An interactive app that enables independent language learning  for children who are hard of hearing.

52%

of HoH over all remain unemployed

95%

of HoH are born to hearing parents with little help

55%

of HoH over all graduate high school

ONLY

The Challenge

Hearing loss impacts an individual's ability to learn language, thus impacting their ability to communicate. This affects their social and intellectual growth which can lead to unfulfilled lives. Very few of them receive help from experts or their parents to develop communication skills important for the hearing world. 

Project Logistics

Research, ideation, rapid prototyping, user flows, UI, UX and user testing

My role:

5 Weeks

Duration: 

Key tools:

Sketch, Illustrator, After Effects, Premier Pro

Team:

Solo Project

How Might We

Design for children who are hard of hearing to enable independent language learning?

 

The Proposed Solution

Babble with Bea enables independent language learning amongst children who are hard of hearing (HoH) to help increase their confidence in facing communication challenges. The app uses AR technology, voice assistance and machine vission for optimal learning. 

Key Features

Explore With AR

Language learning is a magical process while exploring your surrounding with a touch of AR

Assess Learning

The app tests prior learning by asking questions with spaced repetition. 

Play Dates

Enables collaborative learning with another hard of hearing child & encourages bonding

Feedback For Parents

Learn about your child's progress and receive advice on how to help
The design process
 

Research

Interviews

Interviews highlighted common negative experiences amongst individuals after entering school, as a child with communication challenges. 

Rita | HoH Individual

"Entering school was very hard because of no memory of sounds there. There was new everything! I really struggled to keep up".

Zheng | HoH individual

"My mother would pre-teach me all the lessons using LSL, at home every night so that I would be able to keep up with others!

Jan | Mother & Expert

“It was very difficult. I had no one to talk to. No experience! 

I just kept working with him without knowing if it was helping!”

Experience Map

Children who are HoH struggle after entering school because the existing lag in language development shakes their confidence in handling communication challenges. These challenges can shape future successes and failures.

The struggle after entering school

 

Insights

What does it take to succeed?

Continue LSL training at home even after entering school

1

Encourage  independence and practice self training from childhood

2

Provide feedback and guidance to parents

3

School Observations

Experience Principles

Observations at the Weingarten school at Redwood City helped in defining experience principles

Multi - Sensory Feedback

1

Exposure to vocabulary

2

Memory of language

3

Challenge ability

4

 

Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping

Tested the basic prototype with HoH individuals to test if digital imagery and sound could be perceived appropriately. 

Ideation

Storyboarding ideas for exploration and validation.

Character Explorations

The goal while designing the character was simplicity in form for ease during animation and gender neutrality. 

Iterating To Final Design

Final Design

For HoH Child

Multi-sensory feedback:

Text, lip reading, sound, visual and AR

Natural language processing, voice assistance

Exposure: 

Quizzes, repetition

Memory:

Challenge:

Customizable features, play dates, new vocabulary

For Parents

The app provides active feedback about child’s progress and also provides tips for the parents to help them help their child improve.

 

User Testing

Jan | Parent & Expert

“Oh this could help in so many ways! However, I wish that the social interaction was not a reward so prominently.”

Zhengyang | HoH Individual

“Its pretty exciting! I wish it was in Chinese. The lip movements of the character might not be enough because of the two dimensional nature. Could you make it 3D?”

Reflection

Design for masses, but always keep the minority community in mind because they are the ones who need the most help and can get easily side tracked

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