Academic | Solo
10 Weeks | 2020
Social Eyes is an activity searching app for low-income families with kids 15 and under. This app is designed to give these kids the same access to high quality activities that mid to high income families have access to. Because there's such a large disparity in activity equity, the goal of this app is to bridge the gap so that kids can work on their social development no matter where they come from.
The project began slightly different.
Originally, the problem revolved around helping children understand social cues via social media.
Amongst other research I found, New York Behavioural of Health conducted a study of phone usage with 1000+ teens between 13-17 years old between 2012-2018. What they found was:
Usage among this age group went up by 36% since 2012
27% of all teens surveyed said they use their phone hourly
16% of all teens surveyed said almost constantly
Parents will be on board because it's helpful for their children
Results can produce a fast turn around with data depending on usage
A social media solution is viable because kids are already on their phone
How Might We Educate kids on social media so that they get a better understanding of social cues?
User Interviews - Areas Of Opportunities + Insights
I conducted interviews to further understand the problem and seek areas of opportunities for a solution. The app at first was intended to be both for kids and parents to use but further into the project made pivots.
If kids can get a better understanding of social cues then it will minimize social anxiety and help them build better relationships
Good place to start is parents being able to monitor their kids and take notes on what they notice
Parents would need to acknowledge that their child needs to work on their social development in order to take an interest in this app.
Child interactions are not entirely measurable without the right tools.
Persona + Experience Map
The persona was created because it plays a major role of the research and the product outcome. Once the persona was developed, it gave me clarity to the insights found from the user interviews. With the persona I was able to hone in on the pain points that I wanted to create a solution for.
The experience map was created for the business needs of Social Eyes and how people would get to it.
Pivot 1 - Removing Social Media
Counter-intuitive for kids to improve on understanding social cues by using social media. Removed the social media aspect entirely.
After further research, in order for a child to improve on relationship building by understanding social cues it all leads to social interaction off of mobile devices.
Competitors – Has Been Attempted
There are two competitors that I researched that have a similar function to my solution.
Club Penguin by Disney (iOS) - Club Penguin is no longer an app
Social Adventures (iPad) – are limited to use only for iPad.
Social Eyes will be able to provide suggestions on what activities a child should do or try in order to build better relationships.
Task Flow – 2 Main Tasks
Search for an activity and register for the child
Input information to generate a suggested activity
Sketches – For V1 Mockup
After sketching out different versions of the screens, it was time to create the first set of wireframes. Once the wireframes were finished I moved on to the usability testing portion.
Usability Testing - 2 Rounds With 7 Users
The tasks for the parents were to have them input information after attending an event.
All of the tasks were completed by the users and key insights found were about the aesthetics and getting a better understanding the information that's on the screens
Parents understood the concepts and thought it was a good idea.
Users wanted to start from a home page to navigate from because it started from the “search for activity in the area” screen and felt confusing starting from a page that had no context.
Constraints That Caused 2nd Pivot
The solution was flawed because there are too many barriers with the solution:
Parents most likely already have a bias of their child.
Parents would need to admit that their child needs improvement.
There would need to be doctors and tests in order to prove that the activities suggested are valid.
Pivot 2 – Persona, and How Might We… Refinement
The "How Might We…" needed refinement:
How Might We help kids in low-income families to participate in activities in order to develop their social skills?
Primary & Secondary Persona
The focus will be more on children from low-income families being able to attend activities that other kids who are advantageous attend. There are two features of this app, they would be to:
Show how much activities cost and how much you’ve spent on bringing children to these activities.
The second feature would be to show what organizations or activities hold subsidized events/activities.
Refined Persona + Experience Map
Why This Solution?
Both parents and kids only find activities by word of mouth or schedules on bulletin boards.
Having all activities on one platform makes it much easier to find something for kids that fits the parents and kids needs.
One of the biggest disparities in kids' social development is between activity equity and getting children to participate from all walks of life.
Home page turned back into search page
Additionally, I adjusted the search page to make it feel like a home page since the usability test results showed the users wanted more context and direction.
In order to create the landing page I needed to refer back to my mood and inspiration board to maintain the tone that I’m conveying.
What I did was create a desktop version and a mobile version because based on research those are two of the most popular platforms that the persona would use.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement and the next steps for my app would be to:
Develop an analytics and discount section for the business side of the app
Develop a feedback section for both users and business owners and test this feature to see how often feedback is left on the app