"Why do you interact with social media?" 
These kids use social media for various reasons including following celebrities and influencers, sport channels, watching videos with different content and exposing their creativity with unique performance. They spend online time with their friends who have common interest.
INSIGHT: Tweens are very unique, they are kids but want to act and be treated as teenagers. They prefer to expose their strengths and always want to learn/share new things. Each of them has different interest and inspiration. They are multitaskers by being active on different channels and always chatting with their friends. If their friends are online, they would be online. It is all about timing!
"Let's talk about these stories and profiles, which one is cooler/more attractive?"

I shared my concepts with these 12 tweens  based on stories. Three concepts included distinctive joyful themes such as growing an genderless avatar, having a creature friend or more building up a unique persona. These helped me to understand the taste and preference of tweens. 
INSIGHT: More than 50% of the kids like the theme of building up a persona since they think that it is cooler. They claim that these visuals look cooler and more unique comparing with others. They felt that they feel more likely as teenager like their older siblings- which is cooler and less childish.

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Benefits

  1. Smooth transition to social media with greater awareness,

  2. Find the confidence, balance, and direction they need to make the most of social media.

  3. Increases  self knowledge, learning skills, people sense and worldliness, openness and goal settings skills.

  4. Trustworthy platform for both kids and parents

Takeaways

  1. Having a sensitive approach by understanding the characteristics of the user during the user-centered design process. 

  2. Balancing both parents' and kids' expectations (in a polarized way) was challenging.

Next Steps

  1. Parents are decision makers and as next step I'd focus on the parents side to explore their experience after they decide to give a phone to their kids and download Squad app.

  2. I'd create a design system and test the 3 months experience with group of students and parents

Benefits

  1. Smooth transition to social media with greater awareness,

  2. Find the confidence, balance, and direction they need to make the most of social media.

  3. Increases  self knowledge, learning skills, people sense and worldliness, openness and goal settings skills.

  4. Trustworthy platform for both kids and parents

Takeaways

  1. Having a sensitive approach by understanding the characteristics of the user during the user-centered design process. 

  2. Balancing both parents' and kids' expectations (in a polarized way) was challenging.

Next Steps

  1. Parents are decision makers and as next step I'd focus on the parents side to explore their experience after they decide to give a phone to their kids and download Squad app.

  2. I'd create a design system and test the 3 months experience with group of students and parents

Overview

Squad creates a provisional period to help iGen be more conscious about the negative effects and risks of social media addiction while enhancing creativity and thinking skills towards social issues by collaboration with peers to change the expectations of iGen from the social media channels that they will engage with after this period.

Role: UX Designer

Thesis Project: Research & Design

Duration: 2018 - 8 months

Problem Statement

Breaking away from social media and keeping life in balance is so difficult, especially for the iGeneration from an entirely post-digital era. Kids have been experiencing various mental health crises which are linked to excessive use of social media. They are more likely to be left out, lonely, anxious and depressed.

"How can we help the young generation be more conscious of the negative effects of social media?"


Problem Statement

Breaking away from social media and keeping life in balance is so difficult, especially for the iGeneration from an entirely post-digital era. Kids have been experiencing various mental health crises which are linked to excessive use of social media. They are more likely to be left out, lonely, anxious and depressed.

"How can we help the young generation be more conscious of the negative effects of social media?"


Problem Statement

Breaking away from social media and keeping life in balance is so difficult, especially for the iGeneration from an entirely post-digital era. Kids have been experiencing various mental health crises which are linked to excessive use of social media. They are more likely to be left out, lonely, anxious and depressed.

"How can we help the young generation be more conscious of the negative effects of social media?"


Secondary Research

Social media addiction: Social media is a platform where people expose their abilities, feelings, strengths and receive instant gratification. Spending excessive amounts of time using social media leads to negative effects and interferes with other aspects of people’s lives. FOMO ‘a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.' Since this term is highly connected with technology and social media, dictionaries have another definition which is ‘ a form of social anxiety'. Social media addiction has become a phenomenon due to its negative effects on mental health & relationships.​​​​​​​ It has been proven that online self-disclosure fires up a part of the brain similar when taking cocaine.

Secondary Research

Social media addiction: Social media is a platform where people expose their abilities, feelings, strengths and receive instant gratification. Spending excessive amounts of time using social media leads to negative effects and interferes with other aspects of people’s lives. FOMO ‘a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.' Since this term is highly connected with technology and social media, dictionaries have another definition which is ‘ a form of social anxiety'. Social media addiction has become a phenomenon due to its negative effects on mental health & relationships.​​​​​​​ It has been proven that online self-disclosure fires up a part of the brain similar when taking cocaine.

I expanded my research understanding more about the characteristics of this unique generation and the negative effects of excessive social media use. My resources from psychological, psychiatric, sociological and ethnographic materials include articles from the American Psychological Association and books such as iGen, Hooked and Alone Together.

Mental health effects of social media among the young generation:  Self-disclosure, instant gratification, FOMO and constant need to compare self with other people create virtual bonds through social media and help people to reaffirm the reality to feel better. Lately, social media  has been associated with several serious mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, social phobia, low self-esteem, ADHD and hostility. As with any other addiction, breaking away from social media is very difficult for all especially iGen.

Primary Research

  1. Instagram is a unique platform for sourcing accurate data from the audience, allowing one to understand their opinion on current phenomena. I received over 250 instant responses for each question.
  2. Four 13-year-old teenagers from Detroit, who received their first phone at the age of 12, were interviewed in a focus group to gain insights into iGen's social media habits, behaviours, and the value they derive from their online interactions.
  3. Eight interviews were conducted with neuroscientists, an author, an editor, a wellness counselor, an experience designer, a parent, and diversified members of the target group.

Primary Research

  1. Instagram is a unique platform for sourcing accurate data from the audience, allowing one to understand their opinion on current phenomena. I received over 250 instant responses for each question.
  2. Four 13-year-old teenagers from Detroit, who received their first phone at the age of 12, were interviewed in a focus group to gain insights into iGen's social media habits, behaviours, and the value they derive from their online interactions.
  3. Eight interviews were conducted with neuroscientists, an author, an editor, a wellness counselor, an experience designer, a parent, and diversified members of the target group.

Primary Research

  1. Instagram is a unique platform for sourcing accurate data from the audience, allowing one to understand their opinion on current phenomena. I received over 250 instant responses for each question.
  2. Four 13-year-old teenagers from Detroit, who received their first phone at the age of 12, were interviewed in a focus group to gain insights into iGen's social media habits, behaviours, and the value they derive from their online interactions.
  3. Eight interviews were conducted with neuroscientists, an author, an editor, a wellness counselor, an experience designer, a parent, and diversified members of the target group.

My focus group believe that life without social media might be better for them because they do not clearly understand the value of social media interaction. All admitted that they would prefer real life, face-to-face interaction; however, social media interaction is more convenient and makes their lives easier. When they have to have a real interaction, they feel uncomfortable.

Target Group

Through research insights, I was able to refine my design solution and identify the target user. In the United States, the average age for children to get their first smartphone is 10 years old. Shockingly, 39% of children get their first social media account at the age of 11, even though the recommended age is 13. As a result, the target audience for this design solution is tweens aged between 8 to 12 years old.
The most significant issue related to social media addiction is that children in iGen are experiencing dramatic behavioral changes without any proactive measures when they first receive their smartphones. The tween age group, when they first start owning their phones, is the optimal time to prevent children from becoming addicted to their smartphones. The objective of Squad is to create a transitional period, which could be described as a "provisional period," where each child can be educated and prepared to use their smartphones in a way that empowers them to enhance their creativity and social thinking skills through collaboration.

Target Group

Through research insights, I was able to refine my design solution and identify the target user. In the United States, the average age for children to get their first smartphone is 10 years old. Shockingly, 39% of children get their first social media account at the age of 11, even though the recommended age is 13. As a result, the target audience for this design solution is tweens aged between 8 to 12 years old.
The most significant issue related to social media addiction is that children in iGen are experiencing dramatic behavioral changes without any proactive measures when they first receive their smartphones. The tween age group, when they first start owning their phones, is the optimal time to prevent children from becoming addicted to their smartphones. The objective of Squad is to create a transitional period, which could be described as a "provisional period," where each child can be educated and prepared to use their smartphones in a way that empowers them to enhance their creativity and social thinking skills through collaboration.

Target Group

Through research insights, I was able to refine my design solution and identify the target user. In the United States, the average age for children to get their first smartphone is 10 years old. Shockingly, 39% of children get their first social media account at the age of 11, even though the recommended age is 13. As a result, the target audience for this design solution is tweens aged between 8 to 12 years old.
The most significant issue related to social media addiction is that children in iGen are experiencing dramatic behavioral changes without any proactive measures when they first receive their smartphones. The tween age group, when they first start owning their phones, is the optimal time to prevent children from becoming addicted to their smartphones. The objective of Squad is to create a transitional period, which could be described as a "provisional period," where each child can be educated and prepared to use their smartphones in a way that empowers them to enhance their creativity and social thinking skills through collaboration.

Why Application?

1. When children receive their first phones, there is often no smooth transition or preparation period. Phones are very impactful tools for engaging with others.
2. In today's age, people, especially young people, tend to stop using tools or applications quickly. Therefore, digital solutions would be more sustainable and eligible. An app can be easily updated to meet the trends, needs and expectations of the target group.
3. Since the final users of an app are often a unique age group, it can be an effective way to reach out to them and their parents as a large audience. App expansion can be easy, especially for a generation where popularity spreads through word of mouth.

Why Application?

1. When children receive their first phones, there is often no smooth transition or preparation period. Phones are very impactful tools for engaging with others.
2. In today's age, people, especially young people, tend to stop using tools or applications quickly. Therefore, digital solutions would be more sustainable and eligible. An app can be easily updated to meet the trends, needs and expectations of the target group.
3. Since the final users of an app are often a unique age group, it can be an effective way to reach out to them and their parents as a large audience. App expansion can be easy, especially for a generation where popularity spreads through word of mouth.

Why Application?

1. When children receive their first phones, there is often no smooth transition or preparation period. Phones are very impactful tools for engaging with others.
2. In today's age, people, especially young people, tend to stop using tools or applications quickly. Therefore, digital solutions would be more sustainable and eligible. An app can be easily updated to meet the trends, needs and expectations of the target group.
3. Since the final users of an app are often a unique age group, it can be an effective way to reach out to them and their parents as a large audience. App expansion can be easy, especially for a generation where popularity spreads through word of mouth.

Concept Generation

My solution aims to assist the iGen generation in becoming more aware of the potential dangers of social media, while also improving their collaboration with peers and enhancing their creative skills for social topic demonstrations. During the design process, I had the advantage of working with 12 tweens, thanks to my mother who is an elementary school teacher. In the first phase of the interviews, I focused on understanding the values of key features such as awareness, collaboration, creativity, and social responsibility from their perspective.

Concept Generation

My solution aims to assist the iGen generation in becoming more aware of the potential dangers of social media, while also improving their collaboration with peers and enhancing their creative skills for social topic demonstrations. During the design process, I had the advantage of working with 12 tweens, thanks to my mother who is an elementary school teacher. In the first phase of the interviews, I focused on understanding the values of key features such as awareness, collaboration, creativity, and social responsibility from their perspective.
"Can you expose your creativity with a tool that you prefer?"

Uniqueness and coolness is very important while they are exposing their creativity. They all have different hobbies or ways to expose/share their creativity. Examples from volunteer kids  include poetry, drawings, rap performance and dance performance. 

INSIGHT: They should not be limited to number of areas or tools when they are exposing their creativity with this concept.
  • "I can make up a story and visualize it at the same time"

Squad

Squad is designed as an antidote to a three-month provisional period when tweens with new smartphones could learn about social media’s risks and rewards through a carefully structured app downloaded by parents. This would help iGen be more conscious and socially connected. It could also enhance creativity and collaboration to change the expectations from the channels that kids will engage with after this period.

Squad

Squad is designed as an antidote to a three-month provisional period when tweens with new smartphones could learn about social media’s risks and rewards through a carefully structured app downloaded by parents. This would help iGen be more conscious and socially connected. It could also enhance creativity and collaboration to change the expectations from the channels that kids will engage with after this period.

Provisional Period

The app allows kids to create their own profiles by selecting their favorite influencers as their persona, defining their hobbies ranging from art to sports and choosing a social interest from a list of options such as education and nature. Once they are done with creating their profiles, they are assigned to a group of three other kids called a Squad. Together, they work on a creative project based on their shared social interest. The final projects are in the form of narrated videos and slideshows, which can be uploaded and shared with family and friends. During this time, tweens are exposed to prompts such as short readings and quizzes that help them to be responsible on social media.

Provisional Period

The app allows kids to create their own profiles by selecting their favorite influencers as their persona, defining their hobbies ranging from art to sports and choosing a social interest from a list of options such as education and nature. Once they are done with creating their profiles, they are assigned to a group of three other kids called a Squad. Together, they work on a creative project based on their shared social interest. The final projects are in the form of narrated videos and slideshows, which can be uploaded and shared with family and friends. During this time, tweens are exposed to prompts such as short readings and quizzes that help them to be responsible on social media.

Provisional Period

The app allows kids to create their own profiles by selecting their favorite influencers as their persona, defining their hobbies ranging from art to sports and choosing a social interest from a list of options such as education and nature. Once they are done with creating their profiles, they are assigned to a group of three other kids called a Squad. Together, they work on a creative project based on their shared social interest. The final projects are in the form of narrated videos and slideshows, which can be uploaded and shared with family and friends. During this time, tweens are exposed to prompts such as short readings and quizzes that help them to be responsible on social media.

Daily Login & Weekend Login

Tween opens the app each day at the same time, limited to a 1-hour experience with her Squad. For her daily experience she connects with her Squad, saves her experience as real life memories in different ways and explore new friends with common interests.

For the weekend experience, Squad members gather in person to increase their collaboration, creativity and productivity.

Daily Login & Weekend Login

Tween opens the app each day at the same time, limited to a 1-hour experience with her Squad. For her daily experience she connects with her Squad, saves her experience as real life memories in different ways and explore new friends with common interests.

For the weekend experience, Squad members gather in person to increase their collaboration, creativity and productivity.

Daily Login & Weekend Login

Tween opens the app each day at the same time, limited to a 1-hour experience with her Squad. For her daily experience she connects with her Squad, saves her experience as real life memories in different ways and explore new friends with common interests.

For the weekend experience, Squad members gather in person to increase their collaboration, creativity and productivity.

Profile Creation

Kids can create their profile by expressing themselves in a unique way with their character by combining their influencers from different categories including timeless artists, atheletes, celebrities, superheros and leaders. This categorization and influencers defined with the advices from kids and secondary research.

Profile Creation

Kids can create their profile by expressing themselves in a unique way with their character by combining their influencers from different categories including timeless artists, atheletes, celebrities, superheros and leaders. This categorization and influencers defined with the advices from kids and secondary research.

Profile Creation

Kids can create their profile by expressing themselves in a unique way with their character by combining their influencers from different categories including timeless artists, atheletes, celebrities, superheros and leaders. This categorization and influencers defined with the advices from kids and secondary research.
"Can you expose your creativity with a tool that you prefer?"

Uniqueness and coolness is very important while they are exposing their creativity. They all have different hobbies or ways to expose/share their creativity. Examples from volunteer kids  include poetry, drawings, rap performance and dance performance. 

INSIGHT: They should not be limited to number of areas or tools when they are exposing their creativity with this concept.
"Let's talk about these stories and profiles, which one is cooler/more attractive?"

I shared my concepts with these 12 tweens  based on stories. Three concepts included distinctive joyful themes such as growing an genderless avatar, having a creature friend or more building up a unique persona. These helped me to understand the taste and preference of tweens. 
INSIGHT: More than 50% of the kids like the theme of building up a persona since they think that it is cooler. They claim that these visuals look cooler and more unique comparing with others. They felt that they feel more likely as teenager like their older siblings- which is cooler and less childish.
"Can you expose your creativity with a tool that you prefer?"

Uniqueness and coolness is very important while they are exposing their creativity. They all have different hobbies or ways to expose/share their creativity. Examples from volunteer kids  include poetry, drawings, rap performance and dance performance. 

INSIGHT: They should not be limited to number of areas or tools when they are exposing their creativity with this concept.

Squad

Squad is designed as an antidote a three-month provisional period when tweens with new smart phones could learn about social media’s risks and rewards through a carefully structured app downloaded by parents. This would help iGen be more conscious and socially connected. It could also enhance creativity and collaboration to change the expectations from the channels that kids will engage with after this period.

Concept Generation

The aim of my solution is to help iGen be more conscious about the risks of social media while enhancing collaboration with peers and creative skills for social topic demonstrations. By taking an advantage of having a elementary school teacher mom, I worked with 12 tweens during the design process. For the first phase of the interviews, I tried to understand the values of the key features (awareness, collaboration, creativity, social responsibility) from their point of view. 
"Why do you interact with social media?" 
These kids use social media for various purposes, including following celebrities and influencers, sports channels, watching videos with diverse content, and expressing their creativity through unique performances. They spend time online with friends who share common interests.
INSIGHT: Tweens are very unique, they are kids but want to act and be treated as teenagers. They prefer to expose their strengths and always want to learn/share new things. Each of them has different interest and inspiration. They are multitaskers by being active on different channels and always chatting with their friends. If their friends are online, they would be online. It is all about timing!
"Let's talk about these stories and profiles, which one is cooler/more attractive?"

I shared my concepts with these 12 tweens based on stories. Three concepts included distinctive joyful themes such as growing a genderless avatar, having a creature friend or building up a unique persona. These helped me to understand the taste and preference of tweens. 
INSIGHT: More than 50% of the kids like the theme of building up a persona since they think that it is cooler. They claim that these visuals look cooler and more unique comparing with others. They felt that they feel more likely as teenager like their older siblings- which is cooler and less childish.

Overview

Squad creates a provisional period to help iGen be more conscious about the negative effects and risks of social media addiction while enhancing creativity and thinking skills towards social issues by collaboration with peers to change the expectations of iGen from the social media channels that they will engage with after this period.

Role: UX Designer

Thesis Project: Research & Design

Duration: 2018 - 8 months

"Why do you interact with social media?" 
These kids use social media for various purposes, including following celebrities and influencers, sports channels, watching videos with diverse content, and expressing their creativity through unique performances. They spend time online with friends who share common interests.
INSIGHT: Tweens are very unique, they are kids but want to act and be treated as teenagers. They prefer to expose their strengths and always want to learn/share new things. Each of them has different interest and inspiration. They are multitaskers by being active on different channels and always chatting with their friends. If their friends are online, they would be online. It is all about timing!

Overview

Squad creates a provisional period to help iGen be more conscious about the negative effects and risks of social media addiction while enhancing creativity and thinking skills towards social issues by collaboration with peers to change the expectations of iGen from the social media channels that they will engage with after this period.

Role: UX Designer

Thesis Project: Research & Design

Duration: 2018 - 8 months