top of page
Group 3.png
Group 5.png


Flikshop helps incarcerated people stay connected with their families and motivates them to gain skills and prepare for their life after release. 

August 2021- May 2022 (9 months)

Jacqueline Ho, Haritha Malladi, Sashank Mullapudi, Urja Thakkar

Project Management, User research, User Interviews, Research synthesis, User story,  Prototype, Design system, High-Fidelity designs

Current and previously incarcerated individuals, their loved ones, prison facilities

Screen Shot 2023-04-18 at 10.32.03 PM.png


Giving incarcerated individuals a real 'second chance'

Often,Previously incarcerated individuals' background puts them at a disadvantaged position within the society. They struggle with finding a job, housing, and keeping up with the world. 


Reducing Recidivism

The country with all its crimes and policies makes certain sections of the society more vulnerable than the others. The goal is to increase education, awareness, and create opportunities to reduce recidivism.


Create a sense of Belonging & teach more skills

Helping previously incarcerated with more skills and resources so they can live a sustainable life after prison. Also, creating awareness within the society to be more accepting and giving people a second chance


User- Centered Approach

As designers, we could not assume the mindset of the user (Current and perviously incarcerated individuals. The project was co-designed with the users, subject matter experts and followed an iterative approach. We decided to work in sprints to divide the scope of work and follow an agile UX methodology to make solutions more effective & efficient.

User Research

Following the User- first approach, we conducted interviews with both users and SME's to understand and define the problem space. Primarily, we were seeking the following answers:

How do incarcerated individuals interact with the technology?

What is the life and user mindset while they are serving their time in the facilities

What are the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals upon release?

User Interviews

Based on the research plan, product goals, and the vision, we conduced user interviews to inform the design features and facilitate meaningful discussions within the team and to the client.

Group 1.png

9 previously incarcerated individual interviews

4 unique users

Group 6.png

6 correctional facility educator interviews

2 unique users

Group 2.png

12 subject matter expert interviews

6 unique users

Some interview quotes that stood out to us:

“I can't get a job because I don't know how to use the computer.”

- Previously incarcerated individual

“Access is a complicated term. Things may be available in theory, but the extents to which everyone truly has access and is able to do it is not always true..”
- Subject Matter expert

“There was a participant who couldn’t go to work that day because they were genuinely feeling overwhelmed. He couldn’t express this need to his employer and was labeled unreliable.”

- Correctional facility educator

User Persona

Based on the user research, the team needed to define the "typical" user for easier recruitment for testing, internal discussions, and also explaining the project to the client & peers. We needed 2 target user- 1 Currently and 1 previously incarcerated user. 

Disclaimer: The project does not take into consideration the systemic and racial injustice issues since they are policy level and are beyond the scope of work.


User Experience Map

To better depict users' pain points and understand their mindset, we drafted a user experience journey map. This helped us draw focal points for different sprints.

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 4.44.42 PM.png

Research synthesis


  • Flikshop is a website for the outside world and a tablet  application for incarcerated individuals

  • It has a messaging system through which loved ones can send postcards to the incarcerated ones

  • There is a FSB (Flikshop school of Business) that has courses to teach skills to the incarcerated individuals

  • Access and quality of these courses vary from facility to facility

  • Each individual has their own tablet that they get for a specific time during the day based on facility

  • The long-term incarcerated individuals are not familiar with the technology and find it challenging to check emails, messages etc.

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 4.49.31 PM.png

System level map of Flikshop


  • ​The messaging is only one way and incarcerated individuals can not send postcards to their loved ones

  • The incarcerated individuals move across facilities and often lose their postcards

  • Postcards are their memories and a prized posession which they struggle keeping with themselves 

  • The messaging only goes through after facilities approve them and there can be no cryptic messages, or they will be rejected

  • The postcards can both be digital and physical

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 4.59.31 PM.png


Time Served in Prison

State Laws

Substance Abuse

Finding & Maintaining employment


Mental Health

Social Circumstances

Abiding to the laws of Parole

Product Features


A system to make sure that users are making progress, completing their courses, and gaining skills


A way to create albums out of postcards, organize them, customize and print them


A token economy system to motivate residents to take courses through the LMS


A new mobile app that previously incarcerated individuals can download and access their memories, courses, and prepare for their further life


The design features were created with the following considerations, and each feature was tested with the user to validate any assumptions:

  • The screens were intuitive even for people with low technology skills

  • The language was easy to understand

  • Design was consistent 

  • There was user feedback at each step

  • Design was actually motivating enough to pursue people to take courses through LMS

The messaging system helps currently incarcerated people connect with their loved ones through postcards (flikbooks). They can react to the messages but not respond to it- considering the facilities' restrictions with communications.

Messaging system

Memories are an important part for the incarcerated individuals and they keep changing facilities' locations. They often lose physical cards and that's when an organized system of postcards, ability to create and print albums can enable them to cherish their memories through folders.

Creating and organizing memories

While digital memories are important and easy to store, nothing replaces physical version of pictures and notes from the loved ones. That's when physical memories are a great way to get the images. Flikshop provides options to add themes, captions, and print them.

Printing album

Professional Learnings

9 months of capstone project with a team of 5 was transformative. Here are my biggest learnings:

  • I got to wear different hats during the project- facilitator, lead designer, researcher, communicator, and organizer. That helps me diversify my skill set.

  • Getting out of my comfort zone and asking important questions help me understand and work on the project better

  • Defining the the problem is as important as the process to solve it. We had to define our problems and present them to the client.

  • Interactions with the developers helped us consider the feasibility of the project throughout.

  • Finding users to interview was hard and we learnt to be more organized and proactive about it.

  • Constant process checks made sure that the team was on track and looking ahead at all times

  • Thinking ahead was important to identify road blocks and remove them before problems became a crisis.

Thanks for stopping by

Let's Catch up!

Designed & Built by Sanchita Chugh

bottom of page