I am creating a toy machine for children who are 5-10 years old to help them form good habits at a younger age to evoke feelings of self-efficacy, patience and self-control by practicing delayed gratification. They will then become aware of the importance of good life habits through a joyful experience. Most people believe that it is difficult to build good habits and that building habits is a boring job. My toy Habit Habit machine will give children actual chocolates as a reward when they complete their mission for wearable band. In order to manage their children’s habit, parents can check their progress on a website that is connected to the Habit Habit machine.
I’m studying user experience design related to behavioral psychology because I want to find out how user experience design and wearable devices can help children build good habits in order to contribute theories in behavioral psychology. In addition, I want to understand how to make a wearable device for young children that will be an effective way for parents to document and track the formation of their children’s habits.
How can User Experience design help children build good habits?
+ How should wearable devices be designed for young children? (What should designers consider when designing user experience for children?)
What are the domains, field(s), discipline(s) and/or medium(s) your project will occupy?
My research domain is Behavior Psychology and User Experience in a broad sense. In terms of technology, I’m studying on Physical Computing for making prototypes, so my actual prototype will be made out of DIY materials with Arduino. Also, in order to enhance user experience, I’ll design a website that is linked to a physical prototype. The website will have a function as a critical design by including Data Visualization to show the importance of the issue that I address. Also, I want to combine physical data (input) with digital visualization.
Thus, I’m studying user experience design related to behavior psychology because I want to find out how user experience design and wearable device can help children build good habits in order to prove some theories in behavior psychology and understand how to make a wearable device for young children as a designer.
Theories in Behavior Psychology behind my project.
1) Habit Loop
Habit loop is a simple process how habits work. The general framework for building habits is consisted of four parts: identifying the routine, experiment with rewards, isolating the cue and having a plan. So, I will adapt those rules to my project, a habit kit.
Classical conditioning theory is a learning theory in behavior psychology area, which is theorized by a Russian physiologist Ivan P.Pavlov. The process of conditioning can be divided by two parts. Take the original experiment with a dog, for example. Before conditioning, the dog naturally slavered over his food as an unconditioned response and there would be no salivation when the other stimulus comes up other than food. During conditioning, when the neutral stimulus is presented, the dog’s reaction will be followed by the unconditioned stimulus. Over time, the dog will develop an association between these two stimuli. So, After conditioning, the salivation will be automatically activated with conditioned stimulus without food.
3) Marshmallow Effect
For the reward part, I referred the “Marshmallow Experiment” for a deeper approach of children’s behaviors. According to the experiment and the research that is conducted by researchers from Stanford University, children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes in their lifetime. So, intentionally, I designed the reward machine by adapting the concept of delayed gratification which the machine finally gives chocolates when children’s behaviors are totally completed. They will learn control themselves, waiting for the rewards by enhancing ability to delay.
Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in the likelihood of goal completion can be motivating in itself. (Van der Bijl & Shortridge Baggett, 2002). Self-efficacy refers to people’s perception and judge about their capability to perform particular tasks. Task-related self-efficacy increases the effort and persistence towards challenging tasks; therefore, increasing the likelihood that they will be completed. According to Bandura’s theory, people with high self-efficacy are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided. Self-efficacy affects every area of human endeavor and the construction of self-efficacy in early childhood is important matter and it can be developed by lots of exercise with self-control. I want children to learn self-efficacy by using the habit toy machine and complete their daily tasks.
What are three to five works that define this area? Think in terms of technologies, materials, experience, intention and subject domain.
1) Ringly – for the appearance and function of wearable tech accessary, the precedent can be “Ringly.” Ringly is a wearable device that can be called as wearable fashion accessary. When it comes to function, Ringly can be connected to smartphones by Bluetooth and when there is a notification, it will light up and buzz to alert users of calls, messages, emails and other app notifications.
2) Habit RPG – considering user experience, “HabitRPG” is my precedent. It’s a game style habit building app and target users are mainly children who are easily get bored when it comes to form habits. Also, this app gives user rewards as game items whenever they keep habits. Children can build habits with a joyful game experience.
3) Daily Goal
When it comes to design, “Daily Goals” app would be one of the precedents. This app shows missions by color with dot plot style data visualization. And users can document their daily goals and see them
on the calendar at a glance in a simple way.
The reason I chose this app for my precedent is in the way of documenting the behaviors. Users can document every behaviors and events In daily lives to check every move by self. Users freely set up categories of behaviors. Based on user’s data, the app reports the life patterns and habit patterns with data visualization.
5) Compliment Sticker
In many children education programs, compliment stickers are used for encouraging young students. According to many researches, children love happy face and stickers on their papers. Even though it’s a very tiny reward, they will be proud of themselves by achieving those stickers. Compliment sticker is a simple, but powerful tool to praise students.
Audiences + Contexts:
For whom is this kind of work created? Where is it experienced?
The children as my target audiences would range from 5 – 10 years of age. It will be experienced in their homes, kindergartens and preschools.
How will you go about conceptualizing, designing and producing your project?
I’ll combine the concept of habit loop with the educational way of compliment sticker.
For the functional part, users will push the button on the bracelets whenever they keep the promises (habits) by themselves and they can document their behaviors by the simple gesture.
My actual prototype will be made out of DIY materials with Arduino. Also, in order to enhance user experience, I’ll design a website that is linked to a physical prototype. For the design process, I drew many hand sketches for final design identity.
Use of Technology
For engineering part, I’ll study to use arduino debounce function. (Pushbuttons often generate spurious open/close transitions when pressed, due to mechanical and physical issues: these transitions may be read as multiple presses in a very short time fooling the program. This example demonstrates how to debounce an input, which means checking twice in a short period of time to make sure the pushbutton is definitely pressed. Source: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Debounce)
Given the research you have conducted, what is the question you hope to investigate through your Final Project?
The main research question is “How can User Experience design help children build healthy habits and self-efficacy in early childhood ?”
Also, I want to investigate how wearable devices should be designed for young children. (What should designers consider when designing user experience for children?)
Thus, I made a habit kit that consists of a toy machine, a wearable band with a button for children and an informative website for their parents. Both of them can be connected to each other. Also, it has an aspect of critical design that address the importance of early childhood development and the fact that building healthy habits for our lives is not a hassle and boring job. It can be more fun like playing game. Also, I want children to teach how to manage self and giving rewards themselves.
User-testing of The First Prototype with Kids
3. Concept Statement
I am creating a toy machine for children who are 5-10 years old to help them form good habits in their early age, evoke feelings of self-efficacy, patients and self-control and thoughts about the importance of good habits for their life with a joyful experience in the context of when most people believe that It is difficult to build good habits and children are not aware of the importance of healthy habits. Also, I hope children to improve self-efficacy and persistence by accomplishing their own goals in daily lives continuously.
4. Design Value
Who is it for?
My “Habit Habit (A Habit Kit for Children) “project is for a target audience who would range from 5 – 10 years of age. The children as my target audiences need to build good habits in their early age with a joyful experience by playing with a toy machine.
Where do they encounter it?
They will encounter the habit building machine at their everyday places like home, kindergarten or primary school in their daily lives. They can use the product when they keep on making healthy routines such as brushing their teeths, drinking water, doing homeworks at time, eating healthy vegetable and so on. Their parents can assist them depending on their ages and when they set up some a mission (a goal) for the first time.
What does the project ask of its audience?
They need to set a goal or mission first as their future habits, and then they will intentionally do the behavior and document their activities by pushing the button, and they will look forward to getting chocolates when the mission is completed. Their parents can monitor their children’s progress in the sets of process of building habits and give them compliments when they finish the mission.
What are they doing while experiencing it?
They will try to remember to push button whenever they keep the habitual behaviors. They will look forward to completing the mission and getting a reward. They will be aware of some healthy habits in daily lives. The behaviors would be very simple things like brushing teeth, eating vegetable, saying hello to others and so on. Those activities are essential to sustain ordinary but usually ignored to be rewarded. Children would not get a compliment when they make those kinds of activities because that ordinary habits considered as insignificant activities. Although the rewards of the toy machine very small thing, they can be proud of themselves because they complete the mission and keep promises with themselves.
When do they experience it?
Basically, i think this experience has to be an enjoyable activity. So, I hope they will voluntarily play with this machine whenever they want to set a mission for building healthy habits and keep on doing the habits in their daily lives in home or school. To motivate this internal needs, i’ll develop the appearance of the toy machine as the style that children prefers in terms of colors, design and feel. (For example, based on a research that children love smiley emoji and face, I made smiley interface of the machine.)
What are they doing while experiencing it?
I’m expecting they would enjoy the process of setting a goal with their parents and document their behaviors by pushing the buttons. They need to set a goal or mission first as their future habits, and then they will intentionally do some behaviors and document their activities by pushing the button, and they will look forward to getting chocolates when the mission is completed. They learn how to have patience in the situation when the rewards are delayed.
What do you want the audience to take away from their experience?
Basically, I want the children to learn how to build some habits in their daily lives and be aware of the importance of healthy habits. Also, they learn how to have patience in the situation when the rewards are delayed. They also can develop self-efficacy (one’s belief to complete something successfully by oneself) by accomplishing habit missions along serieses of process, achieving little senses of accomplishments. In a similar vein, These experiences can improve their self-control ability and sense of responsibility in early development age that affects on their entire lifetime. I hope that they are proud of themselves to succeed in achieving very simple accomplishments in ordinary lives and control themselves.
What are some adjectives around how the project will make its audience feel? Fun, Easy, Proud, Joyful, Useful, Meaningful, Rewarded, Motivated
Download: Annotated Bibliography (PDF Version)
The plans moving forward
1) Develop prototype – physical computing works (connecting each device)
2) User testing with children – Playtech
3) Website – infographics, connecting with machine (if this is possible)