paired with the talking educational
( the first designer conceptualize mobile product)
Team of 3 designers & 2 engineers
May 2017 - April 2018
Research, Interview, Information Architecture, Interaction, Prototype, A/B Test, Iteration, Visual design
* To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. The information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Woobo.
Woobo is building an artificial intelligence robot for 4 - 8 years old kids education. Woobo is the startup’s name and also the robot’s name. With Woobo kids can play, learn and interact with it. Except for the robots interactive with kids our team also look a way for parents to get involved in this experience.
The outcome was to have a matched Parental App for the robot. The app was published on App Store and Google Play Store with the debut of the robot on the Kickstarter campaign.
Parents do not want to miss any moments with their kids.
Why we do additional work for parents? As lots of parents asked us what game their kids playing and what book their kid reading, they did not want to miss any moments in their kids life. However, most of them not join the experience. And I found the points were:
1. No inclusion.
Parents are out of the interaction cycle between robots and children. Parents, as guardians of their children, want to know clearly whether the robot they play is helpful/good to them.
2. Lack of flexibility.
Parents have no choice other than standing behind their children to get the content to provide from the robot.
3. No access.
Parents do not have access to set the content that they are children will watch, read or play.
I designed the flyers and helped our researchers to spread out it to all the potential families who would like to join our product usability test.
How to invite parents join the experience with robot and kids?
Our team visited local families (Cambridge, Allston, and Boston) weekly for doing the robot user test. When I observed parents, I found that they always want to know what the contents their kids were looking at. We have visited about 10 families in three months. And, most of the parents had the same concern.
I worked in woobo, I volunteered to help researchers to analyze the weekly testing report. I started to record when did kids play Woobo, what challenges the kids met on their play session, and what do parents want to play with kids and Woobo. All this information could help researchers, designers, and engineers to value robot usability and find potential solutions for building products for parents.
Parents do not want to miss any moment with their kids. They hope to involve in their kid's playing and learning process all the time. They want to know what cartoon books they are reading, how they learn a new word and what is their favorite game.
Parents hope to help children establish good living habits in a fun way. They want their children to take the initiative to brush their teeth and wash their faces.
Parents want to "control " the usage of the toy, such as duration and content. In the parents' view, no matter how old their children are they are always kids in their mind. Parents hope to protect their children and understand them all the time.
Our market team did marketing research to do competitive product analysis. We want to create the best price value efficiency among our competitors in high tech toy industry.
The digital application was a good way to deal with this issue right now.
It is much more accessible to parents. Considering the cost from the business perspective, and avoid the customer to spend an additional fee, we gave up the idea for building another wearable like smart bracelets and other tangible products. In the future, maybe 10 years later, imagine the robot is no longer a fancy staff in the whole world. It is affordable and accessible for most customers. We could build two robots in a whole series product.
When do parents and kids play together in a day?
We wanted to figure out when are the playing season for kids and parents at home. Through using one of our interviewee cases and listed mom's schedule in a day, we tried to find the potential solution for both our robot and parent app. I drew a mom’s day from mom’s view try to describe her activity in a day.
In the idea generation, we discovered through talking with parents. More than half of parents use their phones to play brush teeth video to their kids. It helps kids time the brush teeth and keeps them motivated. We searched those videos and found a lot of people’s comments were relating to their childhood memory.
How to let parents engage with kids and robot?
1. Envolved in the experience.
Invite parents in the experience with robot and kids, they can send voice message through app to kids.
2. Build flexibility.
Build a flexible way to parent “control” and set content challenges to kids.
3. Provide access.
Provide robot access to parents view the content library that is the same content showed in the robot.
Connect in a friendly way
I worked with pm and engineers to explore the product flow. As the mobile app also plays the role of an active robot device, we aim to create a smooth, understandable and logically active process.
Based on research, I created some design goals to direct the parent app design. I would like to simplify the task process and engage parents users by:
1. Taking a familiar path to help parents to set a daily routine for kids to establish good habits.
2. Following the same visual language and interaction principles with the main product (the robot) interface to make sure design consistency.
3. Using the visual structure to show parents users their options rather than to recall their choices.
4. Allowing parents to cancel or reset the operations they don’t want.
5. Developing trust among robot device, kids and parents users to create a friendly and interactive experience.
There are six features in the parent app that allow parents to interact with their kids via robot in a friendly way. The three main functions are to increase the interaction between parents and children in the process of helping children learn and grow.
We did the user test about daily routines with the prototype and observed how people interacted with it.
With all these in mind, I came up with the following design principles and success metrics to deliver the final design prototype.
This is part of the show the overflow, how the process of sending content to the robot and how to set daily routine features.
Parents can access all of Woobo’s content library on the matched app. Each content with a brief description of introduction and what skills kids can learn from it. The visual symbols of primary function could gain trust between parents and content library. If a particular part of content stands out to parents, they can select it to be played for their child on Woobo.
With a few simple clicks to set up, Woobo can become a friendly routine reminder for kids. It turns morning and nightly routines into a fun habit that kids like to keep in the daily life.
At Woobo, we believe, every kid have the right to play and explore their imagination. That is the reason why I decided to choose three icons to set kids profile.
Parents can keep connected with their little ones wherever they are and whenever they want by using the voice messaging functions on both the parenting app and Woobo itself.
Change or reconnect robot
How to pair with Woobo? It is very simple, just type the 8-digital verification code which will connect the Woobo device automatically.
In some case, parents delete the connect device information, the app will pop up the information and remind them to connect the robot again.
Sign In and Sign up
Sign in and sign up are beginning of experience to open the APP. The different of this compared to other general APP is, after user sign in the app, we asked to activate the account and pair device in the next step.
Design style and guideline
I chose Zepline to turn the designs into specs and guidelines, and collaborate with our mobile developer to generate platform-related code snippets.
Different operating system
For iOS and Android system, we still using the same visual language to keep the design consistency.
We launched the Woobo robot on kickstart and rise more than two hundred thousands. I was proud of being part of making it real.The digital application also lunched on the app store with the debut of the robot.
Design is a team sport.
Cooperation is so important to a team. Without anyone’s effort, I don’t think Woobo could lunch the market successfully.
Always think the whole process
There are lots of unknown things happened in the test process. What I learned from it is designers should have a much wider view, like a higher, a bird’s-eye view on what’s happening. Think about the whole production process, and checking in at different points to improve it and back to the iteration and test phase.
I hope to add the subscription feature to encourage parents and kids to enjoy Woobo pro service.Woobo has cooperated the third service to provide quality content for kids after the first version product lunched.
Change the navigation from left to bottom. As Woobo parent app does not have too much information, it is may more clearly for users to next action when they see core feature icons on the bottom navigation area.
Next project ...
Emotional interface design for robot to communicate with kids in an intuitive way.