Integrating AR to assist in learning development for children
Research, Ideation, UI/UX, Visuals, Prototyping
November - December 2019 (4 week project)
Adobe XD, Illustrator, Photoshop, Cinema 4D
Stori is an AR-integrated learning application designed for children that helps develop crucial literacy skills. With the integration of augmented reality, Stori provides a more fun and contemporary twist on traditional learning methods, making the experience more hands on, interactive and engaging.
Augmented Reality (AR) is an expanding technology that has become increasingly prevalent in our day to day lives. With its popular application in areas like gaming and entertainment, it is important that other crucial areas like children learning tools also catch up to speed with the technology.
With children today being digital natives, the need for technology-based learning has become increasingly important. However, even with all its advancements, there is still a limited selection of AR-integrated tools for children that specifically relate to learning and literacy development.
A design challenge emerged...
Stori is an AR integrated storytelling and story-creation application designed for children (4-10) that encourages creativity, critical thinking, language skills, and literacy development. Reading and creating are some of the fundamental ways to effectively nurture a child's overall development. Integrating AR to the learning process allows for higher engagement, more hands-on learning, and a kickstart into digital literacy as well. Stori combines the best of both worlds to create the most optimal learning experience for children.
With the application's storytelling function, a library of stories is provided for children to read in an immersive AR experience; children are also able to incorporate their own imagination to create experiences in AR with the story-creation function.
Phase 01: Researching and learning
I began researching competitors with similar functions and learning goals to find out market opportunities Stori could fill. Here is a general summary of my findings:
most competitors don't offer the age group 4-10
most competitors only offer limited subjects and very specific features to explore (not multifaceted)
some competitors require other technologies in order to function to full capacity
some competitors only offer one platform to access the application
To further my research I conducted user interviews with children ages 5 - 9 and their parents. I wanted to find out if kids would be interested in something like Stori, and if they thought it would benefit them; as well, if parents had any frustrations when it came to assisting in their child's learning development, and if they were willing to invest in a product that could help. Here's what I found:
Kids are interested in/want to improve their literacy skills
Kids believe that technology-based learning would help them with the process
Parents sometimes find it challenging to keep their child interested in learning certain skills
Parents are willing to invest in a product that assists with the process
To summarize my research and findings, I created a PACT analysis and 2 user personas which I would base off of when creating my user scenarios.
* images taken from Unsplash
Phase 02: Ideating and developing
After finalizing my research, I began the ideating possible user interfaces and interactions that could deliver what I wanted the application to achieve in a user-friendly and simple way.
I got the opportunity to conduct a few user-tests to gain insight and feedback. Through this, I was able to better understand the problem and reiterate my userflows accordingly. Here were my main takeaways:
Include parental password protection before a child posts their content on the app.
Users should just choose preexisting creation elements instead of drawing their own: avoids unnecessary frustration and challenges.
Include a section for stories chosen for the user based on interest. This section should be updated weekly or so to keep engagement.
Sort stories into a few major categories to provide easier navigation.
After revising the initial userflows with the feedback given, I developed the final flowchart for my 3 scenarios:
Taking the flowchart structure, I started building mid-high fidelity wireframes to map out the user interactions and overall layout.
When developing the visual system, I wanted to ensure that it appealed to the target audience. This is why I chose the use of bright colors and a more playful typeface to communicate a friendly, familiar and welcoming tone. I also created a few illustrations to tie in the overall visual design of the application. I wanted to ensure that all aspects were cohesive and fitting to the brand.
Palette & elements
Final: 3 userflows
Easy & friendly user experience for first-time users when creating an account and navigating interface
Reading a story
Straightforward navigation system to find a story of interest and read it in AR
Creating a story
Helpful walkthroughs to make the story creation process as easy a possible for first-time users
View interactive prototype here
This was my first time designing an app along with its interactions, so it was definitely a huge learning experience from research to execution. I learned the value of modifying my design through various iterations in order to better suit my target audience’s needs; I learned to design every element with a purpose and function, rather than just for the aesthetic; most importantly, I learned to thorough my research prior to designing in order to gain more clarity in vision for the app.
Of course, there are still areas I want to improve on, like learning to further deepen my research and explore more possibilities in 3D rendering. However, given the time frame and original objective, I am satisfied with what was achieved.
Spending time on the little details and nitty-gritty elements help to clarify vision and solidify the app’s purpose.
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