Parents are Human

Nov ‘22 - Dec '23
Product Designer
Joseph Lam
Brigitte La
Skills & Tools
Product Design, Product Development


Deepening connections with others is crucial for personal well-being, fostering a sense of belonging, and building a supportive social network. However, the fast-paced nature of modern life, communication barriers, and a fear of vulnerability often make it challenging to establish these profound connections.

Parents are Human is a bilingual card game that helps facilitate conversation between generations and tackle language barriers. Since its creation in 2019, Parents are Human have sold games in over 70 countries, helping connect families across the globe.

CEO & Owner, Joseph Lam, recruited me to expand their product line by designing 3 new spin-off card games, "Siblings are Human", "Partners are Human", and "Friends are Human".

My Role

As a product designer, I worked with Joseph to analyze competitors, create question prompts backed by psychological and sociological research, and finalize product designs.

Project Highlights:

Comprehensive brand identity

The design of all three decks fits into the "Parents are Human" family seamlessly, reinforcing the existing brand identity.  

Question & Action Cards

100 Question Cards (Blue) prompt stories and conversations around Life Events, Wisdom, Identity, and Relationships.

40 Action Cards (Red) add elements of courage and play into the experience with thoughtful activities.

Image from Partners are Human

Two Levels of Depth

Each prompt has a level in the top left corner. Start with an easy & light "Level 1🌶 " prompt and flip the card over to "Level 2 🌶🌶" when it feels right to go deeper.

Image from Partners are Human


  • Social Connection Challenges: Many individuals face challenges in establishing and maintaining meaningful connections with loved ones.
  • Difficulty in Meaningful Conversations: It can be difficult to have meaningful conversations. This challenge is exacerbated by the prevalence of digital communication, where quick exchanges and surface-level interactions dominate.
  • Lack of Shared Activities: Couples, friend groups, and siblings alike may have difficulty finding enjoyable and exciting activities to do together.

How can we design card games that help deepen relationships?


  • Straightforward Gameplay and Levels: Simple gameplay allows for players to start talking/playing immediately. Furthermore, the two levels of depth allow a natural transition from "easier" topics into more vulnerable ones.
  • Portable: Its compact and travel-friendly format allows players to seamlessly integrate the card game into their lives, ensuring that moments of connection and communication are not confined to a specific space.
  • Replayable: These games are designed for replay, recognizing that relationships evolve. With a variety of prompts, each replay offers fresh conversations, making it a lasting tool for players to deepen their bond over time.

User Research

To better understand the goals and motivations of our customers, we ran a qualitative survey with 620 respondents. We collected testimonials from each, helping to validate our product ideas, and guide further development.


When developing question prompts, we turned towards existing psychological and sociological literature on romantic, platonic, and familial relationships. Upon doing an initial read/watch of the media, I took notes outlining overarching themes, then wrote down potential implementations of the ideas into cards for our games. Lastly, I kept track of key themes, hoping to organize future cards into broader topics.

Synthesizing various medias, I kept monthly notes of Takeaways and important points of discussion.

To hear perspectives beyond the scientific/literature community, I took to YouTube and TikTok to hear the perspectives of the general public. Through these videos, I was able to get a raw and unfiltered look at the inner-workings of modern relationships.

Here is a list of some of the literature and videos that contributed to my understanding:

Competitive Analysis

We looked at existing conversation card games on the market and highlighted some key issues. Furthermore, a comprehensive game made specifically for siblings didn't seem to exist yet.

Question Development

After writing over 1290 possible question prompts, we went through countless iterations of reviewing our prompts, writing notes, grouping questions into "depth" levels, and cutting out questions. Ultimately, we decided on 420 prompts to finalize, with 100 questions and 40 action cards each for "Siblings are Human", "Friends are Human", and "Partners are Human".

Finalizing Designs

After finalizing question prompts, we began to finalize packaging designs.

Purchase Now

All three decks are now for sale at parentsarehuman.com, Walmart, and various retailers.


With most of my design background being centered around UI/UX and digital products, this was my first time working on a physical product at such a large scale. This project reaffirmed my love for tangible design. I developed a deep appreciation for the feel of the cards, the color of the printed materials, and the user experience of playing the game.

Creating these games brought back that childhood joy of creating art. As a child, I'd spend countless hours painting or drawing, fully immersing myself into the art piece. Upon completing each art project, I would spend hours reflecting on every brush stroke and sketch that led to my final piece. As I wrap up these products with Parents are Human, I am reminded of that same childlike excitement for the creative journey.

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Berkeley, CA