Business Strategy | User Experience Design

Safe Niños

Creating Impactful Connections



Chile's unique geography creates an interesting dichotomy of different neighborhoods with very diverse demographics, cultures, and resources. We had to find a way to address these varying factors while reconnecting the stores with COANIQUEM's mission in helping the kids (many Chileans know of COANIQUEM's cause but not about the specific reason as to the existence of the stores or their connections to COANIQUEM in that all profit from the stores were being used to help the children recover). 

Our team was under extreme pressure to brainstorm, prototype, and iterate quickly and efficiently. Deliverables concluded with 2 reiterations on spatial designs that could be instantly implemented into 3 of their current stores, 4 final illustrations for marketing and branding purposes, 3 brand styles, 1 finalized brand guideline/playbook, rewards system, volunteer and sorting system, and a robust user experience for customers interacting within the space through innovative and multi-functional furniture designs and interactive messaging.

+Connect the stores with COANIQUEM's mission
+Implement children's presence in the messaging of the brand
+Create a system/strategy that can be rapidly applied to stores in Chilean regions


Before traveling to Chile, we conducted case studies on thrift stores in Los Angeles to have a basis for comparison when researching. In Chile, we were able to interview GFK, a marketing research firm that has been helping COANIQUEM understand data and analysis related to charitable organizations in Chile.

Many of these insights provided us a more detailed comprehension on the various demographics and cultures of the Chilean population which were vital when coming up with our strategy on how to implement stores in such localized locations. 

We researched in Chile for 2 weeks, creating experiential prototypes that were tested at COANIQUEM stores.


We were also able to interview pedestrians, volunteers, COANIQUEM employees, and the children during our stay in Chile. I wanted to understand and get to know the people of Chile as much as possible to ensure that when creating solutions for COANIQUEM, there would be as little need for assumptions on what would be the most positive and impactful design decisions for the organization and it’s people. From the many interactions, conversations, crafts workshops, and meals together, I was able to understand the reason as to why so many people in South America respected COANIQUEM, for the organization wasn’t about running a business, it was about helping all children in need have the chance to live as normal a life as possible. 


The interviews proved to be a vital part of the design process as we continued to refer back to our interactions as a basis for reasonings behind our solutions. The COANIQUEM staff also provided us constant communication and feedback when we came back to LA to continue our work with them, answering many of our questions and suggestions through WhatsApp on a regular basis.


I found the core visual value of COANIQUEM's mission and stores (the kids) through numerous illustrative iterations
Core Mission: Emotive storytelling invites you to connect with the kids and support their healing journey. Celebrating the culture and spirit of the local community, so that everyone becomes a part of the COANIQUEM family.



We extensively researched other organizations in the United States and in Chile that dealt with second-hand clothing and social causes.

Being able to volunteer at various COANIQUEM stores, live in the COANIQUEM facilities, interact with the children and families in the hospitals, and learning about the whole process one would undertake when coming to COANIQUEM to recover from burns was eye opening and a crucial part of the process. We knew the children and employees by name by the end of the trip and had become friends with the other volunteers. 

Field study 1.JPG

From the data that we synthesize through external and internal research, I created an implementation strategy for multiple diverse stores (proposed a standardized vs local framework similar to car buying experience)


Ideation, brainstorming, and mind mapping was a constant necessity for this project as expectations and deliverables continued to shift throughout the 14 weeks. 



During our stay in Chile, we also rapidly prototyped specific ideations to observe and analyze how changes within an environment at the Providencia store would impact the customers, pedestrians, volunteers, and staff. 

Majority of our time on this project consisted of prototyping (primarily, models of store interior, graphics strategy, brand values, user journeys, storyboarding, stores personas mapping, graphics playbook, and implementation strategy)

Some of my primary roles included:

  • Facilitating and leading sub-team deadlines and milestones to help prioritize tasks
  • Brainstormed and proposed a way to visually quantify the impact each customer was making for the kid
  • Addressed the need to be scalable, COANIQUEM branded, localized by proposing a standardized and localized implementation plan for each store that would include varying levels of “permanent” elements (ex: consistent stylized levels for varying messages and way finding) vs “seasonal” or “localized” elements (ex: location specific advertisements relating the kid’s dreams to the neighborhood and it’s history)




Through usability testings in Chile and constant online and physical meetings with our major stakeholders within COANIQUEM, we were able to adjust our design decisions appropriately and in a rapid pace. Balancing the right amount of time spent on updating, presenting, collaborating, researching, and reiterating our design solutions took some time to formulate the perfect framework.


  • Client decided to launch the illustration and graphics strategy into the stores with the "car" framework (currently trying A/B testing in 4 stores with 2 of the illustrations)
  • Further outcomes pending...
Final 5.JPG


Role: Facilitator, Illustrator, Strategist
Venue/Client: COANIQUEM/ArtCenter College of Design
Date: August 2017- Present
Video + Photo Credit: Yixuan Liu

Team: Conner Kim, Ileyna Kim, Michelle Kim, Miranda Lapour, Yixuan Liu, Maricruz Meza, Chikako Sakamoto, Matthew Simon, Brett Su, Erhte Tsai, Andres Zavala
Advisors: Dan Gottlieb, Stella Hernandez, Penny Herscovitch

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