HACKATHOn 1st place / mobile app


Making post-pandemic dating a little less stressful.

Jason Chen
Jeriann Hsiao

Visual Design

4 Weeks

An online dating app that helps people overcome anxiety from social interactions post COVID-19 lockdowns.

During the first ever Product Splash Hackathon, I conceptualized Butterfly with Jeriann Hsiao and Jason Chen. I individually prototyped and tested interactions to realize our design decisions.


Pandemic and Isolation

Isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns in the United States worsened many people’s mental health. Many people struggled to return to socializing normally after lockdown. How can people feel comfortable dating again?


Young adults already felt frustrated by online dating before the pandemic.

From: Pew Research Center

84% said their social skills have worsened or stagnated due to the pandemic lockdowns.

Our 19 survey respondents heavily rely on their friends for emotional + mental health support when they dated before the pandemic.

Leading dating apps only focus on matching and offer no mental or emotional support.


Enabling friends to support each other in their dating journeys will help them overcome anxiety about dating post COVID.

Status Updates: share their highs and lows of dating

Boosts: Mutually support each other through custom messages, gifts, and pick-me-ups.

Separate Friends and Dating Network: Building relationships with friends and going on dates in the same app.


Existing Feature Research: Self reflection, confiding in others, and meditation.

I led the ideation portion of the project. We began by looking at leading existing wellness apps to get ideas.

Develop features that are interactive not just lecturing users about mental health.


Emphasize support of friends on the app.

1. Information Architecture

Users were not sure if Statuses and Boosts were visible to Friends and Matches. It could've been made more clear if Matches chat page were included in the prototype.

2. Staying Connected

Users expressed feeling more connected if they could also see their friend's statuses on the home-page.

3. Focusing on Dating

Users were confused in what context they were supposed to answer "How are you feeling?"

Final Design: Dating with emotional and friendly support

Being seen by those who care.

Status updates allow users to share how they’re feeling about their dating life with their Friends list.

Send and receive messages, gift cards, or memes of support and comfort from their friends.

Send boosts

receive boosts


Design the design process

Designing the design process is just as important as the design itself. I had to keep readjusting our milestone timelines in reaction to our design progress.

Keep asking 'why'

Every design decision has to be justified and backed with research, usability, or user insight. If we had more time, I would’ve liked to conduct in-person interviews after our surveys.

Align personal agendas

Knowing where each team member stands with their personal agenda for the project can help the design process as well. Our team knew we wanted to have a polished product instead of spending extra time making something radical.