A Blast with Brushing
For my final User Experience project at MICA, I was tasked with creating an iPad app for Port Discovery, a Baltimore-based kids science museum, that would encourage kids aged 5-7 to brush their teeth. In my preliminary research, I found that kids in this age range are still learning to read. To me, this made the way that the app communicated with its users absolutely crucial—even more so than with adult users.
Following my research, I created a set of goals and global barriers the app would face, in addition to three sets of personas (one child and one parent for each persona) to address a variety of individual barriers—these included things such as the kid being a visual learner, the parent being busy with work, or the family lacking an iPad to play the game on.
My original concept was to create an interface comprised completely of imagery and iconography. However, as I thought about the issues that would arise as a result of this, I realized that iconography (like text) is a learned language and would possibly serve as a barrier for kids in much the same way.
My solution was to use a combination of text, symbols, and audible instruction with the belief that introducing repetition would both aid in kids retaining the information and cover different learning styles.
With all that in mind, I created a list of key guiding strategies that would dictate the form and function of the app:
- a reward structure to encourage continued participation
- signposting through color
- a coloring book aesthetic
- supplement word recognition and vocabulary
- fun cartoon mascot that kids can customize
I based the mascot on my dog Didi.