Case Study: Baloo

Physical Product and Application Design

Duration

Created in 10 weeks from research, ideation, and evaluation user testing.  

Deliverables

Vision Video, Process Book, Prototype, Look Book/Poster

Problem

Children have excessive usage of screens because parents make it an easy solution to buy time for themselves.

Solution

Baloo is a screenless interactive toy that children can enjoy while keeping the parent’s supervision to the minimum.

My Role

Primary & Secondary Research

User Interviews

Data synthesizing & analysis

Wireframing & Prototype

Team

UX Writer - Jake Aicher

Project Lead - Hannah Chung

Visual Lead - Jess Lam

UX Researcher - Zeeyad Khan

UX Designer - Shreya Rege

Vision Video 

Final Concepts

Problem 

As technology becomes more involved with our everyday lives, our capabilities as humans expand to achieve things. The problems that arise out of unchecked technological innovations are privacy, health, crime, and mental well being. 

 

The initial topics we wanted to tackle are the following: 

  1. Farming of personal information to send to physical junk mail

  2. Virtual shopping accessibility for small business during COVID-19

  3. Technology’s negative effect on health

 

From the three initial topics, we proceed with technology’s negative effect on health and specifically target workers who work on an average of 40 hours per week. Our target group started out as office workers where we try to inform and promote healthy screen usage. We noticed that this target group already has a highly saturated market, so we transitioned our focus to a younger generation in hopes to prevent these issues or slow it down with the rise of technology. 

Secondary Research

Amount of time spent on the screen under 5 years old and the effect

63% of kids in the U.S. spend over 2 hours a day on recreational screen time. 

-The Journalist's Resource

The opinion of parents on the effects of phones on their child in the United States 2019

Only 32% of parents said mobile devices had a negative impact on their child's development.

-Statista

Primary Research 

Question: When and why are they using technology? 

33% of parents stated that they use technology as a tool to distract their child

Question: How much time does your child spend on screen? 

21% of parents stated that their children spend more than 2 hours looking at the screen. The average American kid of the age group of 0-5  is spending more time recommended (2 hours or less). 

With these quantitative data, we were happy to realize that most of our users fell under the category of “less than an hour”. There was still a chunk of people that we're spending more than the recommended amount of time looking at screens. 

 

I was involved with the user interview processes and conducting interviews. We decided our main goal from the user interview is to get a better understanding of how children are learning and playing and how the parents’ viewpoint on-screen usage. 

 

Through our interviews and survey responses, we realized that… 

  1. Parents give devices to kids in order to keep them busy and give themselves time (ie. cooking and driving) 

  2. Children are still able to enjoy playing with toys and going outside 

Affinity Mapping 

HCI-01_ TEAM 2 - Organized Affinitizatio

Key Insights from Affinitization

  1. Parents are using screens to keep their child still

  2. Parents need time for themselves and other tasks

  3. Children have an appreciation for other activities outside of their screen time 

From the affinity mapping, we created this How Might We statement...

How might we reduce excessive screen time while keeping children engaged without supervision?

Competitive Analysis/Marketing Research

competitive analysis - baloo4.png

Prototyping & User Testing

Having decided on a Baloo, we created an interactive pdf of a storyline to test the concept, complexity, and usability. We wrote a short storyline flowchart that would involve the child by having them give inputs into the story at decision points. 

 

I was involved with the user testing and tested components of the interactive pdf. We received feedback from parents about the child’s attention span on the stories and concerns about how complex the stories are. ​

Questions we wanted to answer: 

  1. How long is a child's attention span?

  2. How do children interact with choice-based storytelling?

  3. How do children like to tell their own stories?

From the first round of testing, we received feedback on storytelling… 

  1. Kids that are 5 years old had a grasp of the story and were engaged with answering questions quickly.

  2. Kids ranging from the age of 2-4, despite their interest and engagement, struggled to answer the storyline prompts due to the complexity. However, the audio competent help engages the kids.

For the second round of testing, we decided to simplify the complexity of the story all the way down to identifying sounds, choosing sound, and content aimed towards educating. We went into the second round of testing with the same questions from the first, however, this time we are more focused on the complexity of the story.

Questions we wanted to answer: 

  1. How did the children react to the complexity of the story?

  2. How do children interact with choice-based storytelling?

  3. How do children like to tell their own stories?

After we tested the second round of testing, parents suggested that we need to find a balance between complexity and the storyline. They said that the stories were a lot easier compared to the first round of testing however this time it was too easy for the child. 

We then created different types of storylines for kids from the range of 2-4 years old. The storylines mainly focusing on education, basic storyline, and vocabulary. 

We created other potential storylines. For more, please find it in the process book

Low Fidelity Wireframes​

We all created low-fidelity wireframes and talked about what we liked about each of them before creating the final high fidelity wireframes. 

I created the basic lofi wireframes with an idea of keeping it simple and not too much customization for busy parents.

The lofi screens for onboarding, stories, and how the setting pages would look like.

An early exploration of how to add a child's toys into the story. 

Explore or playlist page of the application. 

High Fidelity Wireframes​

We did our first iteration of high fidelity wireframes and received feedback from our professor. 

We were told that we should add a hierarchy to the information. Currently, all the elements are floating on the screen.

Next Step

Sucess of Baloo can be tested using… 


User satisfaction would be measured through user interviews. The goal is to reduce the amount of time screen kids from the age of 0-5 years old. By decreasing the amount of screen time kids from the age 0-5, are getting the recommended 2 or fewer hours and helps the parents while they are taking time for themselves.

If given more time I would've love to explore...

 

Content Creation. The idea of parents creating their own stories for kids.

Lessons Learned 

  • Communicating everything to other designers/team members, so there no one is making assumptions

  • Test out the useability test as some participants ran into technological issues

  • For future projects, design systems are essential so that other designers/teammates could reuse them to maximize efficiency

For more details and information, please refer to the process book.

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

© 2020 by Jess Lam