This project was about building a physical object that supports specific people in a particular type of relationship toward a specific goal or need.  Along with that, the project also aimed to develop an interface that supports the object. We also created unique user journeys aligning with the product and the interface.

We noticed that humans often fail to understand or confess genuine emotions with their closest relationships. Especially now, when most of our communication is online. Rooh is a product and an interface that allows loved ones to communicate their genuine emotions effortlessly.

Project Details


Tinu Thomas,
Raunak Jangid

My role

User Research,
Product Design,
User Interface Design

Tools used

Adobe Photoshop,
Adobe Illustrator,
Adobe XD,
Cinema 4D


January, 2021 to May, 2021

Multiple emojis of faces with laptop and mobile devices


Initially, we sent out a survey to users asking about their emotional needs. Multiple people from various backgrounds and age groups filled out this survey. As we analyzed the collected data, we found some interesting insights. We also did a 1:1 interview with our participants to understand their thoughts and the reasoning behind their answers even better.

Insights from the survey

  • 78% of people moderately display authentic emotions while communicating with their closest relationships.
  • 80% of people believe that external situations do affect their emotions which can later affect their relationships.

"Most of the time, I cannot understand what my partner wants to say to me. Maybe he says something and means something else, which altogether comes across as a wrong thing."
- One of the participant

What we learned -
There is no way to understand the genuine emotions of not only our closest relationships but ourselves too! Especially now, when most of the communication is online.

User Research

The first part of the user research h asks users questions about how often they communicate with their loved ones, and how often they express their emotions. The second part of the user research was more about getting to know the user's needs and requirements. This section covered questions such as expressing emotions, and being aware of emotional well-being. This user research helped us to gain information about users and their needs.

Insights from the User Research

  • 55% of people would love to be asked about their emotional well-being.
  • 70% of people would like to have powers to understand other peoples’ emotions.
  • 86% of people would express their emotions person to person.
Portrait shot of a middle-aged man wearing spectacles

James Miller (46)

James is a data engineer based in New York City and is the father of Emily. James is always there for his daughter and tries to have conversations daily. Since Emily has moved to Amsterdam for her studies, James has had difficulty having daily conversations.

Needs and requirements

  • Being there for his daughter
  • Be able to understand true emotions
  • Support his family by all means
Portrait shot of a girl in her 20s in a classroom

Emily Miller (23)

Emily is the only daughter of James Miller, and she recently moved to Amsterdam for her studies. Emily considers her father to be her best friend, mentor, leader, and teacher. Moving to Amsterdam has affected her communication with her father. This communication gap has led to many misunderstandings between them.

Needs and requirements

  • Good relationship with her family
  • Sharing genuine emotions with her father
  • Understanding her own emotions

Analyzing Data

After the user research, there were a lot of opportunities we saw that could work. These possibilities majorly focused on emotional well-being and maintaining healthy relationships through conversation. We grouped these opportunities and worked together on one product that could solve them all.

The opportunities

  • Feeling cared for and loved.
  • Communicating emotions effortlessly online.
  • Sharing emotions and feelings with your closest relationship.
  • Representing emotions through art.
  • Feeling heartbeat of your loved ones.

Inspirations and References

Through our insights, we learned that how communication is a vital part of any relationship. It inspired us to move in a direction that can help people have healthier relationships by communicating genuine emotions. But before we could move forward with designs, we looked at some inspiration and references. Along with competitors and existing similar products, we also built a mood board that could guide us in our design. These inspirations and references were very helpful for us to understand the market and the potential of our product.

Expereal allows users to capture snapshots of their lives and tag the moment with an emotional rating, location, description, and photos. Users can then share these moments with others or use the analytics engine to visualize their emotions over the past weeks and months.

Empath is the world’s first emotional social network. Through a unique model of anonymous sharing, Empath allows people to be vulnerable and “put it all out there.” This innovative solution enables people to authentically share their full range of feelings in a safe environment.

Collage of different visual design language for Rooh

Final Design

We designed a product and an interface called Rooh(meaning soul). Rooh is a product that conveys human emotion by detecting and recording one's heartbeat. It uses the recorded heartbeat to create sand patterns on the Rooh that users can hold while feeling the heartbeat. Users can connect Rooh with their smartwatch and smartphone, through which they can record or send heart-sense to their loved ones. Rooh encourages and supports people to share their true feelings with their loved ones.

The purpose of Rooh is to -

Allow loved ones to communicate their genuine emotions with each other.

Functionality of Rooh

  • Maintain a visual record of emotions.
  • Share genuine emotions with loved ones and learn about theirs.
  • Feel the heartbeat as the Rooh vibrates.
  • Send and receive sand patterns to loved ones.
  • Use colors to share moods throughout the day.
  • Rooh is a smart device and an interface in itself.
A wooden bowl product with glass on top
A wooden bowl product with glass on top
A wooden bowl product with glass on top

Take-Aways and Next Steps

This project was great learning and an opportunity to experiment with my creative boundaries. The challenges faced throughout the project were new to me, and through them, I discovered many new things. I learned new ways to do user research and educated myself about user experience's emotional side. Along with an interface, I was also able to develop a physical product.

For the following steps, I would like to push the functionality of this product even further. If possible, I would like to get feedback from users. This feedback will help me to improve the product and interface. What if we have portable Rooh that you can carry around in your pockets. This project and taking the Emotional Design class at Pratt Institute have opened many new doors and opportunities for me.

Multiple emojis of faces and hearts

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