Duration: Four Weeks
My Role: User Research, Game Concept, Wireframing, User Testing, Marketing Video
Links: Project Blog
Discouraging factors still divert girls from taking career paths in male-dominated STEM fields. At a younger age, girls are beginning to fare better in STEM subjects, but girls are more likely to give up when it is difficult and talk themselves out of pursuing the field. Girls fare better in learning environments that are collaborative, encouraging, and allow them to go at their own pace.
Illume is a game app that allows girls to build more confidence and skills in STEM subjects, following a rich storyline and goal. The user is able to nourish the land and collect points with every problem that they solve. The game encourages collaboration with other players by allowing players to exchange points in one subject with another.
My team divided and conquered different parts of the research during the first week of the project. Suzie looked into existing educational game apps, Dyan collected various resources about girls in STEM and learning methods for children, while I created two surveys for girls and parents and parsed through all three of our findings to create a presentation that narrowed our focus. We agreed that in order to make the most effective app, we had to make it engaging with a good visual and story, reduce competitiveness while increasing collaboration, and to incentivize players with small and large rewards.
The first challenge was settling on a game concept, as it would drive the rest of the project. All three of us brainstormed separately and bounced ideas. The main requirement was that the game included all of the elements of learning that we found would be effective for girls. Once reaching our “aha!” moment, we divided and reconvened after making our own mood boards for the look and feel. We did two rounds of testing and revision; getting unanimously positive responses from all of them.