Helping kids identify, express, and manage their feelings during times of conflict
Peacemaker mobile app

Word mapping


User scenario
Journey mapping
Visual design

The problem

This project was completed at the Adobe Creative Jam during San Diego Startup Week 2018 where my teammate and I competed against eight other teams in a design tournament. Upon revealing the theme “Emoji,” we had three hours to complete a mobile prototype using Adobe XD and present it to a panel of judges and large audience.

How might we translate the surprise theme “Emoji” into an innovative application that solves a relatable problem?

The solution

Kids have a difficult time expressing their feelings, especially during times of anger and frustration. Peacemaker is a mobile app that helps kids cool down and sort out their feelings before handling a confrontation.

Jump to Peacemaker prototype ↓
My Role

UX designer
Visual designer


People’s Choice Award, Second Place


Adobe XD


Carol Taira
Betty Lau


Word mapping

We began brainstorming the “emoji” theme by creating word maps on our own for ten minutes. Even though it was just a fun and friendly competition, we wanted to focus on solving a real problem and creating value.

Peacemaker word maps during brainstorming session

I imagined different situations in which emotions or ideas are expressed without words. I thought this would be a good opportunity for tracking and managing moods.



After another ten minutes of sharing our ideas and focusing on innovative emoji problem-solving, we came up with the concept behind Peacemaker: a mobile app that guides kids to identify, express, and manage their feelings during times of conflict.

We defined kids as our target audience because sometimes they don’t have the words to express how they feel and may act out in problematic ways. Emojis would help kids identify their feelings and develop an emotional vocabulary so they can talk about them.

User scenario

Timmy is a 10-year-old boy with an iPhone and an Apple Watch who is at home playing with his younger sister.

1. Conflict

Timmy's sister accidentally breaks his favorite toy. He yells at her and runs to his room crying hysterically.

2. App check-in

His Apple Watch detects his increased heart rate and prompts the Peacemaker app to check in on him.

3. Resolution

Timmy goes through the app to help him express his feelings and cool down so he can calmly resolve the conflict in person.

Journey mapping

We utilized rapid experience prototyping to quickly map out Timmy’s interaction with Peacemaker, identifying features and functions.

Peacemaker journey map


In order to determine which screens to design, we rapidly sketched out wireframes and connected them in a flow.

Peacemaker wireflow

Visual design

We designed Peacemaker to be intuitive and minimal with friendly rounded shapes and an easy-to-read typeface. I came up with the name Peacemaker and created a simple logotype. I also chose the palette of cool blues to evoke feelings of calmness and stability. Since we didn’t have enough time to create custom illustrations we used emojis that I got from EmojiOne.


UI elements

Peacemaker UI elements


Source Sans Pro typeface



Peacemaker emojis
Peacemaker mobile app screens

Final prototype


The three-hour time constraint was a challenge that made me focus on efficiency and communication. Although my teammate and I had prepared our approach ahead of time, it was difficult to stick to our planned schedule. For instance, it took us longer to brainstorm and ideate, which left us with less time to work on the UI.

Relying on assumptions and not having time for proper UX research and user testing made me feel uneasy. However, I was confident and eager about the concept we came up with so there was no friction in designing the prototype.

This was also my first time using Adobe XD, but luckily the learning curve wasn’t steep. Designing, exporting, and linking screens in addition to recording a walkthrough video was easy.


Being a part of this unique experience that allowed me to exercise my creative muscles for three continuous hours was an exciting honor. The entire process was fun and enjoyable, especially getting up on stage in front of more than 400 people to present Peacemaker. I ended up improvising a skit acting as the 10-year-old Timmy and it was a successful hit.

Peacemaker won People’s Choice Award, Second Place.

I’m extremely grateful for everyone’s support. We received a lot of positive feedback from parents who said they would use it not only with their kids but for themselves.

Adobe Creative Jam Behance →

Moving forward

After the Creative Jam event my teammate and I reconvened to flush out our app. We began shaping it to be a real-time cooldown smart watch app for kids since that experience would be more seamless.

However, there were too many drawbacks to this route:

  • Inaccessibility: not every kid has a smart watch
  • Technology: situational heart rate functionality
  • Behavior: kids wouldn’t be motivated to use it on their own

So I decided to shift to a supplementary therapy tool that helps kids practice CBT at home.

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