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De s i gn a nd Re s e a r c h goa l During the course so far i have undertaken a number of design and research explorations of which some were very useful and others were less fruitful and overoptimistic. The goals of these explorations were varying. In all carried out three research sessions, the first two being aimed at investigating the context of my chosen design goal, identifying problems within the current situation, finding sources of inspiration and confirming my initial problem statement. The second research session was carried out during the IP IDEATE workshop in which i tried to investigate a number of more specific aspects (such as maintaining concentration levels while being distracted) of develloped concepts [not treated in this report]. The research was conducted under varying circumstances and using different techniques as described in the next part of the report, and the results of these sessions have greatly influenced decisions made during the design process so far. My design explorations have been limited up untill now as my first cycle has ended in the generation of multiple concepts. The goal of the next cycle is to explore the possibilities of these concepts and diverge back to a single product, hopefully through prototyping and user experience testing. De s i gn a nd Re s e a r c h A c t i v i t i e s + Conc l us i ons Research session 1 (single face to face interview) The first research i performed consisted of a (prepared) short 15 minute interview with my brother, who conveniently sat within my target group (young children) at the time. My intention was to have him fill out a short 14 question MPC survey and follow this up with a small talk. However, after starting i soon realised that the answers that were being given were too detailed and complicated to record in this way. Instead i opted for a secondary approach where i used the survey questions as a guideline in the interview part. The responses were noted down and some interesting conclusions could be drawn from these. At this stage i was still uncertain of what the exact age group for my design project should be, and this raised many questions after the interview. One of the most surprising results of this session was that i had chosen a respondent who was not suitable age-wise. Rather, i realised during the interview that the daily activities of 15 year olds differ so much from what i had envisioned (heavier school workload, different social activities, different outdoor play activities) that i had revise my target age group. A second conclusion i drew from this interview was that my design goal was very specifically aimed at children who display antisocial or other deviant behavior because of game or media addiction. This group of children is relatively small, and too specific for devellopment of a product that is intended for use by all children, which is why i chose to broaden it to children in generall. However, according to various sources, the time children (overall) choose to allocate to outdoor play is decreasing. This inspired a followup exercise to investigate where this time was being spent instead. Apart from being a good test of methods for my next research session i realised that the further results of this interview did not reflect the behavior of a sample of children but rather individual traits. To get a better view on behavior and activities of children i arranged a second session in more suitable conditions.

Research session 2 (sensitising exercise + interview with sample of children) The second research session i planned took place at OBS "de burght" in the city centre of amsterdam. During a half day visit i carried out a number of activities with the children who attend class in the 8th grade of this primary school. Starting with an explanatory powerpoint presentation i told the students about my background and goals for this project, most children were eager to ask questions and were very interested. This presentation was followed by a sensitizing exercise in which i asked the children to fill out a timeline (by drawing or writing) of daily activities on a free day to gain insight into their daily activities. Lastly i used the questionnaire from the previous exercise as a guide for group discussion in teams of 5 children. The latter was filmed and results were noted down. During the lunch break i took the opportunity to observe some playtime activities on school grounds. Again many interesting insights were gained from these children, who not only represented my target group more accurately but also provided a better spread in results. The timeline exercise allowed me to make a more detailed analysis of time distribution among my sample of respondents. Interestingly enough children responded in a very similar fashion with the exception of two or three. This result allowed me to make an overall timeline for my respondents in which it became clear that outdoor play takes place mostly between lunchtime and dinner, while morning and evening are somewhat dominated by TV, games and other media. My interpretation of this is that children are more likely to trade in morning playtime for alternate activities, an interesting discovery for further exploration.

An example of a filled out timeline

Overall timeline of sample group's daily activities During the interviews, which were carried out in an informal way to comfort the children and to stimulate their own thinking, a number of other things became clear. I have summarized my main findings in the list on the following page:

All kids have access to internet/computer Some of the kids have a smartphone Only a few kids use social media, even less use it actively Almost none of the children have time limits on their use of TV/computers/games Most kids say they spend an average amount of time outside Playgroups are very varied, usually whoever is at hand (school/neighborhood/family) Kids dont like to play outside by themselves Most playdates are made at school during the week Some kids were not allowed to play outside or were reluctant to do so due to safety of the area Home phone and ringing someones doorbell are most popular during the weekend Average travel time to playground is around 10-15 minutes ! Most kids play at the same locations, these are subdivided into agegroups Some of the kids' parents own country houses that they visit (with friends) on the weekend Most parents dont comment on kids' behaviour when they spend long periods of time indoors Some of the kids (mainly boys) reported being addicted to videogames, some even made playdates to play videogames instead of going outside "Normal kids" had a negative attitude towards kids who played a lot of video games

Using this list of observations and from interpreting the i was able to create a list of problems which seemed relevant obstacles for my group of respondents while engaging in outdoor activities. Firstly parental intervention, which seemed almost nonexisting in most cases. Without stimulus from parents, kids are more likely to carry out activities which are more instantly satisfying such as video games or watching TV. Secondly, The safety around a playing area keeps children from going outside. When there are older kids or grown ups around some children feel uncomfortable. Thirdly, the fact that friends are unavailable. Most kids admitted hating to go outside on their own, making alternate indoor activities a good replacement. Fourthly, existing social isolation. Kids with few friends are more reluctant to go outside because they fear social interaction, they are caught in a downwards spiral. And lastly the weather, which is a very big external force determining the comfort of outdoor play. As an additional exploration i engaged in an exercise where i imagined an environment where none of these issues present themselves. Locking children in a cage, however, seems to be a rather extreme. The result is depicted below (full illustration can be found in my workbook) .

From these observations and insights there are many new areas of research that present themselves and need to be discovered. As of now i will be looking into subject areas like: popular outdoor games, the application of a product in a home situation or in public space, the ways in which awareness can be raised in a subtle way and connecting children anonymously and its dangers. In addition i have decided not to exclude children in busy cities from my target group (which seemed logical as a result of my research because of the difficulty it presented) as my preference goed out to a product which stimulates interaction between all children instead of a group of neighborhood friends. I think it is very clear from my explorations that there is an issue at hand. Kids are presented with a wide range of entertainment forms, some more instantly gratifying than the other. In comparison to the past, where playing outdoors was one of the only forms of combatting boredom, kids have solutions at hand that require half the effort. For most kids this does not seem to be a major issue, but for the small number of respondents that admit to spending large amounts of time indoors, it might be the start of a vicious cycle of social isolation and lack of physical exercise. The solution, or part of it, might lie in a product that encourages all children to spend more time outside, to connect socially and engage in playful activity without discrimination.

A ppe ndi x Some snapshots from the video of the group discussion.

Gebruik je wel eens... (je mag meer dan een antwoord aankruisen) Computer Smartphone Video spel (XBox, Playstation,Wii) Internet Social media (Hyves/F acebook) Hoe lang mag je van je ouders meestal computeren/tv kijken/gamen Zo lang ik wil Twee uur Een uurtje Minder dan een uurtje Nooit Speel je vaak buiten ? Zo vaak ik kan Af en toe Bijna nooit Alleen op het schoolplein Nooit Speel je alleen buiten of met vriendjes ? Soms alleen soms met vriendjes Altijd met vriendjes Altijd alleen Als je met vriendjes gaat spelen hoe spreek je dan af ? T elefoon (Whatsapp/SMS/Bellen) Computer (F acebook/Chat) Afspreken op school We komen elkaar gewoon tegen Waar spreek je af als je gaat buitenspelen ? T elefoon (Whatsapp/SMS/Bellen) Computer (F acebook/Chat) Afspreken op school We komen elkaar gewoon tegen

Met hoeveel mensen spreek je af ? 1 of 2 mensen 2 of 3 mensen 3 of 4 mensen meer dan 4 mensen

Waar speel je het liefst ? Park Pleintje Voetbalveld/sportveld Straat Anders namenlijk : ....................................... Wat doe je het liefst als je met mensen afspreekt ? sport of spellen Iets creatiefs (knutselen bijvoorbeeld) Kattekwaad uithalen Praten/hangen Iets anders namenlijk: ................................. Liggen de plekken waar je afspreekt bij jou in de buurt ? Ja vlakbij (minder dan 5 minuten) Een stukje fietsen (5-10 minuten) Best ver (10-15 minuten) Heel ver (Meer dan 15 minuten) Waar komen je speelvriendjes vandaan ? School Uit de buurt Anders namenlijk: ......................................... Vind je zelf dat je weinig buitenspeelt ? Ja, ik zit vaak binnen achter de TV/computer Een beetje, maar soms ben ik wel buiten Nee, ik ben heel vaak buiten ! Vind je het erg als je ouders willen dat je buiten gaat spelen ? Ja irritant, ik wil het zelf bepalen Wel vervelend, maar soms hebben ze gelijk Nee, buiten spelen is veel leuker Mijn ouders zeggen er nooit wat van Zou je sneller buiten gaan spelen als je ergens aan kon zien dat je vriendjes dat ook willen, of dat je lang niet buiten bent geweest ? Ja zeker ! Nee natuurlijk niet ! Misschien...