© 2019 by Chao-Yu Chen. All rights reserved.

The Concept


What method do you use to record your memories?

How often do you look back to your memories?

Storage of Self-Talk ​

Talkmory is a native app allows users to record their memories. The concept of the application is to use voices as a memory recording method while improve emotional well-being of the users. 

We look and browse our phone all the time. People spend too much time watching, browsing but too little time talking and expressing. As the most intimate electronic device to people, the phone can store our memories through photos and videos. How about create a voice album? A voice collecting app which uses your language to record your memories and encourage you to talk to yourself as mental health companion?

I Wonder​...

How to collect our feelings through voices instead of images (photos) on the phone?
Do people listen to their voice objectively?

How self-talk can improve emotional well-being?

What tools of the phone could provide us other than visual contents?



Background Knowledge / Empathy Research / Related Product

Research Goals

  1. The behavior of taking excessive photos to document our lives.

  2. Understand talk therapy and its influences.

  3. The differences of talking out loud and talking in the brain.

  4. Understand the memory storage methods.

  5. An approach to collect our voices as albums of memories and use them as a tool to increase mental health.


  • Taking photos can actually impair your ability to recall details of the event later, despite – and likely because of – the effort spent taking excessive photographs.

  • We treat the camera as a sort of external memory device. We have this expectation that the camera is going to remember things for us, so we don’t have to continue processing that object and we don’t engage in the types of things that would help us remember it.

  • Many times people are taking photos but rather to say this is how I’m feeling right here, right now.

  • The average person has 630 photos stored on their phone. Around 95 million photos are uploaded to social media each day.

  • Language provides us with this tool to gain distance from our own experiences when we’re reflecting on our lives.

  • When we talk to ourselves we’re trying to see things more objectively.

  • Talking with yourself not only relieves the loneliness, it may also make you smarter.

  • Whether you’re living by yourself or living with others, you’re always living with yourself. 

  • By talking to ourselves we become more deliberate, and this creates a slower process to think, feel and act, instead of being bombarded by our thoughts.

  • Emotional garbage may not occupy any physical space but it creates a great psychological, mental and spiritual burden.​

  • Kinds of Self-Talk:

1. Instructional self-talk: Tasks that involved focus, strategy and technique  

2. Motivational self-talk: Tasks based on speed, strength and power

  • Self-Distancing:

Focusing on the self from the distanced perspective of a third person, even though that person is you. We can think more clearly because we have distance from the experience. It helps you to look at the situation from a logical, objective perspective rather than an emotional, biased one.​

Empathy Research

I asked 5 participants to share their experience on writing diaries and ways of recording memories. They are 2 males and 3 females between 20 – 34 years old. Two are full-time students, the other three participants are young professionals.​


  1. What method do you use to record your memories?

  2. How often do you look back to your memories?

  3. When you record your memories, do you intend to share with others later on?

  4. How often do you talk to yourself? When was the last time you had a conversation with yourself?

  5. Do you record your voice with your phone?

  6. What are the messages you talk to yourself?


  1. People record their memories through taking photos by their phones.

  2. After taking the photos, most people don't look back for them after 2 months.

  3. Users are taking photos to communicate, rather than to remember.

  4. People talk to themselves without noticing they are doing it.

  5. People don't record their voice other than recording a meeting. 

What if an app can...

Guide us to record our memories of how we feel, and expresses truth without judgment.​

invisible storage of intangible

Help us to process and sort out our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.​

mental health companion

Related Product Research​

Moodpath: For the detection and treatment of depression.

Free Download


  • Personalized mental health companion. 

  • Answer daily questions and get a bi-weekly health assessment.

  • Share assessment with mental health professionals.

  • Receive helpful insights to understand patterns and triggers.

  • Understand the psychology behind your moods.

  • Improve your sleep.

Talkspace: Connects users with a licensed therapist.

Free Download, $49 per week (billed monthly)


  • Unlimited access to a licensed therapist.

  • Message or live sessions anytime and anywhere with therapist.

  • Couples therapy, teens therapy.

  • Guidance of the path.

Voice Memos

Built-in App on iOS Device


  • Record, edit (trim, insert, replace), share voice recording.

  • Automatically name and tag recordings based on your location.

  • Quickly find recordings with the new search feature.


  1. The questions in the Moodpath are limited in certain topics and doesn't reflect the emotions correctly.

  2. Talkspace allows users to talk to a therapists but doesn't allows users to record the talk.

  3. Voice Memos is a general voice recording app, which doesn't extend to any other use. 

Ideate the Product


Personas / POV / HMW / MVP

Building Persona

Primary Persona - College Student

Jenny (21, Single, New York)


  • Take at least 5 photos everyday.

  • Heavy Instagram user. Moderate Twitter user.

  • Talk to parents once a week.

  • Share feelings with close friends once a week.  



  • After a long day at school, I go home and try to have a rest. I don't speak a word after I'm home because my roommate gets back late at night. No one can share my feelings with me today. 



  • A way to record my feelings and express myself truly.



  • Tired of using instagram to record my life, which becomes trying to get attentions from others instead of expressing my true feelings.

Secondary Persona - Office Worker

Jason (32, Single, Pennsylvania)


  • Take photos almost every week.

  • Talk to at least ten people a day.

  • Feel stressed from work.

  • Have two close friends to share what's going on in my life.


  • After a long day at work. I want to relax at home and have some quality "me" time. I start browsing instagram and facebook. But this doesn't help me  relax.



  • A way to smooth my emotions and let go of my feelings from stressful work.


  • Can't find a good way to release my stress with little effort. 

POV Statements & How Might We ...

I listed out the point of views for the personas by referring back to the research and persona's need, and then found out HMW according to the POV statements.​​


  1. People record their memories through taking photos by their phones, but taking photos can actually impair your ability to recall details of the event later.

  2. When we talk to ourselves, we become more deliberate, we’re trying to see things more objectively, and this creates a slower process to think, feel and act.

  3. People take photos to communicate, rather than to remember.

  4. People don't listen to their own voice. 



  1. An efficient way to record memories and truly express feelings.

  2. A help to release the stress with little effort.

  3. A way to get rid of emotional baggage.

  4. Recording memories with helps on analyzing emotions.


Users need a way to express their feelings because emotional baggage is a burden to mental health.


How might we record our memories through talking to ourselves and categorize them with effective storage system.


  • Use the color diagram of eight emotions by Robert Plutchik to categorize the memories.​

  • Build statistics of the memories with days, weeks, and months for diagnosis.

  • Synthesize the activity(steps), heart rate and sleep analysis to the statistics.

  • Input geolocation feature in the app so the memories can be sorted by locations.

  • While talking to the phone, the screen is responsive to your voice instead of showing a still image. ​​

  • The storage system can be arranged by different emotions, thoughts, and experiences.


Users need to have a moment for self-talk because this helps them to see things objectively which can improve well-being.  


How might we create an experience for self-talk and further analyze the talks in the future for self-diagnose?


  • The recording of memories can be tracked in a timeline setting.

  • Create a room with neutral feeling and guides users to talk about their memory. 

  • Provide educational courses to help users go through their negative emotions.

  • Send notifications to users when similar memories and feelings appears.

  • Send notifications to users when symptoms of depressions or emotional issues were found in the memory.

MVP (Year 0-1)



  • Recording features.

  • Four categories in the library. 

  • Basic lessons for negative emotions.

  • Memory statistics for days, and weeks.

  • In-app purchase for premium version.

  • Integrate statistics of activity(steps),   heart rate and sleep time.


  • Drop the statistics of body health or make it as premium version if the revenue target isn't met in Year 0 Q4.

Success / Failure:

  • Launch MVP and hit MVP key metrics in Year 1.

MVP  Key Metrics (AARRR)


Acquisition: Users download and sign up Talkmory.


  • Metric: Number of downloads

  • Measurement: Ratio of total downloads and sign-ups.

  • Success: 70% of downloads sign up.

Activation: Users record their memories through Talkmory.

  • Metric: Number of users and recordings.

  • Measurement: Ratio of total users and recordings.

  • Success: 70% of users record their memories.

MVP  Key Metrics (AARRR)


Retention: Users participate in Talkmory emotion lessons.

  • Metric: Number of users and tests of lessons.

  • Measurement: Ratio of total users and total tests taken over time.

  • Success: 50% of users complete the test once a month.

Referral: Users review Talkmory on app store.

  • Metric: Number of 4-5 star reviews.

  • Measurement: Ratio of 4-5 reviews to total users.

  • Success: 70% users rated 4-5 star reviews.

Revenue: Users upgrade to premium version.

  • Metric: Number of in-app purchase.

  • Measurement: Ratio of purchase to total users.

  • Success: 50% premium users.

Define the Experience


Sitemap / Task Flow / Wireframes


Sitemap & Task Flow


The primary task is to record and save the emotions. Other tasks include viewing the statistics, learning the lessons, and reviewing the library. Each task  is separated in order to let users complete the tasks without obstruction.

Task Flow

Mid-Fidelity Wireframes


After some hand sketches, I started to create mid -fidelity wireframes with some improvements. During the creation of the wireframes, I started to explore the color pattern and brand identity of the app.



UI Kit / Animation / High Fidelity Wireframes / Prototype

UI Kit & Brand Identity


I started thinking the brand identity by sketching and analyzing the keywords. After several color testing, I created the color palette base on Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions and emotional dyads. There are eight basic emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger and anticipation. These emotions lead to a combination of 24 dyads making total 32 emotions.

Animation Concept


Pulling out the circle to start recording, like pulling out the memory.

Color Gradient

Recording background begins from monochrome to multicolored, like bringing the memory to live.


The circle moves clockwise during recording, and moves counterclockwise when playing, which is a metaphor of time.


Users could adjust the intensity of each feeling. The detail will then appears in the statistics. 

Saving the Memory

After recording, there are eight feelings to select. The combination of two feelings will be the emotion of the memory.


Each record could be enlarged and compared to other records. Users could play each memory directly on the statistic boards.

Statistic Boards 


The boards are composed with activities (steps), sleep analysis and heart rate. In the month section, the emotions are categorize by days and types, which allows users to better understand the composition of their memories.

Key Screens

Next Step

Conduct usability testings, and start producing the lessons and library features.

Tools: Sketch, Invision, Photoshop