Ali is a child-friendly digital assistant that encourages learning, improves communication skills, provides entertainment and is a personal assistant.
About the project
For my final major project, I was giving an open self-determined brief that encouraged me to use the design skills I have obtained during my time at University. By using my design skills, creative techniques and independent learning I hoped to achieve a design concept that was a solution to a problem.
I refined the brief by aiming to create an innovative project that could help people organise their lives. As well as organisation I wanted this project to be fun and engaging to the target audience.
2. Design Document.
I went through an in-depth process to come up with a feasible solution to the brief. Firstly, I decided to research the current market by looking at existing technology, doing idea generation exercise and looking at competitors of my initial concepts. Once I decided that I wanted to go in the direction of a digital assistant for children I was then able to do more in-depth research into this. By creating a survey regarding children and technology I sent this out to parents to complete so I could have a better understanding of children's technology usage. From this survey and competitor research, I was able to find that children are not very familiar with digital assistants and their currents is a gap in the market for this type of device.
Once I was finished doing my research I then started to think about the design development of the device. By thinking about the users, their journeys and how they would use the device I was able to refine the features of Ali. I was able to categorise the features I wanted to have into features for the parents and the child. Refining the features allowed me to think about the benefits this device would have on the users. The device is a unique and fun way to learn, helps with communication and learning. The device also benefited the parents as it could act as a personal assistant to add events to the child's planner. It also benefits the parent as the application allowed the parent to monitor the device usage and watch the child's learning progression. This came from my findings from the survey.
Once my concept was refined I was then able to think about the design of Ali. I came up with the brand, logo and refined the idea of the alien. I then worked on the Application for the parents. By going through the design process of creating and gathering user feedback I was able to refine the design of the Application and gather user responses to my wireframes. By doing this I was able to find what they would expect on the application and finally able to design the application to be consistent with the brand identity.
I then began to work on the physical device. For this, I needed to consider the technology that would be used, how it would look and how it would work. Firstly, I gathered the components I would need for the prototype. Using Arduino, 1Sheeld+ and a TFT touchscreen I was able to achieve the physical device I envisioned. By coding the Arduino board and connecting the components I was able to code the device to have numerous features
When I got the technology working how I wanted it to, I then decided to make the casing for the product. This was quite difficult as I had never done product or 3D design so need to create the device using my own knowledge. I had numerous iterations of the physical device and had to keep changing as it wasn�t how I envisioned. I finally got to a device to a standard that I was happy enough with.
As the result of this I was able to create the Prototype for Ali the digital learning assistant. By using my research insights, user feedback and my design skills. I was able to create a hybrid project that is educational and fun for children. By creating the parent application, the parents can be at ease when the child is using the device as they are able to monitor the device usage and are notified if something inappropriate is said to the device.
I set out with the idea to create a device that would help the target audience organise something with in their life and have achieved this as Ali can be used a personal assistant but also allows for the children to learn in a fun and engaging way.
Try the application yourself ! - https://invis.io/6CJ3XXC72B5
Below is the prototype demo for the Ali.review design document