Robi

Robi is a intermedia assistant for children that turns writing exercises into playful games. By following a robot on its adventures in digital space children learn basic prerequisites to develop and improve their personal handwriting. The toolkit provides relevant information for ergotherapists to adapt therapy to the individual capabilities of each child. It includes parents directly in the process and enables a better and more holistic support of the child‘s progress.

The project won the Annual Multimedia Award 2018 – Digital Talent (Healthcare) in Berlin.

Role
UX/UI Design, Visual Design, Product Design, Coding

Mentor
Prof. Wolfgang Henseler
Prof. Thomas Hensel

Process

Context

As a designer I see it as a personal responsibility to create inclusive products, services and experiences that lower the barriers for everyone to participate in our society.

Therefore I cooperated with the local Anna-Bertha-Königsegg-School – a school for physically and mentally impaired children in Pforzheim to develop an intermedia toolkit to foster writing skills of physically impaired children and to support supervising therapists. The school gave me the opportunity to talk, observe and conduct user tests with children, therapists and parents throughout the entire design process.

Research

Foundational Design Research in early stages of the project helped to set up assumptions about user needs, define hypotheses statements and refine the inital design challenge. Objectives that research answered included the general principles of graphomotor therapy, necessary requirements of the children and the social behaviour in the group.

Besides discovering meaningful insights about the childrens problems, needs and motivations, I identified pain points and opportunity areas in the therapist’s mentoring process, evaluated the needs and consequences of monitoring progress and defined stakeholders of the ecosystem.

User and experience journeys  described the detailed process of a child going through therapy and the connection between people involved in the journey on a more holistic level. Using methods of Generative Design Research to test and refine those models in collaboration with relevant stakeholders sparked new ideas and set the foundation for design pillars including personas, product ecosystem, user scenarios, user flows and information architecture.

Concept

A major objective was to change the role of the therapist from supervisor to supporter. Developing a smart pen that could detect incorrect posture and give haptic feedback to the child and a playful digital application would relieve the relationship and allow to focus on personal interaction instead of error correction.

Connecting the physical object of a smart pen  with a character in the digital application shifted focus away from technology and involved the child in an interactive story.

Rapid prototyping of the pen and application allowed me to try different ideas, recognise problems early and iterate fast.

Different perceptive and motoric abilities of the users requested an interface that was easy to understand and use even for illiterate children. The principles of Natural User Interface Design met these requirements and built a solid foundation for a convenient, user-friendly interface.Parallel to sketching wireframes I defined the visual language that was rooted and compatible with the developed logic and interactions and resulted in a conclusive interface design for children, therapists and parents.

Using Evaluative Design Reseach methods and getting the designs in the hands of the users as soon as possible ensured that the experience was shaped and refined to truly meet stakeholders‘ needs and expectations.