The case was to create a concept for a private, secured, online platform for families, where parents and children could follow daily routines and exchange emotions in a gamified environment. As a designer, I was hired to create and test a concept for such an app. My work included workshops, research through one-to-one meetings with psychologists, brainstorming, building an analyzing concept, sketching, wireframing, interviews, and testing.
Concept Designer, UI&UX
Game Concepting, Visual design, Prototyping & Testing
Dec 2019 - Feb 2020
Understanding the problem
When it comes to children's daily routines, parents have overwhelming difficulties. They often blame technologies because their children spend increasingly more time with gadgets and won't listen to them. Parents feel helpless and are complaining or getting angry. That makes the child-parent relationships colder and goals unattainable.
Solution: instead of fighting technology and forcing children to give up their pads and smartphones, let's use these technologies for the best outcomes for both sides. Let's speak with children in their language and dive into their digital reality.
So, Chore Game is a secure digital space for families, where family members can follow daily routines and exchange emotions in one app.
Working on the Concept
After observing several kids and their favorite apps, it was obvious, that gamification and appealing visuals are a must when designing for children.
I started to think about analogies for family. Family is a unity of 2 or more people who live and share everyday lives. To visualize such unity, I drew up a genealogical tree of an average family, it showed me how systematic this ohana concept is and it's specific order.
I started thinking about metaphors and other systems in nature like family. Family is an organic system, where every member has its specific place and role. After watching my niece fascinated by the book about cosmos, I said Bingo! The Solar System makes a perfect analog for the family. I connected family as a unity of people to the Solar system and each member to planets. Together they create a system that has a common environment, memory, in other words, history, and present. After sharing my ideas with young parents around me, I was convinced that space is the magical reality that parents and children both enjoy.
As a designer, I know that several concepts should be presented before approving one. We had the concept about submarine and under the sea world, also trip cab analogy with trees and birds around, but when we revised these ideas with CEOs and other group members the solar system seemed like a perfect fit.
Before diving into sketching I made a research about children's user capabilities, what physical or psychological moments should I consider as a designer to consider. The study below is provided by the Nielsen Norman group, which is open-source and placed on their website.
Sketching and sorting main features
Before the First visual concept testing, I add a list of main features:
🔹 system view with planet rooms
🔹 user room
🔹 add and change a photo
🔹 change the planet visually
🔹 view chores (missions)
🔹 gain suns as rewards
🔹 gain a gift
🔹 gain a star
After web research and sorting features I dived into handwork-sketches
After prototyping, I conducted moderated testing with children from age 5 to 10. The visual concept was well received, there were problems with reading skills for the age as young as 5. All of them were comfortable with these gestures: swipe/scroll/backspace/tapping/interaction/zoom in/zoom out.
this image is a screenshot from a video, I reviewed these videos several times and wrote down user analyses of kids. it was not required from the client, I gave it to them as a bonus.
Moment of inspiration
During the testing: In the photos, kids are using my iPhone 7. I had my touch button crushed a few months before, that's why I had an assertive touch on the screen. It is a little gray button on the screen which u can move. So while testing Kids started to play with assertive touch rolling it all over. They liked it so much, that after testing some of them DM me asking to teach them how to do that on their iPhones. That was an inspiration for gamification interaction for the app - where all planets on the screen are movable objects, which you can roll and throw them to each other(planets).
In this project got deeper in the understanding of children as users, and got to know better habits of the youngest generation where I learned that instant feedback is assential.
This are the new generation of users vibrant visuals and outlined objects are a must when designing for kids
Never forget to check all cameras and supplies before testing 😁