The smartphone changed the world. Instead of just basking in the glory of our 512GB Pacific Blue iPhone 12 with Super Retina XDR display we should also be aware of the changes in our lifestyle that it could change. With something that gives so much, you have to ask, what does it take away?
Equip is designed to address these lifestyle changes by facilitating productivity and improving the family dynamic as a whole.
Equip is a collaboration between myself and my partner in design-freelancing, Kim Yeun.
Family Centered Design
At its core, Equip allows parents or children to create goals or choose from existing goals. There are three ways a goal can be created, turning content from the web(such as a video or recipe) into a goal, creating your own, or choosing from categories of goals called Discover Goals. In addition, we promote three types of incentives for young adults to complete these goals. They are, support from parents or mentors, rewards, and just their own interest the goal itself!
A simplified version of Equip can be found at equip.team.
Branding and Art
Equip works best as a team, more on this later. But we wanted the name to reflect that it’s a tool for enabling teams.
We wanted a casual fun feel that expressed much of the messaging through images, not just written descriptions. We first considered custom illustrations that featured a Karate teacher as the parent. This symbol of a parent/mentor role helps avoid positioning them as being exclusively a parent or teacher. Below is some early art direction for one of those illustrations. Ultimately we decided to instead go with a simpler more relatable illustration style that is easier to modify. That’s what you see throughout this post.
We decided on a slogan that supports a very important aspect of the product. That is that you can create your own goals or choose from categorized Discover Goals. “Make Goals. Discover Goals. Dominate your day.” Seen in the final screen of the app intro.
Personas(not just for kids)
An important aspect of Equip is that it’s not just intended to get kids to take a break from video games or YouTube. Under the covers, it’s addressing a much wider family dynamic, elements that even parents may not know they are touching when setting up goals with their kids. The chart below illustrates a range of common and diverse scenarios that Equip could play a vital role in for parents and kids.
Signup and Setup User Types
This registration flow does a lot. Most importantly it identifies users as a parent or child, allows for teams to be joined or created, and allows for elementary users without a phone to be created under a parent account.
Signup and Setup User Types
Wireframing and prototyping done in Figma.
Next Steps – Immersive User Research
Equip is not a one-time purchase product. (It’s intended to be completely free and generate revenue from affiliate links for items listed in the Discover Goals) This app is attempting to adjust lifestyles for multiple people in a family on an ongoing basis. That’s quite a goal, and in my experience looking at user behavior around digital products is… expect the unexpected.
I’ve noticed that many people(including myself) believe that their idea as they imagine it will be successful. This is never the case. Going into something with a mindset of “let’s try this route and be ready to make lots of changes,” is much better than “let’s build this and launch it.”
I’m lucky to have continuous access to two research participants that require just a modest increase in their allowance for their participation. I’m working on a prototype now and expect research to extend through the Summer of 2021.