top of page

EmoMap: A Tool
for Self-Expression and Exploration

A Playful Tool for Newcomers to Reflect on Emotions and Challenges During Settlement in a New City


Moving to a new city can indeed be an overwhelming and challenging experience, leaving individuals grappling with expressing their emotions and experiences during the transition. In my project, I aim to address the question: What tools can be designed to help individuals cope with this situation?

My Role

  • Design the study

  • Lead the project

  • Completed 100% of tasks


The project involved a user-centered design process that included research, ideation, prototyping, and testing. I conducted literature reviews on the challenges of moving to a new city and the importance of emotional awareness and expression. I then conducted self-study research as a newcomer to Edmonton. I used cards,  wrote storyboards, reviewed my photos, and read my diaries. Based on the findings, I developed several design concepts and tested them with friends. 


I design a playful tool that helps newcomers to a city explore and express their feelings in a creative and engaging way. The tool included a map of the city, colorful stickers to represent emotions, and a guidebook with prompts and tips.

This tool helps users to become aware of their emotions and recognize the types of events that affect their moods over time. Additionally, it provides users with a way to observe which experiences in which places in the city enable them to feel better or worse. Ultimately, this tool is designed to help users better understand their emotions and adjust their habits and lifestyle accordingly.

Gradually, the map fills with different colors of pixels, and the overall look of the map shows how the user is feeling during different months in different places.

the colorful pixels and pins made the experience more fun and engaging.


The pixel map game helps users to be more aware of themselves by visualizing their feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a new city. The game can show the fluctuation of people's moods during different months in different places. If the overall look of the map is gray, it means things are not going well, and the person is not feeling well. If the overall map becomes orange, it means that the player was happy during that specific period.


In addition, the game can help users navigate the challenges of living in a new city, such as finding places where they feel happier and leaving closer to them.

The project demonstrated the importance of emotional awareness and expression for newcomers to a city and the potential of design to facilitate these processes.

Facing New Challenges - The Experience of Being a Newcomer in a New City.

Charting New Experiences of the First 3 Months - Navigating the Challenges and Emotions as a Newcomer.

Edmonton Map - A Self-Expression Tool for Navigating a New City

Edmonton Landmarks in Abstract - A Unique Interpretation of the City Map

Exploring the Content - Playful Materials for Self-Expression in a New Environment.

Charting New Experiences of the First 6 Months - Adding New Feelings and Experiences Over Time. 

Express Yourself with Variety - Assortment of Stickers Included in Each Package.

bottom of page