Project Overview

Magpie is a mobile application built for EMT (provider of emergency medical services). The app allows EMTs to browse, collect, and later review the anonymous thank-you notes posted by the ones they attended.

Date: November 2014
Location: CMU Interaction Design Course
Duration: 3 weeks (class time)

{ Prompt }

Design a mobile application that will be used and liked by EMTs

Step #1. Define persona and challenge
The project starts with a few rounds of literature reviews and secondary research. We used two personas and tried to identify their challenges.


51, Chicago EMT, wife and no kids

High school diploma, smart, calm

Good follower, not used to making decision

Proud of career, happy marriage

Not tech savvy, owns an iPhone

Fear of being replaced by the young generation


34, Phoenix, husband and daughter

Attended technical school for medical training

Desire to take care of others

Experience real fear at work and sometimes depressed

Hope to step up further in career

Work life balance means a lot

Step #2. Ideation and scoping

After coming up with over twenty ideas that might help and appeal to our personas, we narrowed down to four, and eventually decided to build an application to cater their emotional needs.

  • Mapping ideas to feasibility / impact map

  • Completed ideation and mapping

  • Completed ideation and mapping

Step #3. Create flow map

A set of flow maps were hand-sketched, and we iterated twice based on critcs received. The final version featured a clear logical flow for higher fidelity processes.

  • Working on flow map

  • Receiving peer critics

  • Completed flow map

Step #4. Digital mockup iterations

Based on revised hand sketches, an initial digital mockup was produced. The second and third iteration focused on better styling and color schemes, bringing into account personas' potential use scenarios.

Compared to iteration #1 (left), iteration #2 (right) applied a cleaner background pattern. The key "Collect" button was also moved to here from the zoomed-in view.

Iteration #3 (right) changed the view where shoebox gets clicked open. Apart from being more visually appealing, the view also enabled users to slide for more notes.

... Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.    - Ivan Chermayeff

Project Outcome

Magpie is made for EMTs. It caters their unique emotional needs, granting greater satisfaction towards work, and helps them relieve stress after occasional traumas at work. The project went through research, ideation, scoping, flow mapping, and design iteration phases.

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