APP + Experience Design




BAKU is an APP that would enable individuals to transform negative emotions, Monday Blues, into something fun and uplifting. I started my design journey with the story of Baku—a mythical Japanese creature “that eats people's nightmares.” BAKU app is designed as a modern embodiment of the story and is used as an intervention for the social phenomenon of complaining.


BAKU is the first exploration of my thesis, Animate, which introduces stories to daily life experience to cheer people up in the quotidian.

BAKU BAKU is a dream eater that eats people's nightmares, when people wake from a nightmare, they can summon BAKU to suck the nightmare away so that the nightmare will no longer bother them.
What is the real-life nightmare?

Monday Blues

Typing “#Monday blues” in twitter turns up numerous posts about feeling low-spirited, annoyed, anxious, and even fearful about facing Mondays.


Monday Blue is a social problem.

Countless people are affected by Monday blues. As a result, the depression and low productivity caused by blue moods lead to negative performance at work which caused $450 billion to $550 billion economy damage per annum.


2/3 of the US workers are not engaged to their work which contributes to Monday Blues.




A blue mood in the morning may lead to bad performance at work.


A bad working environment contributes to Monday Blues problems.


Employee engagement is an overlooked issue.


Story Arc

In order to build the inner connection between the BAKU story and Monday Blues solution, I deconstructed the story and map out its logic in story arc.


Then as a way to anysise the real world problem, I uesd the structure of BAKU story to map out Monday Blues problem.

Based on the storyline of Monday Blues, I tried to find out the method and philosophy of how BAKU solve nightmare problems. Inspired by how the dream eater brings peace mood and take away bad experience, I mapped our the value propositions of my solution to Monday Blues.

BAKU Story Arc

O fell into a nightmare.

O trapped in the nightmare. The monster tortured him.

O waked up but he still felt the monster in the nightmare is around him. He can no longer fall asleep.

O summoned the dream eater BAKU to help him get rid of the nightmare.

BAKU ate his nightmare and took his fear away.

O forgot the nightmare and fell asleep again.

Monday Blues Storyline

A lot of people hate to go back to work on Mondays.


 They feel low-spirited, annoyed, anxious, and even fearful about facing Mondays.

Bad performance at work lead to economy damage.


Blue moods make people feel less engaged to work.


Working environment: employee benefits.


Gym, coffee, nap, lunch break, ect.


Cheer people up in the beginning of the day.


Offer a fast, private and convenient way to release your dissatisfaction and complaints.


Transform negative emotion to something visible and measurable to rise self awareness.


Turn negative into positive.

Feel calm and peaceful.


Be aware of your emotion status.


A fast, private and convenient way to cheer people up when they are in blue mood.


Transform negative emotions to something visible and measurable to rise self-awareness.


Turn negative into positive.


Rise the awareness of working environment conditions.


People feel better after complaint.


Complaining is one of the easiest ways to vent negative emotions.

Persona and Scenario

Persona 1


Alice, 28, Married, IxD Designer, Just completed graduate school.


Alice is full of passion and always curious about new experiences. She is brave enough to take challenges and risks; she is tough and optimistic. She laughs a lot. Alice wants to start her own company once she has enough experience. She was ambitious and confident about her goal.

But after six months of monotonous work, she felt tired after work and much less passionate about working. She now finds that she must sleep for more than half the day on Saturdays to feel rested and recharged. She has begun to hate Mondays. The more she learns about what running a start-up will require, the more she questions her goal.


Alice is medium engaged to Monster Culture (or imaginary world). She is a good user for researching Monday Blues.

Site Map

Wire Frames

Mood Board

Early Exploration


How it works

Click on Complain. Then, hold down the button to activate the microphone; literally, ‘voice’ your complaint. The longer you complain, the larger BAKU becomes.

 When the user releases the figure from the icon, BAKU stops inflating. The user can then pick up the needle and pop the monster s/he has filled with negative emotions.

User test

I got feedback from users by looking at both physical and digital Interaction with users. “There was a moment when I wanted to save the balloon and keep my complaint.” “I don’t want to kill them.” Comments like these inspired me to look for other ways of dealing with the complaints that would build on human interaction and empathy to transform negative into positive or to simply set BAKU free (rather than destroying it).


This new feature was successful from users' feedback. Comparing to destroy the monsters made of their complaints, they prefer to see things could turn positive by creating and releasing a little creature to the real world. It brings more laughter and delights than the previous way.

Then I mapped out the thesis of the story and the app. The core of the story is how the dream eaters transform nightmares to a peaceful mood. The methodology and culture based philosophy in the story has already indicated a solution to deal with the complaints.

User Journey

Attraction Enter Explore Exist Conclusion



BAKU is created as a campaign and public intervention that offers complaint booths for people to articulate their feelings about Mondays out loud. Every related word shared in the complaint booth helps to inflate a huge BAKU balloon. Once the balloon has been filled, it would be released into to the sky, indicating that the dream eater monster had taken one’s nightmare away.



In order to help more people deal with blue moods in everyday life, I developed the App BAKU. BAKU eats your blue moods. It invites people to complain with the goal of transforming negative emotions into something fun and uplifting.



As users keep setting monsters into the real environment, BAKU also offers a way to check the monsters created by other people in the environment you stay. By observing the monsters filled with complaints, users would have a knowledge of how other people feel in that day.

BAKU arms to bring happiness to our everyday life and rise the awareness of working environment conditions. By using AR technology, the managers would be easy to know how their employees feel about their job.

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