It's never too soon when it comes to education

Working with parents and children to design the best educational toy experience. Robo Wunderkind is unlike a lot of other startups, where important decisions are based on assumptions without questioning. In an environment where getting investments can be as pressuring as developing the best service for the potential market, improving customer experience can stay at the bottom of the priorities list. Getting to know the experience of your customers can be scary and empowering at the same time. Choosing to listen to children that use your product can be a bold move for a small company, but it can help define the best direction to move forward and grow even bigger.

Client

Robo Wunderkind

Challenge

Understand parents and children, aiming to improve the experience of educational toy usage

Impact

9 final concepts, of which 1 is implemented and 3 ready to test

Establish the best common ground from an early stage

Facing the challenge to help a startup with a product directed to children between 5 and 12 years old could be a scary starting point, but Robo Wunderkind team’s willingness to put to test all their assumptions was the best common ground for a successful collaboration. We were all eager to understand the educational toy experience in the coming weeks. We wanted to figure out how to ask the right questions to such special customers and uncover as many valuable insights as we could. Likewise, we knew that the challenge was great for both teams which created a tight collaboration that made us work together at least once a week and manage the expectations closely.

Startups should use the design process as soon as possible

It is an uncomfortable spot to be in when you have to question everything regarding your product-service, but for Robo Wunderkind this was not a problem, it was an advantage. Using design tools and processes, as the Customer Journey, lead to a structured direction for the next steps in the best way possible. This is an essential advantage when a company is small and has to manage their efforts very closely. Having this advantage as soon as possible can bring more informed decisions and a clearer vision to move forward with confidence.

Listen to your customers as soon as they can talk

The biggest challenge for the Koos team within this project concerns the very beginning, the research phase. The need to collect insights from customers that are very energetic and have a very specific way to share their thoughts made everything fun and motivating. With great challenges come great achievements, and the investment paid off. To have the amount of information needed we talked to everyone involved, even if the person on the other side only learned to speak 3 years ago.

How to engage with small kids and help them share

Flexibility is key to understanding how kids want to share their thoughts. As experienced as Koos is, it is not usual to engage in conversations with children to uncover their needs, pains, and gains when experiencing a service. To prepare the conversation with the kids about their educational toy experience, we ran the extra mile and developed a structure with an exercise to uncover these aspects. The focus groups and direct interviews, accompanied by the parents, had highly visual exercises and led to diversity in the information gathered. 

Conclusion and main learnings

The Koos team learned a great amount from this project and the main learnings are related to the following 3 topics: 

1. Be as visual as you can with kids: 

  • The “empathize phase” can unveil hidden gems, and having a conversation with a young person can be an easier when using visual tools for them to share their thoughts in an image-based interview.

2. Be aware that sometimes insights appear to bring the obvious to the surface. 

  • Obvious insights are also important because they validate and reinforce your assumptions.
  • Sometimes there is more behind an insight than what meets the client’s eye. Conveying the complete nuance is important.

3. Be flexible and expect the unexpected.

  • Flexibility to improvise during an interview because things might occur differently than planned (e.g. concentration span of the child)
  • Flexibility to change the interview setup, because you meet a different situation than desired (e.g. homework not done, or only parent present without child)