How to make learning about culture engaging for kids
Parents often struggle to get kids excited and engaged in learning about their cultural heritage when the appeal of whatever society surrounding them is so much more tangible and something they share with their peers. This is an issue we wanted to address as we found that a lack of cultural identity during a child’s development can result in low self-esteem and poor mental well-being.
Culturo is a tablet-first game application, designed for children and their parents to explore their culture through individual and collaborative activities.
As a team with various cultural backgrounds, we all had an understanding of this problem from the perspective of the child. In order to get a deeper understanding of this from the perspective of a parent, we interviewed a few parents who are going through the process of trying to teach their children about their cultural heritage.
Through interviews and research, we came up with a few core goals that we wanted our app to achieve:
We decided to focus on one culture (and cartoon character) for the scale of the project, which we eventually decided would be Japanese culture & our monkey friend, Momo.
Our first step was to ideate and edit what the overall app structure should look like, and then to edit out superfluous features and complexities to make it more kid friendly. During this process we also did a competitor analysis, looking at other successfully designed children's app to see how UX/UI patterns vary when it comes to designing for kids.
After researching, we finalized all the pages of the app through sketching and wireframing. Icons and illustrations were then made, and assembled into a working framer for user testing. We then conducted a user testing session with kids and their parents to see where any pain points were.
We designed activities in the app that would help us meet our goals for the app, as well as create an fun and immersive experience for the child playing with the app.
Giving parents the ability to customize their child's learning experience by tailoring the content that appears in the app
Put together classic meals step by step as a vitual chef
Spend time learning about holidays in interactive environments, filled with important icons and artefacts
Play dress up with your tour guide, learning vocabulary while suiting up in colourful traditional clothing
Toggle between languages to read or listen to your favourite traditional stories and folktales
One of our goals with this project was to bring the app into daily activities, in the learning together section of the app, parents can find recipes to cook with their kids in real life
With this project, we challenged ourselves to address a problem that our team had all had personal experience with and that many families are facing today. The purpose of this project wasn’t to completely solve the problem of losing one’s cultural identity, but to at least attempt to plant the seeds of cultural appreciation and engagement at a young age. In the end, we have accomplished the goal to some degree, but because this is such a complex problem, there are still many more iterations that this project could go through to improve; specifically in terms of translating the in-app activities and learnings into real world implications. As well as in addressing and providing access to subcultures within any given culture to create an experience that more accurately depicts the culture, as opposed to painting it with one large brush.