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Senior Capstone Project


Senior Capstone Project


Figma • Photoshop • Illustrator • InDesign • Premiere Pro • ProCreate


Senior Thesis 1 + 2 • Aynne Valencia


9 months; September 2022 - April 2023


UI/UX Design • Wire-frames • Prototypes • Visual Design • Usability testing • Video Production • Illustration • Animation • Marketing • Research


How Might We make abortion care accessible to people in all 50 states in a post-Roe world?


For my senior thesis project, I decided to explore the issue of abortion rights and the current lack of access poorer American women have to the procedure. Over the course of two semesters, I researched, iterated, and designed a mobile app solution that fronts as a kid's game but utilizes secret links and encryption to get users the care they need.

What is Kitti?

On the surface, Kitti might look like a cute mobile game that any girl could have on her phone, but when looked at more closely, it reveals itself to be an app designed to subvert an oppressive system. While it contains many features, its main purpose is to use the technology of secret links and encryption to provide medication abortion pills through discrete mail delivery to people whose state prohibits them from accessing this care locally.

Whisper for help

Receive medication abortion pills through discrete mail delivery no matter which state you live in. Request an international tele-health appointment and prescription through an encrypted chat and secret link.

Cute kitties protect your privacy

Toggle to a redacted version of this app that looks like a kid's mobile game to avoid having data leveraged against you in the case that your phone is seized and searched. In this state, all purchase/chat history and data is offloaded and locked. Returning to the main version would require a passcode, ensuring no one else can access your data.

Modules that educate

Take care of your pet kitty by earning energy points through completing the in-app modules Read, Quiz, Reflect, and Profile. Learn more about reproductive rights and healthcare through these activities.

Products you can purchase

Select products to buy from the array of reputable pharmacies partnering with Kitti. Birth control pills and other healthcare products are delivered discretely and their sales fund the rest of the Kitti app.


Roe v. Wade has been overturned, resulting in almost half of US states restricting abortion access

The overturning of Roe vs. Wade in June 2022 has brought the reproductive rights of American women under attack. A pregnant person’s access to a safe and legal abortion is now back up to the discretion of the politicians and lawmakers of individual states. Many states had trigger laws, resulting in the immediate criminalization of all forms of abortion and over 20.9 million women losing their right to bodily autonomy overnight. The people hit hardest by this ruling are those who cannot get an abortion in their state and cannot afford to travel for one.

The different directions a project in this space could go seemed endless when I first thought about it, so I took some time to do research and figure out where opportunities for design could be. The summer before the first semester of this project, I had noticed online that many women had started deleting their period tracking apps as the popular period-tracking app Flo came under fire for selling user data to Facebook about when a user was on their period or wanted to get pregnant. A growing distrust for what could be done with their data and how missed period data may be leveraged against them in states where abortions are illegal had driven many to leaving these apps altogether, so this seemed like a springboard for opportunity.


Being denied an abortion can ruin a person's life

To narrow down on my project, I did some research on the issue. Reproductive rights is a widely documented and well-researched topic so I did not find it necessary to do any initial primary research on my own. I looked into why abortions access is important, the political and competitive landscape, and the solutions currently in place.

What does it mean to be denied an abortion?

I first looked into the dangers of being denied an abortion to frame an argument for why the pro-choice movement is worth designing for. Here is what I found:

  • Childbirth is the only alternative to abortion and has a 14 times higher risk of death, which means denying someone an abortion forces them to assume a significant medical risk against their will

  • A UCSF study comparing the outcomes of people who were over the gestational limit and denied an abortion and those who were under the limit and received an abortion found that those denied were in higher levels of poverty, more likely to be unemployed, had lower credit scores and increased debt, and reported poorer physical and mental health

  • The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country, with 3 in 5 of those deaths being preventable through abortion care

What is the competitive landscape?

I then looked into which organizations and platforms are used in this space.

  • Abortion Care Providers: Physician’s offices, hospitals, abortion clinics, abortion boats

  • Advocacy Groups: NARAL, ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights

  • Connective Services: Planned Parenthood,,, Red State Access

  • Delivery Services: Plan C Pills, Hey Jane, Nurx, Carafem, Aid Access, Pills By Post, Abortion on Demand

  • Period Tracking Apps: Health, Flo, Clue, Ovia Fertility, Eve by Glow, Spot On

  • Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok

What are people currently doing about it?
  • Rallying, lobbying, and protesting

  • Hybrid media systems

  • Hashtags

  • Algorithmic activism

  • Narrative-driven platforms like HerStoryTold

  • Abortion boats

  • Drone delivery

  • Online delivery resources


Solution brainstorm... social platforms?

After getting enough insight into the problem space and current solutions, I crafted the following problem statement to get started with brainstorming:

How Might We use technology in a creative way to empower women in their reproductive health decisions?

The feedback I got from presenting this to my class was that the more outlandish ideas caught their eyes. I had stayed safe and thought of many social media-style concepts that created shared narratives, mobilized activists, or raised awareness, but did not venture into many ideas that challenged why the procedure is even criminalized to begin with. 

At this point, I thought about what I was doing and why I was doing it. The power of this project was to create something that would disrupt an oppressive system. I realized I’d be doing a disservice to myself and my target users by continuing to be so guarded with my ideas. So I edited my HMW to include the problem I actually wanted to solve:

How Might We make abortion care accessible to people in all 50 states in a post-Roe world?


Shipping medication abortion pills internationally is not *illegal*...

...But it is a gray area. I found this out after going back to the drawing board and digging into any legal loopholes I could think of.

Through my next round of research, I discovered a service called Aid Access, created by a Dutch doctor named Rebecca Gomperts. How it works is a patient will fill out an online form and schedule a telehealth appointment with a doctor in Austria. That doctor can then prescribe them abortion pills if the patient qualifies and a pharmacy in India will deliver it through discrete packaging. The legality of this process is blurry and I wanted to take advantage of that. While shipping abortion products between states can be criminalized, as long as the FDA approves mifepristone and misoprostol, those prescribed medicines being shipped internationally is technically not criminalized.

Screenshot 2023-09-08 at 1.39.14 PM.png

I wanted to use a similar framework in my concept so I looked into some of the current issues Aid Access faces. Here is what I found:

  • Ranks very low in Google SEO due to it not being an American Health company

  • Few people know about it

  • Data can be traced back to users so there is still a lack of privacy, especially if a person's phone is seized and searched

  • Anti-abortion activists have been trying to get the service shut down

I started brainstorming again, keeping privacy in mind, and considered an app that disguises itself as something innocuous but actually enables patients to obtain medication abortion pills. Creating a system which gives users extra padding and security while partnering with and elevating a reputable service that already has the infrastructure for the physical problem became the primary direction this project headed in. 


Building the Trojan Horse
Round 1: Feature brainstorm + low-fidelity wireframes

I was inspired by the idea of virtual pets and kids games when I came up with the concept of Kitti. It would look like a cute cat mobile game on the surface, but discretely enable users to unlock a mode in which secret links and encryption lead them to the telehealth site. I also wanted to include educational modules and ways for users to get involved in the reproductive rights space. These were the features I initially thought about:

  • Complete tasks, finish activities, and attend events to grow a relationship with a virtual cat

  • Gamify the experience so users earn points for interacting with the app

  • Write stories, reflections, experiences, and read those of others

  • Purchase health products and earn points for those

  • Donate to and volunteer for local pro-choice organizations

  • RSVP to protests and events

  • Share resources and information


Round 1 Wireframes (Link to wireframes); Figma

I did some user testing with 5 female participants aged 18-22. Here is some of the feedback I got:

  • Consider the ways this product could be misused

  • Consider reliability and pharmaceutical regulations

  • Cat's name could be used as a passcode

  • Bring location selection up to the front of the FTUE and have it be a manual selection so GPS data can't be tracked

  • Add second version of app that looks like a kid's game​

My professor also encouraged me to scrap a lot of the community and action features to streamline the focus of the app, so I decided to dig deeper into the privacy aspect.

Round 2: Cutting out the fat

I wanted to further solidify how the app should be used and clarify to myself what the most important features for my target user would be, so I created a journey map.

Kitti User Journey

User Journey Map; Figma

Additionally, I thought about the visual branding direction that made the most sense. The tone needed to feel friendly yet reputable, so I opted for clean and soft visuals. In this round, the main features were the interactive modules, method of switching to a redacted "mobile game" view, and whisper feature.


Round 2 Wireframes (Link to wireframes); Figma

Round 3: Refining the visual style + experimenting with feature augments

I took the winter break to create my own illustrations, update the visual design style, and build some other pages that would be important to show, such as the specific module activities and extra caution measures around the redact toggle feature.


Kitti Illustrations, ProCreate


Round 3 Wireframes (Link to wireframes); Figma

I went back to user testing after completing a third round of wireframes which further fleshed out the feature ideas, included suggestions from past user tests, and had updated visuals. I asked 8 18-24 year old women to go through my prototype and give me any feedback.


User testing

Here is what I heard:

  • Sephora-style point system may overcomplicate things

  • Add a close option to category selections in FTUE

  • Add a way to save modules the user wants to return to

  • Make it very clear that location data isn't tracked

  • Make the progress bar the color of whichever activity was completed

  • Further emphasize "Don't use real name" in FTUE

  • Put less text on module button

  • Pink selection could look like an error message

Round 4 (Final): Adding micro-interactions, edge cases, and finalizing features

With the feedback in mind, I created the final round of wireframes, fixing any potential issues or complications the user may run into and building out small micro-interactions that would enhance the overall experience.


Round 4 Wireframes (Link to wireframes); Figma


I wanted to elevate the playfulness of the app, so I decided to animate the illustrations using ProCreate. The animations would also bring more life and believability to the virtual pet concept.


How would you discover this product?

One of the biggest challenges of this project was figuring out how to market it. The power of the app is its ability to hide in plain sight, so I felt like the promotional artifacts should accomplish as well. Because this project would also be displayed in the 2023 CCA Senior Showcase, I included some supplemental items viewers could take with them.

Pspsps Stickers

The "Whisper" feature is probably the most important part of the Kitti app, so I wanted to highlight this in a lighthearted promotional sticker.

Kitti sticker mockup; ProCreate

Kitti stickers

Screenshot 2023-04-05 at 5.36.22 PM.png
Exhibition Poster

One of the most straight-forward methods of getting a message across is a poster, so of course I had to create one to communicate the purpose of the app. For part of the branding, I used a slogan frequently heard in pro-choice movements: We Won't Go Back. This phrase in conjunction with the cute cat imagery piques a person's interest and generates curiosity about what Kitti is.


Kitti poster; Illustrator

Business Cards

Kitti business cards; InDesign

Background Video: Why is this app important?

For people who may not be up-to-date with the reproductive rights space, I created a video detailing the issue which would be played on a monitor near the rest of the exhibition. The video is made up of clips I found discussing the impact of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and what this could mean for our democracy. 

Background video; Figma, Premiere Pro

Infomercial Video: What is Kitti all about?

In addition to the background video, I made a second part that stands alone as an infomercial. This video presents my product concept, and walks through the problem, functionality, and proposed value it would bring.

Final Video; Adobe Premiere Pro


Putting it all together

For the exhibition, I printed out the poster, business cards, and stickers. I kept a phone prototype out for passersby to interact with and an iPad with my slide deck detailing the solution idea. On the wall was a monitor with headphones playing the two videos I put together. Here is what the final exhibition looked like:


Kitti Exhibition at CCA 2023 Senior Showcase

Final Slide Deck and Process Book


What I learned
Less is more

One of the most important lessons I learned from this project is that sometimes less is more. My first iteration of wire-frames included tons of features that tried to cater to everyone remotely interested in the reproductive rights space, but by stripping back features and focusing on the main purpose of the app, the final deliverables had focus. 

Start wild, come down to Earth later

Another takeaway I had was that in the initial stages of brainstorming, it's important to give fair thought to the things that sound impossible. The ambition to innovate is what drives technology forward, and it is okay to generate crazy ideas at first, and then refine them into realistic solutions later. Fusing elements of a wilder idea to a down-to-Earth solution can make the end result so much more interesting and thought-provoking.

Next Steps

If I were to continue this project or do it over, there are a few things I would do differently:

  1. Experiment with the Whisper feature more before landing on the chat room format.

  2. Try to do more primary research.

  3. Figure out some more subtle marketing methods (and maybe create a stuffed Kitti doll).

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