for everyone regardless of their condition. I’ve learnt how big of an impact it is the constraint to designing. Although my entire design is not fully accessible, my next step will to study more about accessibility and make my design fully accessible.

  2. Iterations. There were many times where I had designer roadblock and wasn’t able to come up with a better solution to my design. During those times, I would start creating a bunch of iterations to find out what was the best possible solution for my design. This method really helped me push forward and being able to complete my deadlines.

  3. Consistency. After completing most of my design, I started getting down to the nitty gritty part of my design and ensuring they are consistent throughout my design. Having to analyze all of those parts, really help enhance my design so much.