*Note: images & company information are sourced from Peekapak.
At a Glance
Peekapak bridges the gap between learning in class and learning at home with an exciting preK-grade 3 digital learning program that connects the class and home. All lesson plans are Common Core aligned and include both an original storybook covering important Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) topics and related activities designed by curriculum experts to accelerate early childhood development.
Develop a personalized child facing platform that fuses play with SEL education and has the potential for monetization.
3 member team/2.5 weeks
I was responsible for user research, ideation, wireframes, visual design and prototyping.
Our initial research was to better understand Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills and the books Peekapak uses in teaching them. How do SEL skills play a role in long-term development? What educational tools currently exist and how does the competition teach these skills?
The next steps were to research the competitive landscape and talk with parents. We needed to know how parents currently use digital tools for learning, what teachers and parents know about SEL skills and how they are being taught.
A handful of companies are using online platforms that merge academics with fun. Some key insights we found in the competitive landscape were reward systems, explorations with avatars and the gamification of problem solving. No one is focusing in depth on Social and Emotional learning skills. Nor does anyone provide much guidance for at home learning.
Interviews, Contextual Interviews and Surveys
Understanding the child's and parent's need was crucial. We had many conversations with parents about their approach to online education and how their children interact with them.
We prepared surveys, did contextual interviews and interviews via Skype.
Synthesizing the Research
We discovered that children need relatable characters, immersive environments, and personalized learning. We also discovered that parents need relevant learning and guidance in SEL development.
Our findings concluded that we needed to:
CREATE A CHILD PLATFORM
We needed to design a virtual world of Peekapak where children have a personalized experience reading the books and participating in SEL activities.
REDESIGN THE PARENT PLATFORM
We needed to redesign the parent-facing platform to give parents more tools and guidance in SEL development as well as access to a community of parents for support.
Based on the research, we developed two personas and identified their major pain points when using online digital tools.
4 years old
Loves Curious George & Shawn the Sheep
Likes to play with cars & coloring books
Tom's Pain Points
38 years old
Julie's Pain Points
Ideation and Feature Development
In order to meet our goals and develop meaningful interactions it was important that we question every part of our product.
Asking these questions during the design process provided a solid frame for meeting our goals:
Does this platform merges SEL with play, magic and fun?
Is this part of the experience personalized?
How might we engage parents in the development of SEL skills?
Does the parent have support in this part of the process?
Ideating Interactions and Activities
We had several ideation sessions. These sessions provided us with a deeper understanding of the various directions our product could take. We then used affinity mapping to find patterns, trends and priorities.
Ideating Interactions Within the Book
It was important to create an engaging experience in the child's experience of reading Peekapak books.
We made careful observations and marked pivotal points in the book where we could insert activities, interactions and parental guidance.
Create a personalized interactive gaming experience for children that teaches SEL skills while merging play, learning and magic.
Re-design the parent facing platform providing parents with guidance and support in SEL skills development.
First Sketches for Onboarding and Landing Pages
The child on-boarding is complicated with laws and regulations that prohibit and limit online activities. It was important for Peekapak to give the child immediate access to the site. The design allows for immediate access, but requires parental permission within a few weeks for the account to stay active.
Once inside, the child could create their own avatar, have access to a personal playroom or explore the World of Peekapak. The World of Peekapak includes interactive books, activities and hidden Easter eggs.
Second Iteration Wireframes
The Final Prototype
Originally, the avatar feature was designed to take a photo of the player's face and place the photo on the player's chosen avatar body.
The concept was meant to keep costs down and personalize the experience.