THE TEAM

Dheeraj Govindraju (Experience Designer)
Keilani Mansfield (Experience Designer)
Shak Oteka (Experience Designer)
Yanci Wu (Experience Designer)

MY ROLE

User Research
Brand Design
System Design
Physical Prototyping
User Testing
App Design (flow, wireframes, visual design)

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Elementary education is great for developing our left hemisphere, which is responsible for numbers, language and logic. However, areas that are controlled by our right hemisphere, such as creativity, imagination, intuition and empathy, are overlooked in our education system. So how can we help kids to develop their right hemisphere in a fun and personal way? We decided to build a platform that will not only introduce kids to several subjects simultaneously, but also encourages them to explore and express themselves creatively.

A SYSTEM THAT MARRIES GEOMETRY, COLOR, AND MUSIC

Compared to the traditional way of learning music, our system is more visual, intuitive and fun. It is designed to introduce kids to basic music, color and geometry theories simultaneously through play. We picked 7 geometric shapes,  7 colors (3 primary + 4 secondary) as elements, and formed a new sight-reading system. The 7 colored shapes represent 7 basic notes of an octave.

1 DEVICE = 1 OCTAVE = 1 BUILDING BLOCK

A SYSTEM THAT CREATES INFINITE POSSIBILITIES

The device comes with transparent keys, users can go to the app and choose an octave for it, then related colors and sounds will be sent to the keys. This design gives users flexibility to play multiple octaves with a variety of color spectrums without having to purchase multiple devices.

Instead of telling kids the “right” way to do something, we are encouraging them to explore all the possibilities and design their own instruments. Each ZOZOLA is a building block that can be connected with multiple devices creatively. With each way of connecting, there is a new way of playing.

A VISUAL AND INTUITIVE SIGNT-READING LANGUAGE

Twinkle Twinkle little Star

(Right hand only. Octave 3)

Beginner level

Kids can play songs simply by recognizing shapes, which teaches them pattern recognition. Age range: 0 – 2 years old

intermediate level

Section dividers disappear, and shapes start to group into sections that indicate rhythm. Age range: 2 – 4 years old

advanced level

Shapes rotate and combine, transforming into new shapes, introducing kids to basics of geometry. Age range: 4 – 9 years old

ODE TO JOY

(Left + Right hands. Octave 2 + 3)

Intermediate level

advanced level

MAKING MUSIC SOCIAL

THE DETACHABLE DEVICES CAN BE SHARED WITH FRIENDS

PROTOTYPING + TESTING

We made a quick prototype and brought it to the Children’s Museum of Virginia. We had 10 participants ranging from 2 to 8 years old playing our model. With a simple demonstration, all of them were able to complete the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” correctly. Some of the them found the experience very engaging and played several times. Some of them started making up their own music.

WHAT PEOPLE SAID

“ZOZOLA is a great stepping stone to any instrument.”

“My child is all about patterns, which is exactly what this tool does!”

“My child is drawn to interesting forms, I think he will like it a lot.”

“Sight-reading can be difficult, and this removes that barrier.”

“…intelligently designed for the ways kids learn best.”

Process