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As We Grow

I spent a long time brainstorming for ideas after I was given the prompt to make an app and website "for the better good." I started and scrapped two other ideas before finally landing on this one.


The As We Grow (AWG) app is designed to help individuals undergoing gender transition by enabling them to track their changes and progress. It allows its users to make notes on changes in measurements, symptoms, mood, hormone levels, and more, as well as take pictures of their features and turn them into a time-lapse.

The accompanying website serves as a voluntary data repository, as well as certain types of photos, which would be used as an archive of information for research purposes, both on a personal or institutional level.

Project Overview

Project Type
Roles and Responsibilities

A dedicated mobile app with an accompanying adaptive website


Project was a homework assignment with the prompt "something for the better good"

Sole UX designer



User testing

Wireframing and mockups


April 2023 to May 2023



Google Officespace

Adobe Color

The Problems and Goals

The original problem that I wanted to address was that, outside of explicit content or restricted medical documentation, there is a scarcity and lack of availability of photos of trans genitals. This poses a significant challenge for individuals considering gender reassignment surgery, who might seek a realistic understanding of post-surgery results, including the healing process months or years after scars have faded. Although genitals are a pretty taboo topic on the internet, it is vital to demystify and de-sexualize what is arguably a very normal and natural part of our bodies. Inspired by organizations like the Labia Library and the Vulva Gallery, who are providing such resources for cisgender women, I aspired to create a similar platform catering specifically to the needs of trans individuals. This lack of resources for the trans community became my driving inspiration for the website component of As We Grow.

The second problem that I wanted to solve is that there are currently very few places for transitioning individuals to keep track of their health and changes as they transition. The closest option that most people have (besides keeping your own notes in a spreadsheet or journal) are period tracking apps, which often have the problem of assuming that the users are menstruating or reminding them that they are ovulating, which can be triggering for some. The app component of As We Grow is inspired by period and health tracking apps, but aims to be focused on and inclusive for anyone who is transitioning.

Pain Points & Considerations

When building a product for a marginalized group, it's vital to keep in mind any struggles that those users might face. Not being trans myself, I spent a lot of time talking to a variety of trans and non-binary people to find out what were some of the most important factors that I needed to consider while building and designing the app and website.



Trans people are one of the most discriminated groups today, especially in today's hostile anti-trans climate. Keeping user's safety and anonymity would needs to be one of AWG's main features, if not the most important one.



Not everyone who transitions considers themselves trans or adheres to the gender binary. This means that to remain inclusive to all its potential users, AWG needs to be capabable of being personalized by its user and needs to avoid marketing to only one type of person or gender.


Avoid Harm

Avoiding accidental harm to the user is another important consideration. AWG's mission is to help people, and that cannot by done if it accidentally causes people to feel worse about themselves by triggering its users with gender dysphoria or body dysmorphia.

My Solutions- Safety


False Home Screen

Users will have an option in the settings for the app to either require no password, be password protected, or be password protected with a false homepage. A false homepage can be used by people who do not want to be accidentally discovered as trans if other people have access to their phone.
This false homepage is designed to make the app look like a plant tracking app, and was the first safety feature considered. This feature not only inspired the name of the app, but its colour theme as well.
Home Page with new button.jpg
False Home Screen
Real Home Screen


The website's photo archive would need the help of many volunteers to stock its galleries. Because of the current anti-trans climate, and because of the sensitivity of these photos, I need to make sure that the photo donors would remain completely anonymous. That's why when creating the filters, I only included the options for what type of photo the user is searching for and how long after the surgery or beginning of HRT the photo was taken. I worry that any other information (such as which hospital the surgery was performed, the age of the subject, or the year the photo was taken), although useful for research, could be used to somehow help identify the subjects of the photos. Because safety is so important, all of these other filter options were removed.
photo archive search.jpg

Quick Escape

It's not just the app that took safety into account. The website has a large and easy-to-click "quick escape" button. Clicking the button will very simply redirect the user to a safe website, such as the CBC homepage. This could be useful for people exploring the website who are doing so in an environment that is not entirely safe for them.

My Solutions- Inclusivity

Customizable Buttons

Design is rarely "one size fits all", especially when it comes to such a complex and diverse group of people as those who are transitioning. That's why many of AWG's features can be personalized and customized. The home screen of a new user would start off with only the Goals, Reminders, and Photo buttons. Every other button option added after that would be up to the user to add, and can even be renamed, recoloured, and even have a different icon.

More Customization Options

Different users will have different needs and wants when it comes to tracking their changes and taking notes. By allowing users to change what they can keep track of, we are being inclusive to a wider range of users, whether they are transitioning to becoming a man, woman, or someone in between.

My Solutions- Avoid Harm


Hidden photos in the app

Not only can gender dysphoria cause a person a lot of harm, but it can also be easily triggered. That's why, by default, all but the most recent of the photos in a user's album will be hidden. Users can view older photos by clicking on them or by toggling the setting off.
100% of trans and nonbinary person who tested this app immediately understood the purpose of this feature and commented on how thoughtful and necessary such a feature would be.

Hidden photos in the archive

The website uses a similar feature in its photo archive gallery. This is less to prevent gender dysphoria, and more to generally avoid potentially triggering people with graphic images. Some of the photos may include scars and stitches, if they are of recent surgeries. Trigger warnings would also be present on all of the photos, so that people know what to expect before revealing the photos.
Note: all of the drawings of vulvas used in the prototype came from the Vulva Gallery's Instagram.


Not only can the body can take a while to change, but it often changes in a non-linear way, sometimes seeming to go back a few steps before going forward again. In an effort for users to not focus on small scale changes, and instead look at the big picture, most of their information will be presented to them via charts and graphs as opposed to raw, individual numbers. This feature is in place in an effort to avoid more body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria, as well as creating a sense of hope and accomplishment when the users do see the steady increase over time.

Camera overlay

To make the time-lapse feature more smooth and consistent, I wanted to include an overlay in the camera that would help users take consistent photos every time. But the problem with an overlay like an oval to represent a face is that not everybody's face will fit perfectly in the oval. I worried that this could cause unwanted body dysmorphia, and so I opted to just use two lines to represent the top and bottom of a face instead.
Camera face.jpg

Conclusion and Takeaway

Since this was my third project, I went in already being comfortable using design programs. This meant that I could try and push myself to make more interesting and complex components, and also focus on the human aspect of the app instead of just the design. I really felt that change when I was talking to the people who helped me test the app and website. I got a lot of extremely positive feedback, with many people telling me that they wished that I could make this app a reality (you can even see some of their testimonies below). And, if I'm honest, I really truly hope that one day I will get that opportunity!


Of course, with such a large project and with being the only designer, there are many areas that are still left unfinished that I would love to wrap up one day. Like with all of my projects, I would want to add a lot more accessibility features, given the time and resources. This would include everything from a dark mode and different text size options to annotations for navigational devices and labels for screen readers. I also did not have the time to finish all of the features, such as a page to add Goals and Reminders.

But, in the end, I know I still have a lot of growing and learning to do. And I for one am truly looking forward to seeing what I will do next!

Jaide (she/her)

“This app is a godsend and I'm so excited to be able to contribute to trans focused research. I honestly wish this were a real app."

Tig (she/her)

"The "new plant" feature is honestly my favourite thing I have ever seen on any app like this. Colours and customization are amazing, and in comparison to period tracker apps I've used the functions are smooth and easy to understand. A+ concept and execution. "

Sam (they/she)

"The app is solid. People who have used period app in the past will understand it right away. But it's so much more than that. I loved how easy it is to track my moods and progress."
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