My Work


KnowDrugs is an app that shows the latest drugchecking / pill testing results from around the world, provides information on substances, effects and interactions and offers counselling and advice regarding substances, drugs and addiction.

2016 - ongoing
Product Design, Visual Design, Brand Identity, App Development

The Challenge

The absence of drug-checking programmes in Germany and the lack in accessible information about drugs, side-effects and emergency situations for people taking drugs raised the following two questions:

How to reduce the harms associated with taking illegal (party) drugs?

How to raise health awareness among people consuming illegal (party) drugs?

The Goal

Based on the insights and analysis of existing offers, the KnowDrugs project focuses on the following aspects:

making information accessible at the moment, when the users needs them to increase health-awareness

integrating the most important services of a drug counselling service to lower the barrier for drug users to seek help and advice

using a visual language that adresses the user in a non-moralising way

My Role

As KnowDrugs being my personal project,  I have been responsible for every aspect of the project: Conducting initial user research, creating wireframes and high-fidelity prototypes, user tests, brand identity and app development as well as app marketing.

User Research

I conducted interviews with experts and representatives from drug counselling organisations in order to understand their challenges and limitations as professionals in the area of health education. Interviews with people consuming drugs have been of an even higher importance, as they are the end-user I have been designing for. The interviews with people consuming drugs helped me to better understand their motivations and needs - which has been of particular importance due to the complexity of issues regarding drug consumption (e.g. physical, sociological, mental, legal, political, etc.).

Persona: based on qualitative and quantitative research

Quantitative research further helped me evaluate current solutions and their limitations but also to what extend they already meet people's needs. The quantitative research included traffic and keyword analysis of websites related to drugchecking, substance info and counselling.

Current solutions regarding drugchecking results


The storyboard illustrates the environment and setting which the users are experiencing. Visualising the world of the users helps to immerse into their situation and imagine how a solution might fit into their environment.

Storyboard for taking ecstasy at a party
Storyboard for taking ecstasy at a party


To roughly lay-out my idea and get into the process of prototyping and testing, I used pen and paper to create first sketches of my idea. The goal was to present the main functions the app would have.

Quick sketches with pen and paper


I created first wireframes in Balsamiq, which helped me to get down my ideas very quickly but with a higher level of detail.

Wireframes are the basis for taking the design further and exploring UI elements and features


The userflow gives an overview over the different content elements and their relationship and shows which actions the user takes in order to reach a certain goal. 

Userflows show the actions users take in the app

Design iterations

After several tests with potential users and some iterations on the content structure, I came up with a high-fidelity design of the app's user interface.

KnowDrugs v 1.0

I conducted further user tests with a high-fidelity prototype, which enabled the users to experience almost all functionalities of the app on their mobile phones. It helped me understand how the users would use the actual product and identify flaws in the experience.

Second iteration of KnowDrugs

I simplified various elements of the UI and worked on the naming of the different content elements as they turned out to be confusing and not precise enough for the user. I also changed the name of the app from 'Safer Use' to 'KnowDrugs', which should describe the purpose of the app more clearly.

Substance detail screen of the KnowDrugs App: Visuals as rewards for viewing the content


Based on the need of the persona, the four most relevant offerings of a drug counselling service regarding harm-reduction have been implemented

KnowDrugs v1.0 on iOS