1111 8th st. SF, CA


PREPPY helps people who are pregnant or who are parents acknowledge their current physical/mental status.

The main health focus is the Perinatal Depression because sometimes the depression during the period can be a matter of life or death. The Perinatal Depression often goes undiagnosed and people think it is not a disease to be treated.

Solo Project





Qualitative Research



System Design



Misconceptions about Depression During

Pregnancy and Parenting Period

Can Conceal Future Crisis.

Society at large has misconceptions that pregnancy and parenting is the happiest period of a woman's life. In fact, women can have a diverse spectrum of emotions during the time. The depressive feeling can affect serious problems on women's physical/mental health.

"I didn't want to live ... I decided I was ready to get help."    - Saremi

From Why We Need to Talk About Depression During Pregnancy

by Caroline Shamon-Karasik

Not All Women Will Have Depression

but ANY WOMAN Can Have It.

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and The American Psychiatric Association (APA), between 14% and 23% of women will experience some symptoms of depression during pregnancy. In other words, not all women will have depression but ANY WOMAN can have it.



create a tool that enables women to acknowledge what is perinatal depression?


To Get helped by Other People,

Knowing Your Status Is The First Priority

After I decided to create an app to help the women acknowledge their current status, I focused on how they can reflect themselves through analyzing mental status, having feedbacks on their opinions and looking around what other people's ideas about pregnancy/parenting.


How Are You? 

Documenting how you feel

can help you analyze your mental status through catching your facial expression.



Ask what you are wondering and get feedback on

how other people think about it.

There are experts who can help how you will be able to solve your problems.



See what other people post about their situations/interests related to your current status. You can also chat with other people directly like having a conversation in the real world.



Does Depression Come After The Brain Activity Change or In The Opposite?

A direction of 3 initial concepts was decided by the PET scan picture. The following image shows that the brain activates less during a period of depression. One question was popped out. Does physical change (brain activity level) affect mental change or is it in the opposite? It depends on people by people but we can choose what to analyze first. Following the point, I created 3 concepts to help them analyze their mental status.


Storytelling Interactive Game


Emotion Tracker


Messenger App

The common purpose of the 3 concepts is helping people analyze their mental status by knowing what moments make them feel depressed, tracking their emotions and chatting with their partner. 


Will The 3 Concepts Be Helpful For People?

Recruiting the 4 participants who have kids or currently are being pregnant was conducted by asking my friends' help. Feedback, in general, was that the 3 concepts will take time to let people know their current status.


I Was One of The People Who Have Misconceptions about Women

What I learned from the testing was that I didn't realize how they are highly responsible for their lives to take care of not just themselves but also another life, a baby. They are strong enough and only analyzing their mental status will not be helpful. 


Sympathy and Empathy are

separate things.

Without practical advice, it's just a mere sympathetic design, not an empathetic design. Perinatal depression is a matter of life or death to someone. The 3 concepts cannot cover this aspect.


Don't limit people's

range of choices

One single app can be everything to people with depression. It can be a whole world to lean on. In other words, even a single app has to contain practical information as much as possible.


Don't conclude what are the reasons for causes but make them open-ended

Depression is a disease that is hard to define causes in the simple causal relationship, such as saying 'you are in A condition so you have depression'. Not to conclude what are the causes in that way, an environment where people can get real-time feedback will be needed.


Communication App

After I learned, I decided to create an app that can help people not only analyze themselves but also give them a loop of feedback with practical information. At first, I made the app skipping proper design process. However, the deliverable doesn't look solid design so I decided to new design with proper process.

Analogous Research

The app called 'theBUMP' is also a communication app for people who are conceiving pregnancy/parenting, pregnant women, or parents. I analyzed the elements in the system first and highlighted features I want to combine with the first design.

Creating the information architecture of features I want to combine was helpful to see all the elements in the macro point of view.




Jenny who is pregnant her second baby cries with no reason. Emotional fluctuation becomes out of her control. The symptoms have been detected since a few days ago but Jenny thinks it's not a big deal and it will be gone a few days later.

When Jenny visits the obstetrics, she discovers a poster that introduces an app called PREPPY. She wonders what is it and downloads the app.

The features in the app like browsing posts, asking your questions and getting answers, etc. are looked interesting to her. She likes especially the feature of how it asks about her feeling. It gives her a sense of being cared.

That night, Jenny posts the question on the app why her symptoms don't stop and how can she control them. 

She records a feeling of the day with customized emoji by herself and proper title and description.

Meanwhile, Her symptoms are getting worse and worse. She keeps shedding tears and can't get out of negative feelings. It makes her remind past how she was free and how she was a promising worker at that time. 'If I weren't pregnant...', she thinks.

She gets diagnosed with Perinatal Depression. On that day, she reads lots of posts about what is Perinatal Depression and treatments how to get out of it.

'If you are having the second baby, then you might have Perinatal Depression which is combined disease with prenatal and postpartum depression and it has similar symptoms with yours. How might you get a checkup?' Jenny never knew of what is Perinatal Depression. She hasn't realized that she is in this much serious situation. She goes to see her doctor.

On the next day, she gets a notification from the app that she has got answers. One of them was from an expert on obstetrics.

After the post has got popular with 150 PREPPYs*, lots of other people also view the post and they look back themselves whether they have the same symptoms.

Jenny decides to upload a post on 'Forum' section of the app about her journey of how she has got Perinatal Depression and got treatments.

2 weeks later, she feels better than before since she has got diagnosed with Perinatal Depression. Jenny compares what she wrote about her feeling today and the one from two weeks ago, she realizes how she was so depressed at that time.

* PREPPY is a function that shows a number of recommendations from other users.