This image shows the home screen and main walking meditation screen mocked-up.


Who or What

USC CreateSC 2022


Illustrator & UI Designer


May 25th - 27th, 2022 | 2 days

Sampo is a mobile app created for the Create SC 2022 design-a-thon, where the prompt was to, “design a mobile app that promotes and reflects the principles of wellness in design”. With user wellness in mind, the app encourages wellness through guided walking meditations and community with user-generated meditation decks. Sampo is an active and explorative approach for playful meditation and movement for users. This project was selected to be presented as one of the finalists/runner-ups.


Regarding the brief about wellness and design, Lucy and I felt immediately drawn to Headspace, Calm, and Breathwrk. We knew we weren’t going to revolutionize anything new, but we wanted to definitely do something different. Especially since wellness is so broad, it felt kind of hard to pin down where to double down and focus.

In our day-to-day life, we knew the many opportunities UCLA and its neighborhood has for walking. And you walk everyday, and you don’t need to schedule it. It also promotes stimulation of one’s mind and body while exploring new things about one’s surroundings. So we sought out to sources to support this through:

"walking for an hour a day...can reduce your risk of major depression"

-AARP (2020)
“I had been in hospital for about a year and when you go to walk you are trudging through the earth and you are becoming one... Absolutely beautiful”

- Issues in Mental Health Nursing (2007)

inspiration from experience


We aim to innovate beyond existing screen-free meditation apps and expand upon the enjoyment of activities during walks and in nature.


The app's aesthetic, inspired by Jack Forrest and Headspace, features warm nature images, resulting a friendly and fun experience with our sun mascot.

We wanted to make the experience of walking more humane, grounded, and filled with curiosity, while also encouraging exploration. By combining existing features and infusing a playful tone, we aimed to create a unique and engaging app that stands out in the realm of wellness and mental health support.

From there, we determined the following two goals would benefit our users and their well-being:

  • Users can go on the app and have an easy guide that improves wellness like taking a walk, meditating, sketching, relaxing, and engaging in accessible activities
  • User-created decks will generate more content thus encouraging exploration and community engagement

Decks are the main modes to use the app, comparable to a deck of cards or similar to Quizlet’s use — Sampo utilizes decks to create individual moments and activities for users to interact with themselves and nature as they walk.

what are our values

Walking is our main solution, but how do we add value to this. We believe in being present, flexible, and its ability to connect with others as a means to increase value.

Be Present

Checkpoints and pausing permit breaks and active exploration

Be Flexible

Varied durations and to opt in and out of features allow adaptability

Connect with Others

Creating own decks/paths creates a sense of community

wait, what are we doing?

An obstacle we came across despite feeling quite content with our progress, we realized that upon first look, users may not understand the key features are. Oftentimes, the ones devising the solution find these solutions obvious. We asked ourselves then, “How do you know what to expect?” And if people forget over time, what actions can they take to re-learn?

Stumped, we ourselves took a walk to a nearby yard sale and found the solution quite easily. A little map guiding us to the very yard sale inspired us to create a little guide too. By creating a little onboarding guide upon logging in and adding a question-mark indicator in the upper-left corner, we were able to solve the following issues:

  • How do you know what to expect? 👉 You will be greeted with a solution/set of expectations upon first use
  • What if you forget the steps? 👉 A question mark/help indicator is available to you on the home screen on the upper-left hand corner


Visual Identity: Rounded corners, natural colors, and shapes evoke friendliness and playfulness.
Onboarding: The challenge was met with a simple solution, a little guide that can be revisited for new and returning members.
Swiping Decks: While not physical, this interaction permits a kind of tactility — while creating an easy way to progress through decks.
User-Generated Decks: With the option to create decks, users in specific locales will have personalized walking experiences that encourage exploration.

key takeaways

  • Time is money, and the quickest solutions can still provide the highest quality
  • Personality can polish the product where adding more features cannot

I learned a lot about how to prioritize with the time constraints and how to double down on specific solutions. Despite said constraints and challenges, we were able to create a solution we would consume for sure.

If I had more time, I would have probably done more UX research and preparation, since we could have been more deliberate about our target demographics and more user-specific insights. Furthermore, it would have been great to expand on the community aspect or clarify it beyond user-generated decks only.

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