MOVING KIDS FROM
PURPOSE & EMPATHY
We’ve all seen kids completely absorbed in the screens in front of them. Yet, what if we could move kids from consumption to creation? That was the motivation behind this research project done at Handmade.
A very small team gathered together to discuss what could be done. We looked into current trends, as well as research coming out about the impact of smart devices on kids. We saw an opportunity in open-ended play. Child psychology will tell you of the importance of open-ended play. It’s here that kids can process their own emotions and experiences in healthy ways.
Kid’s Toy Product Concept
Principal Product Designer
Concept Design, UX, Art Direction, Writing, Film Direction & Production
MY SKETCHING PROCESS
I begin my work in tangible expressions. Some people have a temptation to jump straight into computer work. I like to get away from the computer when I think and brainstorm. There’s something special about literally putting pen to paper to form new ideas.
Curio was a concept we created that taught basics in programming. In a way, it’s a tangible version of If This Then That (IFTTT). It’s Lego Technic meets Mr. Potato Head. Start by putting on either an input or output “widget”. Each widget has a personal characterization to look like eyes, mouths and other things. Keep adding more for surprising results.
The concept of “Shapie McShapes” moves away from the engineering toy perspective to simplify the play experience. There is one hero device that can be used in multiple ways. The idea was that we could still use a smart screen to set parameters for each “Shapie”, but the fun would happen offscreen.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DELIVERABLE
The video below is where we landed in our process. We moved through two key phases and concepts. The first approach was to create “Building Toys.” From there we moved into concepts around “Building Play.” It was here that we felt the highest amount of open-ended play would be found.