Air quality is a major issue that individuals living in some of the world’s largest cities face on a daily basis.

Problem Background

Air quality is a major issue that individuals living in some of the world’s largest cities face on a daily basis. Although poor air quality is a constant problem that affects everyone, there is no direct solution to help residents of these areas navigate these health hazards. Instead, they need to rely on either weather apps (Google Weather, Apple Weather) that don’t provide comprehensive information on Air Quality Indicators (AQIs), or AQI websites with clunky UIs. As well, neither source has any health recommendations tailored specifically to individuals users on how to stay safe in adverse air quality conditions. We are hoping to fill in this gap to provide an app that is a “one-step solution” that users can consult before going outside.

Research and Validation 

We conducted a user research interview with an individual who currently lives in an area with high air pollution (Beijing, China). The interviewee expressed to us that although they lived in such an area, they were not as concerned about the health effects of air pollution as their older relatives and family/friends with pre-existing health conditions. They also gave us insight into their daily habits with using technology. This interview helped us solidify what we wanted to deliver in our app. The two main values adds for Breathe are, firstly to provide a clean and easy way to quickly determine the AQI levels in a city and to secondly, give personalized health recommendations based on an individual’s existing conditions. 

Qualitative user research(survey): 

Questionnaire Form

Qualitative user research(User Interviews):

UX Research Study Plan for Breath

To validate our problem and verify the need for a solution, we gathered qualitative data from a sample of four participants by performing in-depth one on one interviews. Our goal was to understand their daily challenges of living in a polluted area and generate actionable insights from their experiences.

Feature Comparison Matrix


  • Google Weather  
  • Apple Weather 
  • IQ Air Visual
  • Air Care 

Competitor Analysis:

Competitor Matrix:


We believe that our product can provide value add instead of existing products  because users have the requirements for: 

  • Consolidate all necessary data for users to understand about their air quality situation (define in vs. out of scope) 
  • Provide suggestions and feedback as to what is the recommended safety measures to take when going outside 
  • Give recommended times of day to go out vs staying inside 
  • Keep track of the days in the month with poor vs. good air quality 
  • Push notification to alert user of changes in air quality status if they’re still outside

User Stories

User Story1:  As a user I want to know the air quality index of my area so I can plan my daily indoor and outdoor activities.

User Story2: As a user I want to get personalized air quality information based on my health status so I can take appropriate actions based on the recommendations.

User Persona

Based on the insights that we got from user research, we created user personas to represent our target audience. We narrowed our list of potential solutions to and decided to proceed with two of potential solutions:

  • Latest and accessible information on air quality index.
  • Personalized health recommendations based on user data and current state of air quality.


The goal for Breath was to create a simple and straightforward experience for users so we used React library to create a more fluid user experience that revolves around a single page. 

Lo-fi wireframes:

Hi-fi wireframes:


Product Manager Learnings:

Amy Sun

  • I learned a lot about how to stay organized and up-to-date throughout the entire process, keeping track of what the current problems and pain points in the product development process
  • Also learned how to ensure team members remained align on deliverables even while working in different time zones

Designer Learnings:

Anam Shahzadi

  • Discuss things with your team and get their inputs on time- timely input is the key to success. 
  • Talk to users and listen to their pain points in order to minimize design biases. 
  • Work closely with Developers to understand the constraints and take regular input from the Product manager to stay on track.

Developer Learnings:

Zeynab Manafova

  • I learned what is like to work in a team included with PM designer, and back-end developer.
  • Also Communicating and managing time with people who are in different time zones.
  • Learned about how to make a connection between back-end and front-end, basic knowledge about python. 

Developers Learnings:

Rosa Regalado


  • I learned what it’s like to work in a cross-functional team where I collaborated with a product manager, designer, and another developer to create a product that was designed to solve an actual problem. 
  • Communicating and coordinating with a team in different time zones and busy schedules was the biggest challenge but overall it was great learning experience.

Full Team Learning