As an Interaction Designer, I immerse myself in research - reading, interviewing, futurecasting, funneling data and findings into mind maps. With these insights, I hand-craft the user experience allowing the user to feel safe and included. I am an advocate for those left ignored.


Birthing Barriers

ArtCenter Grant Funded Studio
#Research #App UI #Illustrations #UX Design
Research, User Experience, App Design

Project Brief

Located in South Los Angeles, Kindred Space LA is a fully operational birthing center and clinical training site for students serving the community of color. Women of color were more likely to say they were treated unfairly during birth and more than half said they'd be interested in midwifery care for future pregnancies. America's black babies are paying for society's ills. What can we do as designers to fix it? In this co-hosted studio, we collaboratively designed comprehensive multi-modal awareness campaigns with the goal of facilitating access to equitable child birthing experiences, increasing awareness around black midwifery and improving health outcomes while addressing the Black Maternal health crisis in America.

Elizabeth Costa: Primary Researcher
Lauren Johnston: Primary UI Designer
Melissa Fernandez: Illustrator

Every week we held critique sessions on the primary work we each completed.

Problem Statement

We’ve determined after our extensive research, black queer birthing people in the U.S. face greater social determinants in accessing health services such as racial, gender and queer discrimination, and lack the resources, support and inclusive care they need.

Solution Statement

Create an extension of Kindred Space L.A. that supports Black queer birthing clients through gender affirming care, educational resources, and community buidling while promoting Black joy.

Positioning Statement

We recognize and acknowledge the vast intersectional identities, narratives and experiences that occur during prenatal care, pregnancy, and postpartum care. Our research, conversations and designs hold knowledge of the social determinants of health equity and how our health is impacted by our environment, as such highlighting the racial disparities in Black birthing and infant health. We hold dedicated space and commit to using gender-inclusive language and safe joyous practices.  As a result, our app aims to promote the additive use of gender-inclusive language and health equity framed by Kindred Space LA in order to support Black, Gender, Sex and Reproductive liberation.


The Onboarding gives an option to create an account to input data and access all the app features.

Log Tracking:

The client log tracks things such as mood, weight, contractions and New Symptoms, featuring an FAQs page and direct contact information to Kindred Space LA.

Daily Care:

Daily Care is a check-list that gets commpleted each day to remind clients to take their vitamins, drink water, exercise and get plenty of sleep.

My Pregnancy:

Track your birth week by week with visuals, featuring a Baby Development overview section for all three trimesters.


The community page offers a calendar of Upcoming Events specific to Kindred Space LA featuring a Groups page with different birthing topics and a Resources page that offers external help for things like food security, clothing and post-partum health checkups.

Birth Plan:

The Birth Plan allows you to create a new Birth Plan and add veryn specific information about Pregnancy Info, Labor Plan and Postpartum Planning, specifically for a hospital birth.

Learning Outcomes

  1. How social determinants impact health equity
  2. Racial Impacts/Racial Biases
  3. Representation matters
  4. Inclusive language for all genders and sexualities
  5. Data research and reflection of Black maternity and infant health


Through having racial and health equity lessons about the social determinants that Black queer birthing people face, and insightful conversations over the past several weeks with knowledge partners, we learned to evolve our app to best fit the needs of Kindred Space LA and their client’s. We learned how to implement design solutions that are empathetic, community-based, and resourceful.

In collaboration with Kindred Space LA, we’ve learned the real world implications of developing an app for Black, queer birthing in South LA. With careful research and considering our positionalities as designers, we developed an app that provides gender affirming care, educational resources, and community building.

Click here for the full presentation!
2024 Elizabeth Costa