Peekapak

*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.

The Goal

Develop a personalized child facing platform that fuses play with SEL education and has the potential for monetization.

My Role

3 member team/2.5 weeks

I was responsible for user research, ideation, wireframes, visual design and prototyping.

 

 

Getting Started

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. 

 

 

Competitive Landscape

 

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

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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.

 

 

Personas

Based on the research, we developed two personas and identified their major pain points when using online digital tools.

 

 Tom

4 years old

Loves Curious George & Shawn the Sheep

Likes to play with cars & coloring books


Tom's Pain Points

Julie

38 years old

Single Mom

Family Practitioner


Julie's Pain Points

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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

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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.

 

 

The Solution

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

 

Early Wireframes

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

 

Feature Prioritization


Next Steps

 1. Build a voice recording story option. The parent can record the story in their own voice. And the child can hear the story while the parent is away.  2. Add a time monitoring clock and timer so parents can control the amount of time children spend in front of the computer. Our research reveled that parents want to know how much screen-time their children are getting.  3. Develop meaningful activities for in-story engagement.  4. Introduce a progress tracker for parents which will be linked to the in-story activities.  5. And of coarse, continue to do the design process again and again… test, iterate, build and repeat…

1. Build a voice recording story option. The parent can record the story in their own voice. And the child can hear the story while the parent is away.

2. Add a time monitoring clock and timer so parents can control the amount of time children spend in front of the computer. Our research reveled that parents want to know how much screen-time their children are getting.

3. Develop meaningful activities for in-story engagement.

4. Introduce a progress tracker for parents which will be linked to the in-story activities.

5. And of coarse, continue to do the design process again and again… test, iterate, build and repeat…

 

Failed Concepts

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.