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Copy of Ploppi's Bakery

Speech is something which normally develops within the first 3 years of one's life. Sometimes this development is significantly delayed and underdeveloped. When a speech disorder is identified it is important to address the disorder as soon as possible, preferably when the child is between 4 to 6 years old. According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health: "If a child has failed to convey their message once, they might give up and stop trying". It is important that children with speech disorders do not stop talking and are motivated to express themselves through speech. Children with speech disorders require extra attention in order to prevent the disorder from stigmatising the child, disrupt their social development and causing difficulties into adolescence. These children can get valuable support through stimulating speech exercises. These exercises are normally supervised by speech therapists. However, the accessibility and time spent together with speech therapists can be limited and irregular.

 

Ploppi's Bakery

And his speech adventures

Ploppi's bakery is a pedagogic tool developed together with speech therapists for children with speech disorders.

 
 
 
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Time

2 weeks

Category

Team project

Collaboration

Umeå university hospital

 
 
 

Project outline

This project is the result of a 2 week long sound design project at Umeå Institute of Design, spring 2016. Created together with Advance Product Design student Daan Hekking and Interaction Design students Hector Mejia and Lene Rydningen.

My personal goal in this project was to further develop design research, graphical design, sound design, model making, prototyping and user testing.

Challenge

Speech is something which normally develops within the first 3 years of our lives. Sometimes, this development is significantly delayed and underdeveloped. It is important to address the disorder as soon as it is identified.

Children can get valuable support and experience improvements in their development through stimulating speech exercises. These exercises are normally done by speech therapists. However, the accessibility and time spent together with speech therapists can be limited and irregular, which can affect the progress of the child’s speech development.

Result

Ploppi’s Bakery is a pedagogic tool developed in collaboration with speech therapists for children between 4 to 6 years old who are experiencing speech delay.

Ploppi's Bakery creates opportunities where parents and child can bond through speech development and play, and extend the training performed by professionals to your home.

 
 
 
 

THE STORY OF JAMES AND PLOPPI

 

Storytelling

Through an illustrated book, James get to know who Ploppi is and why he loves cookies so much. The book is meant to make the child connect with Ploppi.

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Signal

When it is time to practise speech, the parent sends out a "Ploppi is hungry" (Sound of a rumbling stomach) signal from the Ploppi's Bakery app. 

Getting attention

James hears the signal and realizes that Ploppi is hungry. He knows that he now should bake his friend some cookies by doing speech exersises. 

Parent child engagement

James has to prepare Ploppi some cookies by placing an interactive Cookie Token on the tablet. This will initiate the practicing mode. The speech exercises are prepared by his speech therapist and performed with his parents.

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Daily exercises

The child will start with an easy exercise functioning as a 'warm up' followed by a more difficult exercise and it ends with an easy exercise.

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Reward 

James feeds hungry Ploppi the prepared Cookie and Ploppi makes loud chewing sounds to express his happiness and gratitude to James. 

 
 


Meet Ploppi

Ploppi's Bakery is a pedagogic tool developed together with speech therapists for children with speech disorders. Ploppi's Bakery creates opportunities where parents and child can bond through speech development and play, and extend the training performed by professionals to your home. The kit consists of Ploppi the interactive plushie, a set of interactive cookie tokens, a children's book and a series of customizable speech exercises which are accessed through an app. The kit is provided by the child's speech therapist. The speech therapist assists the parent in setting up the application and creating a combination of tasks which are personally adjusted to the child's level.

 
 


What’s happening and when?

Traditionally the child has to become engaged by either their parents or their speech therapist to perform these exercises. This relationship is shifted in Ploppi's Bakery; the child engages itself through reacting upon the cue sent out from the parent. The child is asking instead of being asked to do daily speech assignments. In this way the child believes the initiative comes from itself and not the parent, and at the same time the parent will be ready to accommodate the child's wish. This shift in perceived initiative will trigger the child's motivation, joy and development when performing the speech exercises.

 
 
 

 

Swapping roles in speech therapy exercises

A multidisciplinary process

 
 


Shifting perspectives

Traditionally the child has to become engaged by either their parents or their speech therapist to perform these exercises. This relationship is shifted in Ploppi's Bakery; the child engages itself through reacting upon the cue sent out from the parent. The child is asking instead of being asked to do daily speech assignments. In this way the child believes the initiative comes from itself and not the parent, and at the same time the parent will be ready to accommodate the child's wish. This shift in perceived initiative will trigger the child's motivation, joy and development when performing the speech exercises.

 
 


Research takeaways

Based on our research, we've identified four core principles that are forming the base for Ploppi's Bakery. The speech exercises and setup of the app is created in such a way that it will be adjusted to the child and create new challenges as the child progress. The time which the child is expected to spend on each session is maximum 15 minutes. The first exercise will be easy, followed by a more advanced and ending with an easy. In this way the child will end the session with a positive experience, and the focus from the difficult task. The exercises are built around the phonetic alphabet, so the child will train his/her specific speech disorder more accurately. It is important to keep the child motivated and willing to always return to bake cookies and practice speech.

 
 


The process

Ploppi’s is the result of a two week project. A group of two product designers and two interaction designers working together. Due to our multi-disciplinary team set-up, using a wide range of skills were within reach. Continiously we disussed and evaluated if each other’s goals, wishes and skills were used optimal. Luckily, we knew each other well and trusted each other therefore. This allowed us to continue without being worried about each other's deliverables. By the end of every day we had a check-in and shared the results

We did our research at the Språkstegen school in Umeå. We met with one of the pre-school teachers and a speech therapist to learn about the needs of children with speech delay and the challenges in teaching them to overcome their delay.  We also validated Ploppi by meeting speech therapists at the University Hospital in Umeå and together with our actors in the concept video, where the child actor experience speech delay himself. 

 
 


Curious to see how we did it?

Check out the process video made by Daan Hekking, showing different ideation techniques, types of user testing we've used and how we've collaborated within the team.

 
 
 

Core77 Jury statement: Very well executed for children who need good design. We loved the whole package - from the clear focus on an audience and problem, to the thoughtful and polished execution across media - stuffed animal, app, book, and packaging.