SQUI: An Interactive Activity-Monitoring System for Kids with Congenital Heart Defects
+ Duration | Spring 2016 (3 mos), Capstone Project
+ My Role | Research, Ideation, Cross-disciplinary Collaboration, Interaction Design, 3D Visualization & Prototyping
+ Methods | Interview, Competitive Analysis, Storyboard, User Journey, Wireframe, Mid-fi Prototyping, CAD Modelling & Visualization
+ Sector | Education, Medical
+ Team | 3 Members
How do we reduce emotional and financial burden for children with Congenital Heart Defects(CHD) and their family?
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. They affect 8 out of every 1,000 newborns (one out of every 33 ). In addition to the medical costs, kids with inborn heart disease can bring a lot of emotional and physical stress to themselves and their family, such as lifestyle changes, emotional stress, family uncertainty, and being unable to return to work in order to care for their child.
Squi consists an app, a website, a storybook and a product kit that brings young patients and their parents together.
How to gather insights when the user group is extremely difficult to communicate in person?
Pediatrician Interview, Desktop Research, and Competitive Analysis.
The Parents Told Us That
- Physical activity can boost children's confidence, but it is too risky.
- Children's activities always needs to be monitored, because they don't know how to protect themselves.
- They feel a lot financial stress, because the mothers have to quit their jobs to take care of the patients.
“We all know that a regular exercise program is good for us, but it is important to work up to a level of fitness and not just 'jump in.' If you are not used to regular aerobic exercise, sudden and strenuous physical exertion can lead to a heart attack.”
And The Doctor Said
- It is challenging for nurses to monitor every child.
- Parents are constantly worrying about their children's situation and future possibilities.
“Parents are always asking questions like - if their kid will still have a healthy and happy life.”
Successful Products in the Market Usually
- Follow the child's everyday life to provide education
- Have positive personalities
- Use sound, light and movement feedback to complete the interaction.
- Record and provide information for parents and doctors.
What We Learned
- It is critical for young patients to know how to balance their heart conditions and physical activities.
- Companionship is the best way to provide emotional support and therapeutic education for young patients.
- Real-time monitoring system can largely reduce parents' anxiety.
An interactive system that can provide children with CHD companionship, education on physical exercise, and their parents a way of real-time monitoring.
How to make children willing to wear it everyday?
Creating the Story: You Are Not Different, You Are Unique.
"His name is Alex. He is a super hero, and I am his secret agent!" —quote from a kid
We conducted a participatory research with 3 kids from 6-10 years old. During the process, we asked them to sketch out an imaginary buddy that they would like to hang out everyday and describe his/her characteristics and how the interaction would be like.
- All kids named their buddies, and gave them different and independent personalities.
- The characters they made were very tailored to their own interests and hobbies.
- All kids said they want to interact with the buddy through some cute feedbacks, but they didn't want it to speak to them.
- Furthermore, It is interesting that one kid not only created a story for his little buddy, but also included himself in the story.
Design Directions: We Need To
- Provide some levels of customization: Names, Colors, Characristics.
- Create simple tectile, visual or audio feedback during interactions.
- Create a story for the little buddy and involve kids in that story.
- Create different options of carrying their buddies.
Take a closer look
Form & Accessory Design
User Testing: We tested the whole product line with 2 families with kids. The parents and kids were first asked to preform the ordering and open-box tasks together. And then, we recorded kids' impression and interaction with SQUI and tested the usability of the accessories. We also asked the patents to try out the app and give feedbacks.