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Mobile App

We designed a mobile app version of an existing website, Corona Diaries (, an open source audio site where people can share their stories surrounding the pandemic.

My Role: UX Researcher, UI & Visual Designer

Team: 4 UX Researchers, 1 UI Designers 

Tools : Figma, Zoom, Miro, Marvel, Maze, ZoomTimeline: 6 Weeks

The Goal

Design an accessible mobile app version of the Corona Diaries website that suits the user needs of an audio app.  With recording ability, the app still bears in mind privacy concerns regarding the contentious subject of COVID-19.

How do people listen to audio?


Users need a mobile tool that allows them to hear stories from people around the world in similar circumstances to help cope with isolation.

Identifying Our Users

In reality, no two users are alike, and our primary and secondary users may likely have dissenting perspectives.  However, everyone has been affected by the pandemic and share some sort of frustration.  The main difference between any two users would be whether or not they choose to post stories of their own.

Primary User

People confined to their homes due to the pandemic, namely stay-at-home or work-from-home parents.  These users might typically be more reserved, or less inclined to share.  They would come to something like Corona Diaries as a spectator.

Secondary User

Young, ambitious, ideologue.  More inclined to share stories as well as listen.  


Users will be able to connect with stories from all over the world, maintain privacy, and be encouraged to express themselves candidly.

Design Studio

Exploring possible features.

Core Features​​


  • Story Repository


  • Save/Like Posted Stories


  • Guest/Member Browsing

Signature Features

  • Audio Transmission (Recording)


  • Keywords/Tags


  • Anonymity

Initial Testing

Of 8 Usability tests, 62.5% of Users reached the end target.


I took the opportunity to re-design the app, addressing some of the issues that we (as a team) would have liked to improve upon.

Double Diamond - Back

Revisiting the Problem Statement

Users need a mobile tool that allows them to seek emotional validation by hearing stories that relate to their own.

Reconsidering Features

  • Ability to "Like" or "Favorite" a story

  • Privacy Settings for User posting​

  • Onboarding Process

More Competitive Analysis

Corona Diaries - Redesign.pptx (4).png

Cross-analyzing some of the industries top competitors lead to iterations that had increasingly more familiarity, with a modern touch.


Room for Improvement

  • More Research

    • Competitive Analysis

      • Specifically regarding privacy settings and more.​

      • Top Features of top Competitors - what makes those features successful?

    • Revise User Interview Questions

      • Engaging more with the aspects of Social Media and the "dopamine effect"

    • Deeper dive into Contextual Inquiries​

      • We barely scratched the surface, and I feel even a better design could stem from more analysis of people interacting with the existing site.​

    • Multiple rounds of grayscale prototyping and testing​

      • I seemed to be stuck in the polish faze throughout my own iterations, and didn't take full advantage of iterating in grayscale to allow the process to move faster.​

Thanks for showing interest in this case study!  If you'd like to see more of my work as a UX/UI designer, please check out my other projects.


Contextual Inquiries • Competitive Analysis • User Interviews 

Exploring the site for ourselves.  Interviewing others.

Competitive Analysis

User Interviews

A total of 12 interviews, with two sets of questions revolving around the Pandemic and use of blogs revealed that:

  • Would like an outlet to post and listen anonymously


  • They want to hear relative experiences

  • Users prefer to listen over sharing


  • They feel isolated due to the pandemic​

​Key takeaways from user feedback:​

  • Navigation was easy once prompt was read

  • Users liked the concept of being able to share and listen to stories surrounding the pandemic

  • Map feature fell short, "underwhelming"

  • Confusion about the purpose of the map

  • Users wished to be able to browse files based on subject

Menu Page.JPG

Logging in or Signing Up allows user access to the full experience Corona Diaries has to offer, including changing privacy settings on your story at any point in time.

Usability Tests

Populate a Story List by Using the "Location" tab

Open Audio Player Screen

Populate a Story List by Using the "Location" tab

Record & Post an Audio Story

Populate a Story List by Searching Keywords

Change User and Location Display Settings on Previously Posted Story

"How would you rate the ease of use? (Consider how easy or difficult you found it to complete the given tasks) "

"How would you rate the visual design? (Consider the look of the screens and any animations) "


Round 2

Redesigned and Prototyped completely in Figma.  Don't want to set up an account?  Don't have to.  In the new prototype, users are still allowed to browse and listen to stories without signing up.  The ability to search tags and browse categories has also been updated.


Listen. Share. Connect.
Corona Diaries 3X.png
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©2023 Ronnie Barnett

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