Ron Ronaldson was Parent proto-persona
"Remote worker dad looking for a new app to use to distract his 3 year old for about 30 min while he's getting work done."
Red Gummy is a short-form video streaming service that aims to be engaging and educational for children without the need to filter through inappropriate content.
It is for children, ages 2-12 years, who could benefit from an alternative method when it comes to learning subjects outside the classroom.
Unlike current streaming options that cater to a wider age group, like Netflix and Youtube, or short-form video services like Tiktok, our product will be entirely kid-oriented.
Red Gummy will cater towards being able to entertain children on a child-focused platform while being able to passively help them learn subjects using bite-sized content.
Create a streaming service to help users explore, find, and learn about relevant content by leveraging an ecosystem of content, publishers, brands, producers, etc.
MICA design project, Proof of Concept
Faculty Advisor: Feras Nabulsi
Tarise Singletary (me)
UX design **
Logo, typography, colors (phase 2)
User Testing **
** Shared responsibilities with the other UX Designer.
Our design team received a brief detailing key insights from initial research, stakeholder goals, and areas of opportunity. We then took this research and created lean, user-oriented UX artifacts to gain an initial understanding of our users, such as proto-personas, user stories, and user flows.
Increase in time spent browsing, hard to choose what to watch
Content awareness, hard to know what’s out there and new-to-them
Feature awareness, hard to get users to try out new features
Increase in account jumping, hard to get users to stick with a single-service
Increase in content creation, more platforms, and publishers
Increase in brand awareness, users are more familiar/connect with services, publishers/brands, producers
We chose to use proto-personas in lieu of typical personas as a temporary solution to develop a proof of concept. They were created based on assumptions and limited data, and intentionally lack the depth that we would typically achieve with personas. Proto-personas in this case were useful due to limited time, resources, and access to users.
We created five (5) User Stories for each proto-persona to capture the user's needs, goals, and behaviors in a user-centric manner. These narratives allowed us to focus on the user's perspective by highlighting what the user wants to achieve and why.
We then chose 2 User Stories from each proto-persona to move forward with and create flows and wireframes for.
We interviewed 3 people over Zoom for a scheduled time of 30 min.
We asked open-ended questions to gather insight from the participant’s worldviews and how they would expect to use the app, based on their needs.
A parent with a 5 year old
A 7 year old child
A special education teacher
What type of streaming services do they currently use?
What did they expect their next steps to be on a screen?
What are their first impressions?
Would the parent trust their child with this app?
We found that our special education teacher needs to be a lot more involved with her students, and also needs the parents involved as well.
On the contrary, our parent participant would like to determine what her child needs to learn and configure the app accordingly, then save content if the child likes it.
Our parent participant found the age group selection to be very important so that her child is shown the correct content. On the contrary, our special education teacher stressed that the age group selection doesn’t pertain to her kids.
Because we expect young children to be able to navigate this app, we need a simpler interface that would be easy for them to use, such as simpler images, less options to choose from, something that points out what the child should do next.
It was brought to our attention by the parent persona that the app may be better suited for tablet or desktop since young children most likely wouldn’t have phones.
The need for a variety of fun and interactive content came up multiple times because children get bored easily.
We took the advice of our parent interviewee and decided to make designs for tablets instead of starting with mobile first.
With these wireframes, we explored onboarding functionality, parental locks, and changing the age and subject selection screens.
For phase 2, we modified the prototype to address the concerns that came from the Parent and Teacher groups and reworked the branding to be more kid friendly.
"Their first interaction with it is when I am interacting with it as well, and that is when I can determine if it's good or bad" - Parent Persona
We introduced onboarding so that parents can feel at ease and get a good first impression of the app so they can feel confident allowing their child to use it with minimal supervision.
- Educator Persona
We added parental controls for the following reasons:
To keep settings out of the hands of the kids
To be able to limit screen time
To keep the child interface simple
Our last test brought up the need for more variety with content, so we introduced a pop quiz for kids to test what they’ve learned along with gamification to make the learning fun.
Some aspects of our UI can be triggering for kids with special needs. Quizzes and gaming features should give neutral feedback if the user didn't create the activity correctly.
Some of our icons were hard to understand, so we should consider changing the iconography and/or adding text with the icons.
Both parent and educator persons expressed a need to have a dashboard to view the progress of each child.
We were able to prototype a Proof of Concept that our targeted users were satisfied with.
Parents felt more at ease knowing they can make sure their child is only exposed to content for their age group and that they can set the app to limit the amount of time their child spends on it.
Children found the app fun and engaging. Even though the prototyped game wasn't real, they enjoyed repeating the interaction over and over.
The teacher interviewee found app useful for her students, yet expressed concern over any interactions that give any type of negative feedback, such as letting the user know they got the answer wrong. They expressed the dangers of creating something that could have a negative mental impact on the user.
Given the findings from secondary research, we were able to successfully create a prototype for a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) with limited time and resources.
Any company that moves forward with this Proof of Concept will have accomplished the following:
Trust and confidence from Parents and Educators
The incentive to design for tablet first
Eagerness from children when it comes to using an educational app
Defining our user groups and subsequently creating proto-personas, user stories, and user flows allowed us to ensure we were getting a well-rounded picture of the type of users that would be impacted by the app.
Taking the time to prototype and conduct user testing helps us to avoid creating an app for the wrong user type, creating an app that may feel boring to young users, and creating an app that could be used by children of varying needs.
Working with a team introduced such ideas as gamification and the use of fun characters to make learning fun.