Zoolog Mobile App
Problem—Inactivity and static lifestyles of children ages 6-13 disconnect them from the real world, and increase health risks.
Zoolog is an experience that encourages children to become more active through exploring the world's fauna. The prototype models a journey for young to middle aged children, living in suburban and city areas. The user earns badges by collecting photographic observations of wildlife. Through their journey, prompts and tasks are also suggested to inspire more exploration. "Zoolog" is a wordplay on Zoology, the study of animals. The participants in the user-interface testing also included children of the intended age.
The research sites a problem, followed by solutions and functions of the app. User personas, current technology, and pain points of the potential app are worked out in this preliminary stage.
I started with the bare bones of the app; what functions I needed to have in order to walk kids through an objective. I knew it was going to exceed the scale I had originally so I worked quickly to hash out key functionalities. I struggled with focus as it was a project that had many parts to it. I focused on the home page first and broke down the details of the other nav pieces later. The orange is where interactions would be activated.
Originally the app encouraged exploring on different areas and even forestry, but the project itself lacked scale. Before I could more forward, someone suggested I start smaller with local goals . I began looking at what it would be like for a child to explore their neighbourhood, and then on a smaller scale, their home. This would be when they would use the application anyways, most likely with an adult downloading it to a device.
Input I had from testers for example, was the positioning of the camera button (in the beginning I had the button higher on the screen. Someone pointed out that children's hands are small, and that Snapchat's camera function is low for easy access) so I incorporated this feedback into the latest design.
A challenge I had was coming up with a reward system (badges) and keeping the user engaged throughout using the app. Since the goal is to get children aged 6-13 to become more active, I had to come up with a way to stimulate the next action for them, such as the ribbon prompts that pop up. Through this project I also learned more about prototyping and bespoke software.
The badge system was something that I did not have originally as well. But it made a huge difference! Someone else mentioned that I should leverage the gameification potential I had going on, so I did.