With the increasing use of technology, children are choosing to chat with friends and game instead of exercising their brain. Proven benefits of children who are avid readers have better communication skills, more empathy, higher self-esteem, and advanced brain development. How might we encourage children to read more?
This course was divided into two sections, Insights for Innovation and Ideas to Action. In Ideas to Action, I quickly brainstormed ideas on Post-it Notes and paper prototyped to test my ideas. Then with Insights for Innovation, I took a step back and went to a library to observe, learned from extremes, interviewed my younger siblings, and learned to empathize with my users.
To begin the design thinking certificate, I started with Ideas to Action. This included sketching down any idea that came to mind, and ended up with three main ideas. Moving forward with only one to prototype, the concept was an iPhone and iPad app that allows children to choose a book based on their interests and get paid with “rewards” completing books, all controlled in a subscription by the parents. Once prototyped, the idea was tested with a dad and his 14 year old daughter (my dad and younger sister).
The digital prototype was not quite popular among parents. There were issues like the parents don't want to pay for so many books so this is pretty limited to the type of household that can afford it. The app can also be easy for the child to cheat on the quizes because everything is available via Google. On paper the idea sounds great but with real people using it, the children still aren't interested.
The next phase of the course was Insights for innovation. A part of me believes I should have taken this first, but because of Ideas to Action I know what didn't work. So let's start from the beginning by observing at a Barnes and Nobles.
I went to my local Barnes and Nobles to observe families interacting with the books. I noticed a family sitting reading their books while the mom was on her phone, around a 13 year old reading by herself on the floor, and two daughter with their mother not quite enjoying their time picking out books.
Identifying my extremes allows me to stretch beyond assumptions. Based on my observations I created three difference lenses to call out my extremes on who I can interview to learn more.
Luckily, I had an ELD Paraprofessional accessible to interview! She is an english teacher for young students where english is not their first language. There were many insights based on techniques the teacher would use and how home life can affect the children’s reading level.
In this exercise I identified tasks to do in order to put myself in the shoes of either my extremes or primary users. With being new to California, I decided to go through the journey of creating an account online, reserving a book and picking it up.
The next phase of the course was Insights for innovation. A part of me believes I should have taken this part first but because of Ideas to Action, I know what didn't work. So let's start from the begining by observing at a Barnes and Nobles.
The book renting experience needs to be easy for full-time working parents to create accessibility for their children to read more.
The public library website can be more user-friendly & intuitive for children without their parents.
Parents need to find a way to create a reading culture at home to influence their children to read more.
The Oprah Book Club and Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine are all about empowering women. What if we brought that same knowledge to young girls? Why can't they learn these lessons at a younger age through reading?
Let's help form a reading culture at home. With their mothers as influencers, we can make it easier to rent books digitally, and provide book recommendations for young girls and those transitioning into womanhood. Rebel Girls is already doing a great job with inspiring young girls by teaching them about other successful women.
*Currently working on UX & UI of this service to test further*