n-grow: playful learning

Project type

Design Exercise

project duration

1 Week


Researcher and Designer

Tools Used

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, Overflow, Procreate.

Design prompt

Getting kids to commit to nutritious choices can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Schools have the opportunity to foster good habits early on. But accommodating picky eaters and dealing with outside influences, such as the media, family, and peers, can be daunting. Design an experience where schools can influence students’ food choices. Show your process and how you arrived at your solution. Please include a sequence of hig-fidelity mocks from your design solution.


“n-grow” is an design ecosystem that helps schools inculcate healthy food habits in the kids. The playful and engaging methods of learning and refelecting keep the kids motivated to follow healthy food habits. 


Preliminary Research

Preliminary research to understand the design prompt and current issues. 

Research Objective and Questions

The objective of the study is to understand the food habits of kids and strategies used by the parents and schools to educate kid on healthy lifestyle fostering healthy food habits.

Research Focus

The study focuses on the school going children from ages 4-7 years. From the research it is evident that children of this age group are more prone to the junk food phenomenon but they are able to understand healthy food habits.


From the affinity map, I was able to capture all the user problems and the strategies used. The high level findings from the user interviews are listed and explained below.

From the affinity map I was able to capture all the user problems and the strategies used. The hight level findings from the user interviews are listed and explained below.

Opportunity Map

Mapping all the existing strategies, programs and applications on a 2X2 matrix with Motivation and Tangible offerings as two key dimensions it is evident that there no are strategies/ applications that provide tangible outcomes that motivate kids. 

Design Principles

Before entering into the ideation stage, I defined a set of design principles, based on the research to help me to evaluate the design decision during the ideation phase.



It is the designer’s responsibility to keep kids motivated toward healthy food habits.



Kids leave the task if it is not playful and studies confirmed that gamified teaching has positive outcomes.



Educating the kid about healthy food habits is essential.



The design needs to be engaging so that the kid might not stop using it.



Design experience should sustain kid’s motivation and engagement.


Age Appropriate

The design output shouldn’t have adverse health and behavioral effects on kids.

From...To Exploration

To think and visualize the final goals I turned a current perspective into a new view for solving the child food habit concerns.



Evaluation the concepts against the design principles on a scale of 1 to 6 reflects that the data based concepts such as the watch, toy tree, and bending doll have higher rating.


Taking the products with the top rating into consideration I developed detailed concepts and prototypes. Since board games and apps can create high motivation and engagement in kids, I added them to the concept list along with the data based concepts.

Final Concept

User Flows

Since the final concept has three touch points, user flows helped to identify various interaction of the teacher, parent, and kid.

Lo-fidelity Wireframes

Based on the user flows, I developed multiple wireframes to translate my user flows into a mobile experience.

Final Design

“in-grow” is a design eco-system that includes three major components that comprise a mobile application, a toy, and board games. Using the app parents can track the child’s nutritional food intake and learn strategies to keep their kids food intake healthy and exciting. Teachers monitor the data and can provide personalized counseling and suggestions to the parents and the kids.

The kids being a core part of the design ecosystem plays board games while learning healthy habits simultaneously. The toy tree helps the kids to reflect their food intake and stay motivated.

App For Parents


Recommends food articles and recipes to the parent with basic food preferences information.


Helps the user to understand basic details about the interactions and app tools.

Friction less form

Parent can fill the food data with the kid by sliding and tapping.


Parent are notified to use the customized board game for the kids learning.


Kids are rewarded for their achievements.

Tree status

Parents can track the tree health status.


Personalized recipes based on the kids preferences.

App For Teachers

Kids status

Teachers can track the kids with low healthy food intake using the status indicators and page filters.


Teachers can track the kid’s progress and reward their achievement.

Toy for kids

Self Reflection

The “in-grow” toy tree changes its shape based on the kid’s food intake. To teach that unhealthy food affects them later, the tree bends only after few days. At home, kids can reflect upon themselves by looking at the tree status and can develop self-motivation.

Board Games for kids

Engaged learning

Card, board games, trivia and puzzles makes learning fun and playful.

Final Design for Teachers

Final Design for Parents

Next Steps

Things I consider to do in the next steps are listed below.

  • Testing the design with potential users can gain more insights for further improvement of the design ecosystem.
  • Currently, the app focussed mostly on the kids and the parenting needs, as part of the next steps I would interview to more parents and schools with diverse preferences to support wide varied audience.
  • Iterating on the current layouts to match with the material design guidelines.
  • Designing learning activities by collaborating with a dietitians and the schools.
  • Exploring the options of integrating the in-person rewarding system in the current flow.


It is my first project focussing on kids, food habits and parenting; the whole design exercise gave me new learning experiences. I learned thinking across multiple media to serve a single unified purpose. Working with a strict timeline taught prioritizing tasks.

If I were to design again, I might spend time on creating a quick prototype of one of the user flows and test it with the target audience, validate it and move to the next one. Finding areas of opportunity to work on minimizing the media influences incorporating behavior change techniques that can help.