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Palliance :
A Cheer Squad in Your Pocket

#UX Design ​#Product Design

UX Designer Researcher​


5 Weeks


Palliance is a thesis project that aims to empower individuals with social anxiety to build confidence by celebrating small victories — from leaving their homes to trying out new activities. Through a mobile game, players can find their incentives to go on a social adventure, big or small, at their own pace.

Why I Interest about the Topic

Two years ago, I attended an alumni association party, an event I would typically avoid due to my discomfort with large gatherings of unfamiliar faces. However, enticed by the school's promise of it being the ultimate networking opportunity of the year, I, as a recent design graduate, couldn't resist the potential opportunity to find a job. This decision led to one of the most awkward days of my life. I found myself standing amidst various groups, wearing a smile, hoping I could be part of the conversation. 

​“Should I introduce myself first? Should I wait for someone to ask me before I speak? What should I say if someone asks my opinions? Should I keep smiling? Should I stand here or leave? How could I leave this awkward space?”

My mind was a whirlwind of questions, leaving me speechless. It felt like a disconnect between how I thought I should handle social situations and how I actually behaved. I craved the ability to navigate these interactions seamlessly. This sparked a journey of discovery, from looking for communication skills to facing the challenges of in-person socialization to supporting social anxiety individuals.

Social anxiety can be a natural protective response that leads to avoidance of potential social interactions that cause distress or uncertainty. And it can prevent people from completing everyday tasks like asking a landlord to fix a leaky faucet and raising a hand in class, to more long-term pursuits, like choosing a dream career. People with social anxiety can struggle for a long time before seeking help. While working through social anxiety is challenging, there is a creative solution to help in daily life.

Approximately 13 million people in the U.S. have social anxiety (National Institute of Mental Health, 2023).

Less than half (43 percent) socialize with friends in person daily or weekly. Nearly a fifth said they do so less than monthly (19 percent) or rarely/never (16 percent).


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After having

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1. Have the negative feeling
2. Lost motivation to participate next time
3. Miss potential opportunities to make new friends

1. Influence career choice

2. Avoid or delay important schedules

3. Lost social connection, feeling anxiety or depression

#1 Palliance: A Mobile App for Social Anxiety

Slogan: Your pocket cheer squad for conquering/supporting your social adventures.

Target Audience: Individuals struggling with social anxiety.



Palliance is a mobile game designed to empower individuals struggling with social anxiety. Imagine having friendly game characters representing your inner motivations – your "cheer squad" who is always with you on your phone!  You can invite these characters to join your outdoor adventure. By completing bonding activities, you'll see the growing friendship between you and your Palliance friends, mirroring your own gradual confidence boost. Celebrating small successes with your Palliance friends paves the way for feeling more prepared and comfortable in potential social situations.

Design Principle:
No judgment, visualize small successes, feel more motivated and gradually build confidence.

Invite Palliance friends (your inner motivation)to go with you.

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Help you to define small goals that can be achieved.

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Send you support messages and be your Cheer Squad during the trip


 Reviewing and celebrating small victories, earning rewards, and blossoming friendships.

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#2 iMessage/ (Code words generator) Plug-in: 

Conquer Social Anxiety with Fun on iMessage: Introducing the Palliance Plug-in!

Feeling anxious about an upcoming outing? Palliance, your mobile social anxiety companion, now brings the fun into your iMessage conversations!

How it works:

  1. Effortlessly Share Trip Plans: Planning a trip with friends? Simply share your Palliance trip itinerary directly in your iMessage chat! This ensures everyone's on the same page and keeps the excitement brewing.

  2. Secret Code Stickers for the Win!: Feeling overwhelmed? Generate fun, code-word stickers using the emoji plug-in. These can be pre-arranged signals with a trusted friend to subtly let them know you need a little support.

  3. Travel Buddies on the Go: Share your travel progress and how you're feeling throughout your adventure! Let your friends know you're doing great (or having a moment) with quick updates right in iMessage.

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#3 Inclusive social gathering event:Spring into Connection

Host a small scall event that creates inclusive and less anxiety event environments. Provide participants comfortable and safe environment to foster natural interactions.


Design inclusive social events/gatherings that provide opportunities to make new and meaningful connections, especially for people facing social anxiety/social isolation.

1. Break barriers, welcome diversity
2. No judgment, just be yourself
3. Feel free of social pressure and be able to express oneself 

4. Balance comfort and challenge
5. Start with topics that people are familiar with and take small steps to step out of it, slowly gaining confidence for engaging in conversation

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Test Before


How it works: 

Before the event
Opportunity: Setting expectations to make the experience comfortable

Invitation design: Setting up a comfortable environment for participants while sending or posting the invitation.
Knowing what is encouraged during the event: make connections, change the topic, no wrong answer in the conversation, be nice, be comfortable, bring your own stuff (book/blanket)
Information about the event: How many people would come/ Where and when to meet/ How is the place look like/ Where is the bathroom…

Start of the event
Opportunity: Ice-breaking

Name Tag: Providing customized name tags, draw something you like/ have an interest in. Helping people to know who you are and what topic you are comfortable with before even talking.

Ice Breaking: Everyone participates, helping people to quickly know each other.
Quickly introduce yourself (name tag)
Providing prompt cards for people who don’t know where to start the conversation, sharing the content from experience and interests (content that people are familiar with)

Conversation Time: Break out in groups of 3, with people from different backgrounds and have a game-like activity facilitated with prompt cards for a meaningful conversation.

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What is the value of our experience strategy?

How is it benefiting our users?

Goals Achieved

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