Paper Balloons

iPhone App


  • Platform: iPhone
  • Time Frame: 2009
  • Company: Thesis Project


Paper Ballons was a design experiment and part of my graduate thesis, Empathetic Play. In exploring genuine human connections and a lack of introspection in the social media space, the world of Paper Balloons manifested.

The world is one of quiet fantasy and inward thought, where users have their own floating island in the sky. From time-to-time small paper balloons will float down onto users’ islands with notes from other users. These notes contain introspective writings or drawings that may be funny, remorseful, uplifting, or sobering. It is a space for anyone to handwrite or draw their thoughts and fears to release to the wind. This act of release, knowing someone, somewhere will see the note, can be a powerfully therapeutic act. Reading the notes can be an equally powerful experience of human connection.

Paper Balloons won the Innovation award at the 2009 iDMAa Conference and was a finalist in the 2010 SXSW Casual Game Design Competition.

The programs used for the app’s production were Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Final Cut, After Effects, Garage Band, and Xcode.