My Role

Desk research, Problem framing, Concept generation, Personas and User journey maps, Storyboard, UI design, Illustration.

Matty is a focus-centered and play-based yoga service promoting well-being and empowerment for 5 to 10-year-old children with autism, sensory processing challenges, anxiety, and stress.

Credits

Dang Trung Nguyen, Eleonora Toscano,

Preeti Puri,

Yunrui Zhu

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Challenge 

"How to support vulnerable parts of the population in retaining access to essential services?"

 

The unprecedented disruption and social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically changed the lives of children. Still, children with an autism spectrum disorder [ASD], in particular, lost the routines that made life easier to handle. In this project, we examine why children with ASD are uniquely vulnerable and recommend solutions to mitigate these stressors for children with ASD and their parents towards high-level well-being and fully living life.

DISCOVER

User research

For this study, a questionnaire was developed and distributed through social media platforms targeting parents with autistic kids. We also conducted online interviews with teachers and caregivers to understand the users, their pain points, wants, and needs. This study aimed to gain a better understanding of individuals and their needs and put them at the center of our design process and product.

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Online surveys

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Remote interviews

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Meetings with Experts 

Findings

  • Access to education for ASD children during lockdown was not consistent.

  • The majority of parents of ASD children reported a negative impact on emotion management.

  • Children with ASD had changes in behavior.

  • ASD children did not maintain routines 

Lesson learned

 

  • Routine is crucial.

  • Social connections are essential.

  • Rewards are helpful.

  • Limits should be clear 

Personas

Based on the information gathered in the research phase, we created three personas, Ben, Jen, and Dan, to represent our target audience, which helps us understand the expectations, concerns, and motivations and satisfy users’ needs.

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DEFINE

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Stress and Autism 

Distress in individuals with autism negatively impacts the quality of life MORE than the characteristics of autism. Additional studies from Research Autism have shown that stress is the major barrier in the life of people with autism, and acquiring "stress reduction strategies is particularly important." - Research Autism.

However, not all Stress is bad

 

EUSTRESS is pleasant and positive stress.

Having eustress is not a bad thing. This positive form of stress evokes positive feelings when the stressor is interpreted as opportunities or challenges that one can successfully overcome by mobilizing coping skills.

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Idea Refinement

 

MATTY is an Interactive Yoga Experience for ASD children with a conversational agent. 

Through Yoga, children can learn how EUSTRESS AND DISTRESS feel and how they differ. It can be achieved through breathing techniques (pranayama), poses (asana), mindfulness, and meditation (dhyana and Dharana)

  • Easy to add to a child’s routine.

  • Multiple benefits for children with ASD.

  • Relaxing experience for both child with ASD and the parent

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Helpful
Assistant
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Feelings-based
suggestion
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Motivating
Rewards

Scenarios

 

Scenarios and storyboards are techniques that help to connect dots from the idea and identify how the concept works in the real world. They create a bridge to explain the user experience in an actual situation through text and visual representations.​

We came up with three scenarios and identified their needs as well as the project opportunities, then analyzed in detail the use that our users could make of the application and the possible interactions with it, aimed at improving their daily routine.

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Relaxing
Meditation
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Yoga
Exercises
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Interactive
Stories
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User journey maps

 

We developed three user journey maps based on our personas to describe the main stages of accomplishing a goal. It is more specific and now focuses on user experience with our product as they go through their journey. 

PRODUCTION

Components

 

MATTY is divided into two parts: a friendly application for ASD children and an interactive yoga mat. This is the only Yoga app with conversational technology that focuses on relaxation techniques like yoga & meditation and interactive stories for children with ASD who are impacted negatively by stress, during a time of increasing worry.

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