Christy So

A UX and Service Designer driving social change and well-being through empathetic and conscious design.
With a journalistic and research background, I emphasise the overlooked in human experience, aiming to craft moments that ignite a genuine love for life.

Final Project

HANGABOUT: The Ultimate Long-distance Couple App

Hangabout is tailored for Hong Kong-UK couples in long-distance relationships, allowing them to craft memorable shared experiences and bridge the contextual gap.

This project resonates with both society’s concerns and my own, focusing on mental well-being and relationships. Both abstract yet essential, as the fox said to the little prince, ‘what is essential is invisible to the eyes.’ Designing a product for intangible concepts is a significant challenge, yet it’s this very challenge that makes it fascinating and empowering.

Video prototype showcasing how Hangabout works and how it can take the LDR game to the next level.

The FIND ME game feature:
Explore your partner’s city

FindMe is the ultimate game for long-distance couples to intimately explore each other’s cities. Immerse yourselves in panoramic views, guessing your partner’s location on the map. It’s a personalised, fun-filled challenge, made easier with search and hint functions. Reach success and reveal your partner’s selfie – a memento of your triumph. 

The Love Letter Feature:
Be a part of your partner’s life

Rituals matter, especially for couples navigating distance. Hangabout is your portal to crafting personalised love letters and preparing surprise presents for your partner. Imagine whisking your partner away to a special spot, where the heartfelt letter is revealed, and the pre-arranged gift is discovered. Get ready for an unexpected and utterly unforgettable experience, all made possible by Hangabout.

The Recap Feature:
Revisit your precious moments

The recap feature ingeniously curates memories for LDR couples through AI-generated memory videos, offering a visual journey of shared moments. It presents intriguing statistics on partner interactions, fostering deeper insights into the relationship dynamics. Plus, the option to share these highlights on social media amplifies the joy, making distance feel less daunting.

User Research:

During the primary research phase, I utilised three distinct methodologies: diary studies, interviews, and co-design workshops.

In the diary study, participants shared multimedia Instagram stories and daily diary entries over a week. This method revealed insightful behavioral patterns, albeit demanding significant commitment. Semi-structured interviews offered concentrated data on participants’ personal experiences and opinions related to long-distance relationships.

The co-design workshops involved a minimum of two participants per session and encompassed three activities: card sorting, MoSCoW analysis, and the collaborative design of a product/service for LDR. This approach offered valuable insights into participants’ perceptions of existing designs and their feature prioritisation.

Experience Prototyping:

Prior to constructing the high-fidelity prototype, we conducted initial testing of the first two features using WhatsApp. For the FIND ME feature evaluation, participants and I exchanged panoramic photos and selfies, with recipients required to pinpoint their locations on Google Maps. Additionally, mock notifications resembling app alerts were sent via WhatsApp to participants, allowing me to observe their reactions when receiving and unlocking love letters from their partners.

Usability Testing:

Overall experience: 4/5

System Usability Score: 89.2/100 (Excellent)

Users appreciated the idea of receiving their partners’ selfies as rewards after completing the game and expressed satisfaction with the app’s well-rounded features. However, some found the task of writing letters to be quite demanding.


This exemplifies a series of numerous iterations. A significant number of participants inadvertently pressed the ‘New Game’ button instead of the ‘Play’ button when attempting to start the game. Consequently, I consolidated the ‘Create’ and ‘Play’ game functions under the prominent round button to alleviate confusion and prevent users from feeling disoriented.

Societal and Economic Impacts:

Hangabout possesses the potential to create significant impacts across personal, societal, and economic spheres. On an individual level, it can leverage existing couple rapport to mitigate mental health concerns, fostering well-being and receptiveness to new experiences. This holds particular value for new UK arrivals, aiding their integration into the local community (Drydakis, 2021).

Institutionally, the considerable £117.9 billion annual cost of mental health issues (Mental Health Foundation, 2022) accentuates the need for interventions. By enhancing immigrants’ mental health, the app contributes to reducing healthcare strain. Moreover, Hangabout’s pursuit of a more interconnected society aligns with broader goals of societal well-being.

Professional identity

I am many things.

With a successful transition from journalism to UX and Service design, coupled with my academic research background and a passion for creating societal change, I am excited to contribute my versatile capabilities and further develop as a professional and conscious designer.

From chronicle to canvas: crafting experiences that shape journeys

I am often asked, why did you give up your job as a travel journalist and pursue a career in UX? As a reporter, I developed a keen eye for human behaviours and ways of life and gradually felt unsatisfied with simply being the recorder. I wanted to take part in creating people’s experiences that lead them to various possibilities. Recognising that, I made the decision to transition my career path. This shift enabled me to blend my storytelling skills with a user-centric approach and systemic thinking in design, crafting meaningful products and services that generate positive societal impacts.

Blooming into a UX and Service Designer

Completing my Master’s degree in User Experience and Service Design, I am equipped with a solid foundation in various design frameworks and methodologies, such as Design for Behavioural Change and Design Sprint. Throughout the program offered by Loughborough University, I excelled in modules such as Experience Design, Usability, and Industry Project, gaining valuable practical experience by collaborating with international design fellows and corporate clients.

Crucially, this journey taught me to embrace ambiguity and uncertainty—an ethos that extends beyond Design and resonates with life’s challenges.


  • Best Sponsorship Campaign
    Spark Awards, Marketing Magazine | 2020
  • Scholastic Award
    Hong Kong Baptist University | 2018
  • Fung Scholarship
    Victor & William Fung Foundation | 2017/18
  • HKSAR Government Scholarship
    2016 – 2018


  • Multidisciplinary Designer
    Freelance | 2018 – Present
  • Research Assistant
    The University of Sheffield | Mar 2023 – May 2023
  • UX Research Assistant
    Chinese University of Hong Kong | Jun 2020 – Aug 2022
  • Travel Journalist
    Apple Daily Ltd. | Jan 2019 – May 2020

Visionary Thinkers

Visionary Creators

Visionary Makers