High Concept Statement:
I am a Psychologist by profession and I am currently pursuing Digital Media Design for Learning with a concentration in Games for Learning. I am passionate about creating games and various forms of digital media that makes learning an exciting and adventurous experience rather than being a monotonous and tedious one.
From the prior research experience and my professional interactions with children, I found that anxiety is one of the prominent debilitating factor in almost every child’s life. Some children or their families are aware of it and most of them are not even aware of it. Anxiety is one of the most commonly overestimated yet underestimated condition in people’s lives. It’s hard to understand when that commonly “feeling” of anxiety becomes the perpetual state of being. Specifically, for children, usually parents tend to think that their kids are attention-seekers or restless. But they never realize that somewhere their child is making this anxiety as part of their personality traits which in the long run will have negative repercussions. I am keen to design an app for children who are suffering from anxiety. The aim will basically help parents and their kids to understand the behavior patterns that are making those kids more susceptible to being anxious. Through the use of the app, children will know the value of being mindful of their emotions and thoughts. The baseline of psychological therapy sessions is that our emotions and thoughts are the guiding force of our behaviors. The app will not be any substitute for in-person therapy sessions and hence would not be a treatment method for children with severe anxiety problems. The app will be a platform for children who are on the spectrum of mild to moderate anxiety or maybe just experiencing situational anxiety. It will be an interactive app with games and activities that will help children reflect on their emotions, thoughts and actions. This will be followed by techniques that they could employ in their lives so that the skills they learn in the app games/activities can be transferred to the real-life situations. It is important to keep in mind that children won’t enjoy going through text or heavy conceptual stuff. Hence, the app will be an interactive and easy-to-comprehend, engaging and fun experience that gives them the skills to alleviate the problem and has far-reaching positive consequences.
Need or Demand:
I believe that children need a platform which can help them understand their distressful emotional state which is the driving force behind their anxious behaviors. The interactive platform will do this in a fun and playful manner through comic depictions/stories, games and other activities. Anxiety is one of the common cause of all the psychological issues that might develop later in life and hence it is necessary to curb it at the right stage.
Product / Service / Solution:
By providing a tool that creates awareness, helps the individual to become mindful of their anxious thoughts, emotions and behaviors and at the same time provides them with skills/strategies/coping techniques to overcome them
Parents understand the underlying causes for their child’s anxious behaviors.
Children become mindful of these patterns and are able to challenge themselves through the games and techniques so that they can easily transfer those skills to real life.
As far as my market analysis goes by, there are not many apps that particularly focus on dealing with anxiety. Some of the apps like Positive Penguins, Worry Box, Bedtime Meditation, Breath2Relax, and Songza which are quite helpful in dealing with anxiety in children. But my solution is different from the existing tools because I want to help the children become mindful of their emotions and thoughts through games and challenging activities. Thereafter, they would also be exposed to situations in the app where they will understand the transferability and applicability of the skills learnt.
I would use Google Analytics to track the demographic details of the people downloading the app. But it is not just sufficient to download the app, it is more important to utilize the app to tackle the issues for which it has been designed. For this purpose, I would probably do surveys in schools or day-care centers where the app would be advertised. The surveys or some focus groups will help me gauge at the impact of the app for people who have children with anxiety issues.
Since I very recently got to know about this app challenge, I haven’t been able to make a proper model but I am confident that my visualization of this idea will definitely reap positive results for the society as a whole.