Mind Cube: Alfa

Role: UIUX Designer, Game Designer, Artist

Deliverables: iOS App Prototype, Case Study Video

Tools: Cinema 4D, Sketch App, Illustrator, Principle


Mind Cube is a mobile game which combines the 3D cube puzzles and storytelling to let general people have more understanding towards depression. While enjoying the interactive experience, players can raise self-awareness for their own emotions, feel empathy for individuals who suffer from depressive disorder, and acquire the mindset to help depressed friends.



Depression is a severe challenge for the society, but our misunderstandings stop us from offering support


Started by collecting insights and opinions from the target audience: teenagers and young adults who are likely to be interested in mobile games. Interviewed on their understanding about depression and experience with it. Identified user’s goal, motivation and frustration.



Engage the audience with interactive puzzles
Use storytelling techniques to provoke empathy
Enable learning experience without serious effort



The main feature of the game is the 3D cube puzzle and the key action is for players to rotate the jigsaws. In order to optimize the product, I created 10 different UIs and tested with the target audience to achieve the best solution.

Final Design (.gif):


When users have spare time, they take out Mind Cube to relax and have fun. They get to understand more about depression throughout the experience.


First Insight: The Alfa Game

At first, I started the game design by telling the story of a depressed woman, Alfa. Players help Alfa navigate through different scenarios in her stressful and sometimes mundane life, so that players gradually learn about better ways to understand her, to communicate with her and to improve possible outcomes.

The first design didn’t receive the feedback as I predicted. Then I came up with the idea of the 3D Mind Cube Puzzle.

I ran an A&B test on the two designs around the campus of School of Visual Arts and Baruch College. Participants are students in the 18 – 23 age range, sensitive to new technology and electronic devices.

It was discovered that the mind cube is the more intriguing approach. Participants showed higher level of concentration and more positive feedback on the cube puzzle. They also tend to express more interests in the story when it was presented by the 3D elements in Mind Cube. Some asked about the rest of the story.

I decided to go with the approach of Mind Cube instead of the Alpha’s Game. Then I polished the design to make the puzzle and dialog more connected with each other. Also worked on the information on the loading screen to make the learning process more receptive.

3D Cube Puzzle
Solve the Puzzle

Reveal the Truth


The 3D models and animation in Mind Cube are created using Cinema 4D. Interfaces are designed based on Sketch and made into working prototype with Principle.


Facts and Statistics by Anxiety and Depression Association of America

What Causes Depression? by Harvard Health Publishing

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