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As part of my Human-Computer Interaction class, I worked on 'Crimson', an inclusive and personalized menstrual cycle tracker that adapts to the user's needs. The project theme was HCI and time, and the menstrual health domain was chosen as a cheeky nod to the popular phrase, “that time of the month”. We consider how and why menstruators track their cycles, examining their experiences to uncover design opportunities and develop solutions that cater to their needs.

Role: User Researcher and Designer

In most places, it signifies an end. But our story starts with a period.


On average, a woman spends around ten years of her life menstruating. Tracking periods is a necessity, but unfortunately, there aren't many viable options to choose from. Existing period-tracking apps not only reflect the stereotypes about menstruation in society, but also perpetuate them. By researching this issue, we learned the severity of this problem. That’s when we knew that we needed to do better.

Problem Statement

When we tried to list the problem areas, we quickly realized that the problem space was vast and different for different women. We couldn’t specify a list of problems, because periods are specific to different women, and that means the problems are too. We identified a common theme in all the problems, and that’s what led us to our problem statement:

"Menstruating women of the ages 18-22 trying to track or predict periods and related information feel frustrated due to lack of an accurate and personalized method."

Competitive Analysis

We did a competitive analysis to identify current practices in period tracking apps, collate best features and assess shortcomings. It also helped as a starting point for further research and design. We chose three main competitors based on their market share:

  • Period Tracker

  • Flo

  • Clue

A detailed competitive analysis can be found here.


User Interviews

We interviewed eleven people, out of which I conducted two interviews. Owing to the sensitive theme of the interview, I warmed up to the interviewees by starting out with casual, everyday conversations to make them feel more comfortable. I conducted two types of interviews:

  • Semi-structured: to understand tracking habits, needs, and pain points during menstruation as a whole

  • Contextual: to understand thought processes when using period tracking apps, what problems they face, and how they respond to the interface and design.

“I like the fertile window option, and it’ll help me avoid pregnancies”

“I don’t know why it’s showing me my fertility window. I don’t need it!”

The interview process was very insightful and it led us to the main theme of our app: personalization. It was through the interview process that we realized that different women can have diametrically opposite period-tracking needs and our solution should cater to that, without seeming generic.


After gathering data, the next step was to analyze it and make meaningful connections and actionable conclusions. Detailed analysis and maps can be found here.

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There were many conflicting opinions and instead of discarding any opinion, we wanted to make our solution as customizable as possible. Everyone has their tracking needs and it should be respected.

User Personas

At each step in the process, we built on top of previous insights. Based on the themes identified in our affinity mapping, we three user personas to understand more about our target audience and their use of the proposed design. Other personas can be found here.

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Scenario Mapping

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Information Architecture

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Information Architecture


Low fidelity prototype
High fidelity prototype

User Evaluation

We also conducted user evaluations to test our prototype and identify improvement areas. The full evaluation can be found here.

Usability Evaluation for Crimson
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