Tackling the core frustrations in the experience of a genealogy researcher. Helping them store, organise, and share family memories easier and more beautifully than ever before.


Rethinking the storage of family memories


Attempting to create my own family tree

I've always been interested in my heritage and over the last few years I began to collect information of the relatives of as many family branches as possible, with the goal of creating a new family tree to share with my family.

However, I along the way, I encountered some problems and frustrations.

  • I couldn't leverage existing family data and imagery on many popular websites like facebook, linkedin etc.
  • Exporting and sharing is limited and ugly. 
  • It was hard to collaborate with other relatives to allow them to edit just the branches that were relevant to them.

In short, the landscape of geneaology tools were stuck in the early 2000's, comprising of mostly complex and ugly tools to simply produce in digital form, the archaic format of the family tree as a diagram on a 2 dimensional plane.


In the end, I used a design tool to ensure that I could tailor the aesthetics of my family tree to my preferences. But of course it fell down in the areas of being able to easily share and collaborate on. Although it easily was better in those areas than more existing family tree tools. 

But I thought I could create something even better.


Understanding the problem space


Research plan

I wanted to approach this project research phase with more rigour and structure than I have in previous projects. To ensure that I was truly solving a real problem other people had, and not creating a product with no market.

Recording the background

I outlined the pain points from my own attempts to create a family tree.

Calling out my assumptions

I called out my assumptions of what kind of solution I had been planning to build for years. So that I'd be more conscious of the effect it could have on the project as a design bias.

Research question

I collaborated with my research advisor to come up with appropriate research questions for what I want to learn, distinct from the questions I'd ask any research participant. Which would in turn will make it clearer which research acitivities would be appropriate to perform to answer them.

The preliminary research activity

My research advisor has recommended I perform a set of interviews. So I'm in the process of finalising a set of interview questions and research objectives to go through with the set of research participants I've recruited. 

Storage & analysis

Once I've completed the first round of interviews, I plan to collate the findings in a research repository based on Tomer Sharon's Polaris, and transform them into research nuggets so I can analyse and prioritise them.

"Only after you have identified your research questions can you select the best way to answer the question. A lot of people get this wrong and pick the research activity first."

Erika Hall, Design Strategist

Creating an online presence

I needed to have a brochure website for Famillio for a few reasons. Firstly I needed to get the domain for later when I launch the actual app itself. Secondly I needed a place for interested people to sign up to an email newsletter, so I could recruit beta testers and reach out when I needed to. Lastly I thought it would be beneficial to have a place that explains the project and what I'm trying to achieve.