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2 months


Tom Ryan Wovak
Lauren Albanese
Jiahui Su


UX Researcher

UX Designer

Why did we design this product?

Why did we design this product?

Depending on the research, humans are now responsible for causing changes in the environment that hurt wildlife. We take up more space on Earth for our homes and cities. We pollute habitats. We illegally hunt and kill animals. We bring exotic species into habitats. All of these activities take resources and habitats away from wildlife. Scientists agree that today's extinction rate of wildlife is hundreds, or even thousands, of times higher than the natural baseline rate. However, for a sustainable future for all, human-wildlife coexistence is necessary. Having empathy for wildlife can help foster affective attitudes and a concern for the protection of wildlife.

We narrow down the range to focus on marine wildlife. Because in my opinion, people are harder to make connections with marine animals than other animals due to they don't have rich facial emotional expressions. We want to create a product that can help people build up their empathy for wildlife, raise money for wildlife conservation, and increase visitor traffic to aquariums.

User Personas

Knowing Users (User Personas)

My team interview target users and other potential users, we summarized that in personas to make sure the design would meet the needs of users.

  • Target Users (tweens and teenagers)

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  • Potential Users

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Pain Points and Solutions

Pain Points and Solutions

Pain Points

  • People are hard to build up their empathy for wildlife, which increases the difficulty of protecting wildlife. 

  • When people visit an aquarium, they can't interact with animals directly. 

  • When people visit an aquarium, they can't match the introduction guide to the specific fish in a short time.

  • Outside the aquariums, people have no way to keep interacting with wildlife.

  • Some information about wildlife on the Internet is too professional for tweens and teenagers to understand.

  • There is no good way for wildlife protection organizations to raise money other than accepting donations.


Making a product (app):

  • Users can interact with wildlife like friends. When users discover a new fish, the fish will introduce himself/herself in the first person. (I believe when people no longer feel wildlife not just animals but their friends, they can feel connections with them and build up empathy to them.)

  • Users can use this app on phones and interact with wildlife anytime and anywhere.

  • Use photo recognization technology - take a photo of an animal and get the related information quickly. 

  • Streamline the information about animals, animal information in the app is concise and easy to understand.

  • The money that users purchase for the tank decoration items in the app will be used for wildlife protection in real life.

Product Summary

Product Summary

  • ​Aquarium app uses AR features and photo recognition technology

  • Accessible semi-realistic art style

  • Scan in the fish you see to collect and take care of them

  • Learn more about the fish as they tell you more about themselves

  • Enjoy decorating and maintaining a virtual aquarium

  • All proceeds from decoration items go to aquariums and wildlife conservation organizations

  • Generate empathy for real fish as users meet and interact with the virtual fish

Strategic Goals

Strategic Goals

  • Build empathy for less charismatic species

  • Instill a love of animals in future generations 

  • Generate donations for aquariums and wildlife conservation organizations

User Flow

User Flow

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Jake is on a trip to the aquarium with his dad and little brother. His dad is busy with his little brother and trying to keep him engaged with the different experiences. He finds himself left out or uninterested in many of the experiences.

Jake sees a poster for our app with a QR code and scans it.

He downloads the app.

After opening the app he’s immediately met with an interactive virtual aquarium.


After familiarizing himself with the app Jake quickly begins scanning and collecting fish for his virtual aquarium. After scanning a fish the fish introduces themself and explains some information about their environment, diet, and much more.

Jake feels much more included and engaged with the different animals at the aquarium. After leaving the aquarium Jake is able to continue taking care of and playing with his fish in the virtual aquarium.

App Mockup

App Mockup


The tutorial pops up, and the user can click the question mark button in the upper right corner to re-read the tutorial.

Main Page (Camera Page)

     Hamburger Menu

From top to bottom are settings, fish information, fish tank and store.


Use the camera to "catch" a fish.

Interact with the fish

Learn more information about the fish.


Settings Page

Fish Information Page

Search/discover new fishes and learn more about discovered fishes.

Click the specific fish to explore complete information.


Fish Tank Page

Different tanks depend on fishes' different living environments.

Store Page

Next Steps

What can we improve? (Next Steps)

  • Create cuter cartoon images of fishes used for fishes to introduce themselves when users first "catch" them. 

  • Add more interesting interactions with fishes.

  • Create more flexible fish animations.

  • In cooperation with the aquarium, regular seasonal events are held to attract more users.

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