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Getting a premium hand written note is something many people have never experienced. I actually got my first design internship by giving the CEO of the company, Artisense, one of these premium hand written notes. He was blown away!

A hand written note is everything an email is not. It has texture, personality, elegance, color, and most of all, swagger.

Today's technology makes this lost art possible once more.

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Project Details

Role :

Solo Project, tasks included:
UX/UI, Graphic Design, User Research,
Videography, Motion Graphics, Video Editing
Lighting, Illustration

User Research

Purpose :

Senior Thesis Project

Tools :

Figma, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere

Screens Designed:



Problem Icon

Sending mail is such a hassle!

If I want to send someone a premium hand written card, I have to:

It's no wonder people don't want to go through the hassle of sending snail mail any more!

Sending mail is a tedious process

Creating beautiful handmade notes is a laborious process and most people don't have the supplies for creating them on hand.
Email is cool, but lacks the intimacy of a hand written note.
Asking for someone's home address can be seen as creepy if you don't know them well enough.


Problem Icon

Create an app where you can send handwritten notes from your phone. The whole process shouldn't be much harder than sending an email.

Allow for full customization of the note. Including different papers with different textures, different styles, and even wax seals to give a sense of luxury.
Design an way to send physical mail to someone without needing to know a person's physical address in a way that can be trusted.


I conducted a survey with 39 responses to gain user insights into their experiences with traditional mail.

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Hand Writing

From my survey, I found that people really like hand writing because it adds a personal touch, and that typed letters and emails are cold feeling. When given the choice, people always prefer hand written, so this means that the Apple Pencil can be a great tool for adding a personal touch to something digital, and without having to leave that digital experience.

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Is Mail Relevant?

My survey shows that in today’s world, mail is no longer considered a form of everyday communication. This is mostly due to the huge gap between mail and email in terms of how easy and fast they are, but what if sending a personal letter was as easy as sending an email? What if all the barriers to entry for mail were taken out of the picture?

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Thank You Notes

When it comes to the subject of business relationships, thank you notesare very important. My grandma sent thank you notes every time shereceived something and also kept a gift ledger in her Rolodex, and thisis one of the reasons she is one of the most popular people I know. There is room for concern that people are not really sending out thankyou notes anymore. My solution will solve this problem.

The Address Problem

Addresses are awkward and outdated. They are so old that it is no longer customary to ask for peoples address unless you need to physically visit them, or send them something. This is what hap-pens whenever I try to send someone a gift:

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My survey shows that this scenario is not unique to myself. People feel a need to know why someone needs to know their physical location, and this is a barrier to being surprised. The element of surprise is very important for gift giving so this acts as a barrier to proper gifts.

As far as gift giving goes, it is nearly impossible to send someone a gift without ruining the surprise.

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The Address Problem

The same thing happens whenever I try to send a thank you note. I had an interview once in a café, and I wanted to send the person interviewing me a thank you note. But when I left the interview, I felt it was too weird to call the guy right after he interviewed me, so I never got his address and I never sent him a thank you note. I had every intention to, but it just never happened.

Part of the problem is people no longer keep address books or record addresses in their phone.

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Email is a much safer option for communication than mail because knowing where someone lives is no longer essential for communication.

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The Address Problem

To make things worse, people are still having this problem:

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Not only is email psychologically safer, it is also much easier.

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The Address Problem

All of these steps for mail make it prohibitively difficult to send gifts and letters through mail.

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It is socially acceptable to exchange facebooks or emails, but where you live is socially taboo.

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The Address Problem

It's is not socially acceptable to ask for a person’s address if you just met them.

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Not knowing people’s addresses has actually prevented them from giving out gifts!

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Even if a person already knows an address, that doesn’t mean they will ever get around to actually sending the letter or gift.

The Address Problem

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The Address Problem

To cap it all off, it is uncomfortable for may people to even ask for another person’s address.

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As we can see from all of these survey results, addresses get in theway of gift giving. My solution solves this by making the process ofsending a letter as easy as sending an email for the end user.


Legend has it that Picasso used to pay for bills and food with drawings on napkins.

Its clear that there is something very appealing about the physicality and personality of anything written or drawn by hand.

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When asked, people would greatly value receiving anything hand written, especially by someone who is more on the artistic side.

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In this project, I created personas to represent different kinds of users and their struggles with traditional mail. These personas turned complex user data into understandable characters that I could relate to. This approach helped me design a solution that meets the needs of various users, addressing their specific problems effectively.

Portrait of a woman
Amy - The Busy Professional
Corporate Lawyer - age 35
Amy is a high-performing professional who juggles multiple responsibilities on a daily basis. Between her demanding job and social engagements, she finds little time for anything else. She values relationships and likes to make her clients and colleagues feel appreciated. However, she hardly finds time to write thank you notes or gifts, let alone post them. She finds asking for someone's address uncomfortable and often resorts to emails instead. But she believes in the charm of handwritten notes and wishes there were an easier way to send them. She also is continually looking for ways to impress her clients.
Portrait of a man
Joseph - The Shy Introvert
Software Developer - age 28
Joseph is introverted and highly respectful of privacy. He often hesitates to ask for personal information, such as addresses, even when he wants to show appreciation or send a gift. He finds email communication less intrusive but feels it lacks a personal touch. He often contemplates sending personalized notes to friends, family, and colleagues but always ends up facing the same barriers - anxiety of asking for addresses and lack of time to prepare and post the mail.
Lisa - The Homemaker
Stay-at-home mom - age 38
Lisa is a dedicated mother who values personal touch in everything she does. She cherishes the tradition of sending hand-written notes but is often faced with the lack of necessary supplies or runs out of creative ideas. She also finds the process of physically posting the mail quite cumbersome. Additionally, with friends and family members moving around, she has a hard time keeping track of everyone's current addresses.
David - The Retiree
Retired Engineer - age 65
David is a retired engineer who believes in old-school methods of communication. He enjoys the art of handwriting and sending physical mails, but finds the process increasingly difficult due to physical limitations. Despite being respectful of others' privacy, he is not hesitant to ask for addresses but often forgets to jot them down in an organized manner. He misses the joy of sending hand-written notes but struggles to keep up with the process. He is open to digital methods if they can replicate the personal touch of hand-written mails.

Premium Letters

I designed several different type of notes with different price points. Each note has 4 customizable features, the graphic, the string, the paper and the wax seal. I chose to have wax seals and string because although not nessessary, my reasearch told me that a big part of creating a more premium feel was texture.


To make a compelling note concept, I created all of the artwork in the Paper53 app on an ipad using an apple pencil.

Wax Seals

For this project, I tested a bunch of different colors of wax seals. I asked my local art store if they had any was seal scraps, and they actually did.

Letter Types

This is the produce aspect of the app. Users can pick the letter type they want, and then can further customize the letter based on its type. They have control over the artwork, the paper, the envelope, and the wax seal. These are sorted from most expensive to least expensive.

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Low Fidelity vs High Fidelity Wireframes

My process starts off with sketches then I make some basic screens in figma.


Mobile Demo Screen

Solution: How to send physical mail without knowing someone's address.

When you submit the recipient's email, this form will be generated and will be sent to the recipients email by the Gift App server. The recipient's mailing address will be hidden from the sender.

This allows the user to be able to send mail without needing to go through the awkward act of retrieving their address.

Additionally, the person on the receiving end can opt into letting the gift app remember their address, son anyone in the future can send mail to them.

Flow Diagram

This is the diagram showing how the service works for sending mail to someone without knowing their address.

Mobile Demo Screen

Video Production Process

To make everything appear simple in the video, it took quite a bit of planning.

My green screen setup

In order to get a clean looking background for the I needed to figure out the lighting, the framing, and a way to hold the phone still while filming.

How I prototyped the app and did the screen recording

This video shows me practicing where to touch the screen. I actually had to record the same sequence twice, once with just a green screen on the phone screen to capture my hands, and then another where I just did a screen capture.


Edited with Premier and After Effects

I edited the video in premier and after effects. I first started in premier to plan out which clips I would play when, then I did all of the special effects like motion tracking and chroma-keying out the green screen in after effects.

Solution: Final Video

(skip forward 30 seconds to skip the intro and go straight to the app animation)