An iPad game for kids ages 4-8 enabling learning by taking a photo of something (example, a kite), sending it to Eureka, and getting information back about what's in the photo.
A decade ago, Google created an experimental mobile app called “GOOGLE GOGGLES”, which allowed users to take a snapshot of someone or something, and an algorithm would help identify the image. It then offered search data about whatever it detected. It was a product that made sense for Google, but I initially hoped it would offer more information directly, much like Wikipedia.
Google dropped Google Goggles in 2018 and directed users to Google Lens which has a more limited capacity, used mostly to identify bar codes on products.
I wondered, with today’s kids being digital natives who easily navigate iPad apps, might younger kids who can use the device but are still too young to spell enjoy learning about something they see by taking a snapshot of it? A video or text result would appear that the child could either watch, have a parent read with them, or have Siri read to them.
So, I designed EUREKA, riffing off of the old Google Goggles idea and added a much simpler interface including a big globe of thumbnails composed of other kids’ searches to swipe, tap, and learn more.
I started with a “paper” prototype made of a few jpegs on my iPad, then showed it to six of my coworkers’ and friends’ kids (ages 4-10) to see how they responded to the idea. They could all identify the camera icon to take a picture and all tried to swipe on the big, colorful globe. Most of the older children, had a sense of tapping on the thumbnails and expected it to expand to a page about the image from the thumbnail on the globe. Originally, I had more complex ideas to have not only a database identify the object but to offer it to other users to help identify and discuss. This seemed too complex to the kids I interviewed, so I removed the feature.
I went back to the drawing board and designed a user workflow.
Lo-fi mocks to illustrate the core user experience:
1. User (child) initializes app and takes a photo of an object (kite).
2. The user then may crop/position the image by pinching in the image within the image window, add notes (with voice or type), and sends.
Eureka will log each query to save as a "case" for the user should the user want to look back at past activity.
I explored typography, color, and a few approaches to the app's overall aesthetic.