Rethinking the

Acne community

Clear (Stylized CLR) is a blogging and community mobile app aimed at providing users who suffer from acne a clean and beautiful tool for tracking their personalized skincare journey. Users will be able to upload photos, post diary entries, manage dermatologist appointments, and view the overall scope of a given month in order to successfully track their progress. In addition to providing a personal acne tracker, users will be able to connect with others that suffer from acne in order to establish a sense of community and support among one another. Clear will serve as a resource as well, with a dictionary of dermatology terms and scientifically supported articles. Clear will be a fresh faced and clean, encouraging tool for users in a society that is instated to feed off our insecurities. 


This is a full case study of my app solution. It was created in conjunction with rachel oyoung who assisted in each aspect of the project. a new version of this project will be added to this website as this was a junior level project.


Preliminary Concepts


This app aims to serve girls and women between the ages of 14-24 who currently suffer with acne. We are hoping this app will connect women across with world and help them feel less alone.


To create an efficient, methodical tool for users to track their skincare journey. Creates a sense of community and togetherness, since acne is a normal occurrence because we should love the skin that we’re in as we work to be the versions of ourselves


We observed and felt like it was a strong platform that connected people with acne. However, we felt that something with a social media aspect would be more beneficial because it would bring people together and help them have meaningful conversations.


problem statement

How can we help people suffering with acne feel less alone?


User scenarios


Valerie is a 20 year old college student who has suffered from acne ever since she was 12. She doesn’t like having her photo taken and rarely takes selfies. She feels as though wearing makeup makes her acne look worse, so Valerie doesn’t go out with her friends as much as she would like to. One day in passing conversation with a friend who is aware of Valerie’s skincare troubles, her friend suggests she download Clear, an app aimed to motivate, comfort, and
educate its users on their acne experiences.

Valerie downloads Clear and sets up a profile. It takes her only a few minutes to navigate through its clean interface and figure out its functionalities. Over the course of a few months, she begins to regularly engage with the Clear diary and community. She learns a lot of valuable information and new terms, gains inspiration from others’ skincare journeys, and more carefully monitors her life habits in a steadfast effort to improve her acne.

Several months have gone by. Valerie has a wonderful new dermatologist (as recommended to her by a Clear connection in her area) that prescribes her soaps and lotions to combat her acne. Though her skin has improved, it is not 100% perfect and Valerie is okay with that. Her day to day behavior has changed dramatically in her efforts to be kinder to her skin; she drinks plenty of water, sleeps at reasonable hours for most of the week, and moisturizes regularly. Valerie has learned by example of herself and others on the Clear app that acne is a natural occurrence that most people deal with. This is her body, her skin, and after suffering for 8 years she realizes that the most she can do is stay hydrated, rested, and moisturized (and she’s been feeling great ever since!).  


Julie has been suffering for acne for the past 6 months. As a millennial, she has always been involved with the internet community and felt closest to her friends online. Because of that, she decided to download the Acne Tracker app to feel that sense of community. 

After downloading the app, Julie was prompted to note her acne cycle. The app specifically asked her if she had cystic acne or white pustules, and Julie was happy to read the scientific definition of each to learn more about what exact cystic meant. 

After filling in her profile, she added her first progress picture and journaled how she felt that day. People left comments on her picture complimenting her and asking her current routine. Since Julie hadn’t been using the Acne Tracker long, she didn’t have that much progress/routine journaled in her profile so she left comments herself replying. 

She decided to learn more about what causes acne and read up in the research section. She felt good knowing what she read came from true scientific research, and couldn’t wait to share her knowledge and journal with her dermatologist at her next appointment within the month.

Additional user Personas

More user peronas were created to help us remember the top priorities of our app that our ideal user would want.


Tonya, 20 F 

  • Generally clear skin but periodic breakouts will erupt and she doesn’t know why 

  • Would like to know if stress acne is different from dietary acne, if they appear on different places of the face, if they look different… but the internet tells her several different things 

  • Loves the idea of a verified dictionary and articles, but where will we get the articles from? 


Rachel, 21 F 

  • Ever since switching birth control methods, her acne that was under control for about three years has returned   

  • Loves the idea of a diary/tracker app that will allow her to monitor her behavior and feelings as she adjusts to the new condition of her skin  

  • Would like to connect with Clear uses in her area to get honest reviews about potential dermatologists 


Arie, 16 F 

  • Has suffered from acne since approximately 14  

  • Eats junk food 3-4 times a week, sleeps anywhere from 2-3 AM and goes to school at 7:20 AM 

  • How much of her acne is purely pubescent? How much of it is behavioral?  


After creating personas, we decided to check out a few apps and websites that had similar uses and see the pros/cons of each. We wanted a daily journaling feature similarly to The Happiness Planner with the ease of use and simplicity of Clue, a period tracker. We looked at because their acne forums were very expansive and covered many topics. Users were already conversing and making connections in the forums, so it was important to take their platform into consideration.


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Low Fidelity look

From there, we began designing and creating the framework and overall look of the app.

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What we would offer:

  • User profiles to store and share photos, diary entries and communicate with each other
  • Dermatologist appointment manager
  • Calendar feature with color coded entries for an overview to better understand their acne progress 
  • Dictionary with dermatology terms to help users describe their experiences better
  • Scientifically supported articles that convey accurate and helpful information
  • Beautiful, clean design


Another task we had to accomplish was to create the branding and logo design for our app. Rachel and I both turned to pen and paper to jot down our ideas of what Clear meant to us and what we wanted it to mean to others.

We decided on the logo and app icon below. The red dots symbolized a pimple being reduced in size over time. We also used circular/chronological movement to further symbolize time and change in the app icon.

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Final Look