Building better bedtime routines for children
Building better bedtime routines for children.
BACKGROUND: The brief was to design a digital solution that tackle sleep in a multi-user context.
TEAM: Bori Lee, Chirag Murthy, Hannah Rosenfeld & myself. My role involved user research & synthesis, concept development & prototyping.
RECOGNITION: Work-in-progress paper for TEI (Tangible, Embedded & Embodied Interactions) 2017 published by ACM Digital.
We explored sleep in a variety of contexts–from remote families to new parents–and found
ourselves particularly drawn to the opportunities to support families with young children in
building healthy and consistent bedtime routines.
Iyagi was born out of the need to ease the friction that comes with initiating the bedtime routine
as well as moving between activities for both parents and children. It aims to do this through
interactive, immersive storyscapes that unfold across rooms, incorporating elements of the
bedtime routine along the way.
We started by talking to a number of parents with children between the ages of 3 and 9 years.
And, here’s what we learnt:
Insights & Principles
#1 TRANSITIONS ARE HARD // SUPPORT MOMENTS OF TRANSITION
Parents stressed the challenge in initiating the bedtime routine and moving children
away from what they are doing. These transitions tend to be intense points of
friction that can lead to a lot of nagging and yelling.
#2 BEDTIME IS A FAMILY RITUAL // LET PARENTS, PARENT
Parents enjoy and cherish the bedtime routine and the meaningful bonding
moments that they bring.
#3 TIME CAN BE A CHALLENGE // DESIGN FOR DYNAMISM
Delays that take place before and during the routine have a cascading effect on the.
routine. Parents take this in their stride, but this was a pain point for most of them.
After brainstorming a range of ideas, we developed the following concepts into storyboards.
1. A digital art board that uses art as a calming transitional activity from playtime to the
start of the bedtime routine; the board also serves as a fun visual indicator of time.
2. An interactive path that guides children through the bedtime routine with story
projections from nightlight-like devices.
3. A ball that acts as a co-participant in the routine as it directs children from activity
to activity. The latter was intentionally chosen to test some of our assumptions along
with thelimits of people’s comfort.
The Iyagi System
Projects are installed in rooms where key bedtime activities take place. Smart tags
allow everyday objects to be incorporated into the storytelling experience, allowing actions
like brushing teeth to offer a novel means of engaging with the story. The app controls
back-end functions like story selection. Smart lighting helps create a progressively
calming environment as the family moves through the routine.
Journey Map of Bedtime Experience
A look at how Iyagi moves parents and children through spaces and activities.
Interactions With The System
Voice interactions felt like the most natural way to interact with Iyagi given the storytelling
context. We considered a range of scenarios of use to ensure the speech input options
offered were intuitive and non-disruptive to the storytelling.
Iyagi listens to the parent as they read the story to look for key words to move the story
Iyagi's immersive stories offer unique interactivity that engages children and enables
bedtime activities to be incorporated into the story. For example, the movement from a
toothbrush can help Jack climb up the beanstalk in the story.
Iyagi’s mobile application can be used to control important back-end functions, such as setup,
customizing bedtime routine, selecting story preferences and accessing bedtime reports.
To help us think through interactions with the system, we created this projection prototype to
help us walk through the experience of using and interacting with Iyagi.
Testing & Validation
We tested the storytelling tool with Felix, a vibrant, energetic 6 year-old. He was captivated
by the images from the moment we turned on the projections. It was interesting to see him
narrate his own version of the story, rather than listening to ours.
While Felix’s response was positive, this was a one off interaction with the system. For a more
thorough evaluation of the Iyagi’s effectiveness, we will need to observe how parents and
children use the system on an on-going basis as part of their daily lives.