PIIQ is a powerful game that enables play and reinforces collaboration in children. Using mini interactions at every step of the game helps in enabling creativity, co-creation and collective problem solving.
Through my findings from the research and from the early interviews led me to think about how could play be a catalyst to rehabilitate social skills that were challenged during the pandemic? Specifically, “How might we structure free play outside classrooms to foster collaboration among children?”
Target users being children of 6-8 years of age, who are (post-pandemic) behind in their social development, were deprived of regular social interactions, Facing social anxiety and experiencing communication challenges in/outside the classroom. I chose to design for 6-8 years old children because I feel that is that prime social development age where they start school, get independent and start making friends and develop empathy.
During the user testings and during the exhibition of the final project, playing with PIIQ made children collaborative and not competitive which helped in cultivating their social skills. Children could solve a problem by working together and ending the play with a common achievement. At each step of the interaction, it allowed them to communicate ideas, understand other’s through playful interaction while paving the way to build a deeper understanding and more powerful relationships with the peers.
PIIQ was created with an intent to create a fair playground to encourage children’s social development, which was seen when the children played and interacted with it.
PIIQ was built and conceptualised during a 7 week final project thesis at CIID. I wanted to understand the Power of play in learning and how it is currently being used in and outside of the classroom. I began with the Desk Research. Through that, I understood the Problem space that children everywhere have been deprived of the social fabric that is most crucial in their formative years. They are now facing issues such as anxiety and a lack of friendships, Children feel overstimulated and socially anxious upon re-entering their school settings. I wanted to address this problem using Play to make up for their lost social time. My research methods included desk research, In-dept interviews with kids, their parents, teachers/educators, child psychologists, and few experts from the LEGO group. It then led me to narrow down the opportunity area and design challenge and select users. Some design principles kept in mind throughout the process of ideation, concept development, prototyping and testing, guiding me with decision making – Pique curiosity, Collaboration not competition, Radical imagination, Help the shy ones and Nurture social competence. It then led to the ideation process, with many brainstorming sessions with my fellow classmates using the design challenge. After coming up with an idea which resonated with the design challenge, I did prototyping (some failed and many success), co-creation and testing with the users at every session. My learnings from all the prototype testings which help me build PIIQ and each component having a meaning to the concept.