Cassy Smithies

Emotions: F, G, Z

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Concept & Research

My goal was to help children ages 6-8 develop the ability to identify and understand emotions in self and other`s thus expanding emotional intelligence.

My primary research revolved around working with RIT’s Counseling and Psychological Services to see how therapists approached emotions with children. In addition, I searched for design inspiration within children’s flashcards and printed books.

F is for Fear

For this flashcard I took inspiration from a play on the idea of children being afraid of monsters. Instead, a monster is afraid of a child. For my interaction, I wanted to avoid portraying fear as a negative emotion or something that needs to be overcome. For this reason, I focused on an interaction focused on empowering a child when they feel fear. This is why I choose a simple tap interaction with supportive affirmations such as “Fear keeps me safe” and “Fear is normal”.

Little girl watches as a furry monster runs away from her in fear.
Video of Tablet Interaction Prototyped with Figma

G is for Guilt

For this emotion, my goal was to use a story to help communicate the emotion of guilt. In my story, an innocent cat breaks a plate which a child will most likely be able to relate to breaking something unintentionally. My digital interaction goal is to lead a child through taking an action to improve the current situation rather than sitting with guilt and regret. The plate becomes fixed and a short lesson is revealed about the importance of not letting guilt of the past hold one back.

A cat curls up into a ball with a look of guilt next to a broken plate.
Video of Tablet Interaction Prototyped with Figma

Z is for Zen

Zen is an emotion tied to mindfulness and peace with one’s self and emotions. I used a sloth illustration to play off the idea of slow moving and thus calm and peaceful sloths. I wanted my activity to also be tied to peacefulness. Deep breathing while being in contact with the floor is a technique used by therapists to help children and even adults feel more grounded and present in a moment.

A sloth sits in a balanced pose as if she is mediating and full of zen.
Video of Tablet Interaction Prototyped with Figma


Something I learned from this project was the importance and influence of the audience. Complex interactions will simply not be followed through and the goal the designer’s learning goal will not be successful. By speaking with those far more experienced and knowledgeable about increasing a child’s emotional intelligence, I was able to make better decisions for my audience.

Emotions Cards
Emotions Cards: Z, G, F

Downloadable Assets

You may use the below assets created for this project provided via Figma as long as you give attribution, share your outcomes, and if your use is non-commercial in nature.

The above work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License