A Socio-ecological approach to physical activity


National Institutes of Health (funded by NIH partnering with CMU and Duquesne University)


February - July 2020

My Role in this Project:

Design Lead, UX Design, Design Dev Handoff


Jessica Hammer and Melissa Kalarchian (faculty advisors)
Vicky Lin(project manager), Adela Kapucinska(design advisor), Xuanyuan (Ember) Liu and Lily Shan(UX designers), Alice Cai and Iris Yip (illustrators), Gal Fleissig(Dev Team Lead), Hyelee Wang and Xinyu (Mimi) Wang(developers), and Kristian Tchetchko(sound designer).

about the project

Frolic is a mobile game primarily designed for girls from ages 7 to 12 and supports family involvement. The concept and design (Phase 2) for the mobile app won first place at National Institutes of Health’s Shape of Health Competition: An Obesity Prevention Game competition. As part of the mandate for the winning design, the mobile app was shipped to iOS stores

  • Minimising screen time: Since, overuse of screen-based media is linked to greater obesity and less physical activity. Frolic's hybrid digital-physical play experience that encourages physical activity amongst players.
  • Reducing uncertainty: Giving children choices about what to play can increase their physical activity. Frolic matches girls with appropriate games while reducing “choice fatigue.”
  • Added reinforcement: Feedback and reward systems in games shape player behaviour. Frolic celebrates girls’ successes and tracks their progress over time thereby reinforcing physical activity and engagement with the app.
  • Include parents: Family-based interventions can be effective at shaping child behaviour. Parental engagement and child physical activity form a positive feedback loop. Frolic reminds parents to let their girls play, helps them understand what girls are doing and facilitates family conversations.
  • Broaden access: Making the experience positive is as important as making it inclusive, to make it seem less daunting for the users. Frolic aims to empower diverse girls of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and physical abilities. 

promotional video

The key design decisions, usability testing findings and other design features are still being added to this case study. If you have any questions please reach out to me at or via Linkedin, and I'll be happy to chat further!