Final – WeChat History with Mom for a Year


Self Data:

For me, self-data can be roughly categorized into two types. One is tightly associated with one’s social participation. Examples of self-data within this category could be one’s name, home address, email account, mobile phone number, etc.. While I consider the other type of self-data to be tightly associated with one’s emotions and feelings, which can sometimes be abstract. If the former type of personal data connects us with the larger society, the latter would be something that helps us understand ourselves and our relationship with people better.

I am interested in how our self-data reveals our behaviors, habits and our relationship with people we know. Based on this, I started my project of “analyzing” my WeChat chatting history with my mother.

Me and My Mom:

For the sake of my education, my parents sent me to a boarding school in another city. Since then, the time I spent at home has been gradually decreased. To connect with my family, I have used different types of technologies, from pay phones to cell phones without internet, to social media on smartphones.

It is interesting to think that nowadays, WeChat, which is the most popular chatting app in China, has become the most important tool that connects me to my mom.

I want to, by looking at the chatting history with my mother for over a year since October 2016, to get some insights about our relationship.

The data I decided to collect include:

  1. The frequency we chat (on which days we talked, how many times a month)
  2. Who initiates the conversation every time
  3. What were we mainly talking about
  4. Did we have a fight? If so, on what topic?
  5. Did we use any images?
  6. Did we use any emojis?
  7. Did we do video chat?
  8. Were there any money transactions?(WeChat allows users to transfer money to friends)

Here are the data results


I also made a web page out of it:


Week 7 – final project idea

What kind of data have I gained during the last half of this course?

  1. daily consumption
  2. daily walking distance
  3. work-out schedule
  4. daily outfit

What are the things that I do every day online?

  1. Watch videos: youtube, tv series, BiliBili
  2. social media: Weibo, WeChat, Instagram
  3. email
  4. listen to the music on apps

What are my thoughts about self-data?

I think it is really easy for one to neglect one’s self-data. I always ignore data that could be passively tracked, for instance, sleeping circle, daily walking distance; I would pay more attention to my personal data if I intentionally track it, or on the other hand, when it is noticed or pointed out by other people.

I am interested in how personal data reflect oneself: what kind of person I am reflected from my personal data?

More interestedly, recently I have been also thinking about how one’s self-evaluation based on his personal data can be different from other people’s evaluation on the same data set.

I started thinking about this question after I once watched this video:

Basically, this video tells the story of a 34-year-old female artist/photographer doing a research/live performance project in Shanghai’s marriage market, where she found her self-evaluation so different from the values of people there.

Shanghai’s marriage market is a place where parents go and post the profiles of their children, trying to “scout” ideal partners for their children.

The artist figured out that the facts which she scores herself higher off (education, income) become facts that score her low (in the eyes of the parents).

Her age, which she does not think is a shortcoming, becomes a huge one in the eyes of the parents.

Her self-evaluation based on her personal data seems to somehow has a huge difference from the parents’ evaluation standards.

I am very interested in this kind of juxtaposition/difference of self-evaluation and social expectation and I want to take this chance to do a data calculation based on this topic.

I want to see how people will score themselves as ideal partners based on their(education, income, gender, appearance, etc..) and how will that be different from a collective social expectation.

I want to collaborate with someone in Shanghai and create an ideal partner scoring system based on statistics from the marriage market.

Week 6 Un-track Me

Obfuscate my music apps:

I have been using a lot of music apps to listen to my favorite songs. My favorite two apps among all are Xiami Music and NetEaseMusic, both are Chinese music apps. (The first two apps below)

Both apps share a function that I usually like — it will generate a recommended playlist of the day based on the songs you have favorited or listened before. (these are my two guesses of how they create the list)

On the left side is the recommended playlist from NetEaseMusic. On the top red area, next to the small bulb icon it says “(this list) is created based on your music taste, update at 6am every day”. On the right side it the interface of Xiami’s recommendation. It almost said the same thing “(the list) is created based on your taste of music. Every day we will recommend you 30 songs.”


I am guessing they are able to create those music playlists by “watching” the users’ data of favorite songs and songs they have listened recently.

For instance, if you go to Xiami or NetEaseMusic’s “my music” section (which they both have, both are the second function on the main menu), you will be able to see both a “recently played” section and a “favorite songs” section.

Therefore, my method of obfuscating the music apps are:

  1. create a user profile on the app;
  2. listen to some songs
  3. un-favorite some songs you actually like and on the contrary favorite some ones you don’t really like
  4. search for some random songs to listen

I have tried this once and it did recommend some things I never expect I will listen to.

week 6 Quant Self Intervention

未标题-1Continuing my idea from last week, I want to build a self-intervention service that includes the intervention of others.

I find myself motivated doing tough tasks when I work with other people. For instance, I don’t quite enjoy working out, but I do want to stay fit and healthy, and the most efficient way I have experienced for me to work out regularly was when I paid for a personal trainer who pushed me to work out 5 times a week.

I feel like when one pays a bill for something (in my case money but literally it can be anything that the person value) and was “supervised” by someone(in this case my trainer), he has a higher chance or greater motivation towards his goals.

Therefore, it will push people like me to work out more often when we have to pay something and work out with partners.

Hiring a personal trainer would be very money-consuming while just asking a friend to work together with me would include problems like schedule conflicts. I feel maybe by matching people together to work out and setting up a mission for both of them (with some kind of reward if the mission is completed) can be a good way to encourage people to work out.

So the self-intervention would be like:

Format: Mobile App

User: The two people who are matched together to work out

Specific user flow:

So the two people matched together will receive a digital work-out calender. When one person works out, he makes a mark on the calendar, and this calendar will be pushed to the other person in the group as a reminder.




Week 4 Service Design


I have been using some health apps including the IOS health tracker, Keep, Nike+, etc..  I tracked how much time I worked out each time and how many times I worked out a week. I also tracked what kind of exercises I have done and sometimes what I eat afterward. I always have a willing to keep fit, to work out regularly every week and to eat healthily. However, I find myself easy to give up my pre-made plan. The more times I gave up, the more disappointed I feel about myself and also the more upset I feel. Based on this problem I have, I use my self as a user and want to create a service for people who share the same problem with me.

User Experience Map of My Working Out Process

User Persona

A Day of Mine










Based on these, I concluded some key obstacles I have:

  • Although I always make plans to work out, somehow these plans are not specific (in terms of both frequency, specific time in the day(week) and specific training) enough. The plans are also not intuitive enough.
  • I feel shy when working out with muscle guys.
  • I feel tired when working out (not enough encouragement/entertainment).

I am more motivated when:

  • I can successfully lose weight
  • I have a friend / personal trainer to work together with me (But trainers are expensive)


Therefore, I want to design a service to pair people who share the same working out goals together and motivate them to work out together.

Basically, it is a work-out matching app.

By inputting your age, weight, height, work-out goal, locations you are often at as well as your regular working schedule, this app helps you to visualize a more intuitive work-out calendar (with your work-out plan in it) and pair you with a partner to work out together.

The app will suggest gyms and outside activities for you based on your input locations and other information. It will also open up a chatbox for you two to interact with each other. You two are connected by the same goal and are expected to encourage each other to achieve that. The matching duration would be 4 weeks.

App Demo


  • Digital: Other fit apps: apps that teach you specific training courses) / apps that provide healthy food recipe/media apps for music and videos / online shopping sites
  • Local: gyms, personal trainers, supermarkets, restaurants

Week 3 : Self track – outfit tracking

Week 3 – Dear Data Visualization

For this week, I collaborated with Mengzhen and we decided to track what we wear every day.  My questions are: of course 1. What am I wearing every day? 2. Does the weather affect what I wear? 3. Does what I wear have anything to do with my mood?


  1. Instagram: We figured out that taking a picture is one of the most efficient ways to track what we are wearing each day. So both of us did daily posts of what we have been worn. 
  2. Taking notes: Every day I would record the weather of that day, what major things I have done and how my feelings were.
  3. illustrations: since I want to make this tracking more interesting, I also did some daily illustrations based on the photons I took.


I figured out that I am happy either when the weather is good or when I have some interesting activities to do (0206/0208/0210/0211).  I might get a bit upset when the weather is not so good or when I get some intense work to do (0207/0209). And I feel like:

  1. My daily activities affect my mood more than the weather;
  2. My outfit tend to be of brighter colors when I am in a happy mood;

Therefore I decided to visualize the weather, my outfit color, and my mood using colors. The brighter the color is, the better the weather is, the brighter my outfit is, and the happier my mood is. I also incorporate some symbols and text when doing the visualization. And finally got to the card I made.



First of all,  I just want to say this tracking project makes me happy. I feel I definitely spent more time “decorating” myself every day, and the efforts I put on that have been successfully documented by the photos I took. Somehow this process really empowers me and makes me really happy, even more confident.

In addition, I definitely can tell that I feel much happier on sunny days and spend more time picking up outfits as a result of that happy mood. On gloomy days I just feel upset and have no mood in dressing up well. Meeting friends also makes me happy, and encourages me to pay more attention to what I wear.


Week 2 – Methodology and Reflection

In the past years, I have tried different ways of documenting my personal data. The three most common methodologies I tried were: hand wrote things down on a dairy;  wrote things on a digital blog with sounds and pictures; used an app to help me document.

I found that I tracked the most when using the app.  I guess that is because it is more time efficient and easier to persist. So this time, since I really want to be able to keep a continuing personal data. I decided to use an app to help.

I decided to track my daily expenses (amount, category as well as the proportion of the expenses) by using a money tracking app.

The app I used is a Chinese app called Soonbook. (松鼠记账)

This app basically allows the users to set a monthly expense goal and track every deal of bill they spend every day. The users can choose a category, the method of payment (credit card/debit card/cash. etc), notes and pictures when they document one payment. More interestingly, you can not only to document the money you consume but also the money you earn and transactions among friends. The results will be shown in different ways that you can view: a note list, a chart, and a pie chart. You are also able to choose a different currency and set a timer to remind you every day.

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I started to use this app since 1.30 and have been tracking my daily expenses for a week. I definitely think this app has helped me significantly in terms of unferstading how much I have spent each day and what did I do. I also like the way it presents my expense record. I feel like it also has helped to reduce some unnecessary expense by asking me to set a monthly expense goal. So far I am quite satisfied with the tracking process.