Toontastic is a creative storytelling app for kids. The goal from Google was to give storytellers of all ages a megaphone to share their creativity with the world. Idea Lab is an inspiration network for kids to inspire and empower other kids through creation sharing. Our understanding of creativity happens in a space where friends and family can collaborate, iterate, and build upon each others’ ideas. The goal is to bring that scaffolding experience to spark a new era of kids app development and a focus on kids as creators. The project app launched in January 2017.
• Parents' Choice Gold Award: "Toontastic 3D is a wonderful creative outlet for all budding storytellers, young scientists, or those who increasingly blur the lines between the two— perhaps this is where the next documentary makers and Pixar artists will get their start."
• Five star rating from Common Sense Media - “Kids are in the director's seat and have free reign to let their creative side shine with this flexible and easy-to-use storytelling platform.”
• A+ and Editor’s Choice rating from Children’s Technology Review - “Powerful and free, this rich language experience lets you create your own self-narrated puppet shows.”
• Winner of the 2017 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award for 'Best Kids App of the Year'
My contributions as the UX, Visual designer:
Character and environment design explorations.
Designed variety of opening interactions for Gallery (opening the network from a creation app) using motion graphics, a design discipline I started to work on to better this project . Resulted a a light, yet delightful way of transporting the user from the creation app to the Idea Lab network. Here were some early explorations.
Worked closely with Eng to provide pixel-perfect assets, redlines, spec deliverables for Idea Lab integration, with a quick turn over time. Here are the exported final mocks.
Role: UX Designer
Unannounced projects. Stay tuned!
Google Assistant for Kids
Role: UX Designer & Producer
Google Assistant for Kids is an effort to bring a whole library of playful, enlightening and delightful experiences to kids and showcase the magic of Google Assistant to kids and families. Audio experiences for kids is a new territory, which means it comes with a lot of new and complex challenges. There is much to be learned as there is to be defined.
Contributions as the lead interaction designer and producer:
I’ve produced and designed 20 full experiences for the Made by Google events (2017 & 2018). Each of the flows required thoughtful analysis of existing kids’ play patterns and elevating them with our “Google magic”.
Led engineering, writing and research teams to produce the games and features. This involved scoping, designing, setting timelines, design briefs, weekly meetings, and much more.
Designed, scoped, produced, and executed 20 unique concepts that allude to key features with stickiness to keep users coming back and to revisit the experiences. Identifying key use-cases that speaks to the interest of kids is key for successful experiences.
Become a key UX consultant role for third parties such as Disney, Nickelodeon, LEGO to design and develop features for the platform.
Read along with Google Home Mini and Disney's Little Golden Books
Storytime Master Class with Kristen Bell
Family fun with Google Home
Go On An Adventure With Mickey Mouse & Google Home
Dance with Woody and Jessie on Google Home l Disney
Role: Art Director
In a very busy world, moments pass by us during our day to day life, big and small. It is often that we overlook the little moments. Yet during times of uncontrollable crisis, these are often the moments that are most missed.
A Moment is a game being built as an effort to raise awareness regarding the world’s refugee crisis. All returns from the game will be donated to refugee-assisting charities (charities TBD at a later time). In A Moment, you play as a child living through an ideal Sunday - morning, evening and night. You, as the child can enjoy many activities, from having breakfast with parents and playing video games, to contemplating about future goals and aspirations. Within each moment we want players to create their own impression of who this child is, and we want to bring players closer to this character on an emotional level in order to further drive our story and point - a series of moments would lead an otherwise typical Sunday into a life-altering event.
Summary of my key contributions:
I led a team of 5 concept artists and 4 3D artists to create environmental concepts, characters and object assets for the game. I worked thoroughly with the core team leads, such as the game director, engineer, writer, and sound designer to make this vision come to life.
Contributions as the Art Director:
Designed and created the style guide to best set the tone and visuals for the art team. And continuously worked with the art team to ensure the style was consistent.
Researched tons of real time and historical knowledge of the refugee crisis. Developed a research collection for the team.
Wrote and designed game mechanics that added and enhanced to the narrative.
Was also the UI designer.
Role: Visual Designer
Google and the MIT Media Lab’s Scratch Team are collaborating on the development of a new generation of graphical programming blocks, called Scratch Blocks. Scratch Blocks builds on Google’s Blockly technology and the Scratch team’s expertise in designing creative interfaces for young learners.
Scratch Blocks is...
- A collaboration between MIT and Google, built on Blockly.
- Beginner friendly with an icon based horizontal UI.
- Designed specifically for younger kids.
Summary of my key contributions:
Closely worked with the Blockly engineers as well as MIT Scratch's designer and engineers to create a design that meets all of the initiative's goals.
My contributions as the Visual Designer includes:
Collaborated with MIT’s Scratch team's designer to redesign ScratchJr’s iconography and visual system to provide sophistication and clarity to the coding blocks.
Incorporating moments of user delight in the iconography to keep the experience fun and playful, yet not distracting from the main functions.
Outlined key design principles to start the conversation and to expand the broader vision for Scratch-Blockly.
Role: Lead UX Designer
Monster Trucks is a playful app that inspires and empowers kids to create and share their creations. This project supports Google’s larger mission of making Google services accessible and relevant to kids. The app teaches kids design thinking through prototyping and iteration, with a focus on sharing kids’ creations. We successfully launched Monster Trucks for Google’s Youth I/O 2016 as well as part of our Imagination Day events.
Contributions as the lead visual and interaction :
Drove the conceptualization phase, working at a strategic level addressing the end-to-end user journey. Designed creative and user-centric app concepts with unique key features and product strategies such as community building, crowd sourced building challenges, multi-app integration, and gamification.
Developed core research methodology tools with the Research team to assess kids’ interest and engagement.
As the project moved towards launch, I was leading the visual and UX design fronts, fostering a productive UX - Eng partnership that allowed for high quality executions. This resulted in a very successful launch at I/O.
I embodied a playful, fun visual design language into our project; eg. app logo, color, icons, patterns, while also making sure there is alignment with the correlating apps such as Toontastic to ensure that both apps follow the same design principles. This helped resolve challenges in both visual and story alignment.