Based on our last discussion, it was recommended that I categorize my information according to the symptoms so that it helps in defining a narrative for my final design. While re-looking at the gathered information so far I realized there was a larger problem at the base of school starting problems—Separation Anxiety. It is normal for children to sometimes feel anxious or insecure when separated from their parents or other important caregivers. Usually, such separation anxiety fades as they grow up and become more confident. However if parents intervene at the school beginning phase children grow up more healthily as it is a major transitional period in their lives. The chart below enumerates the source and the consequences of separation anxiety.
The chart helped me clarify the causes and symptoms. After that when I look in the context of SCHOOL BEGINNING phase there are many things which parents should consider such as the time period before they send the children to school, while they are in school and gradually as the time rolls. That is why I worked out an information model which if read by a parent will take him through the chronological phase for a child during his school beginning period. I have divided the content in three categories.
- The first one talks about how to know that the child is capable of going to school.
- Second part is about how each child is different and forms of anxiety will be discussed. The causes of each symptom of anxiety will be defined and how parents can intervene and overcome them. This will form the major portion of content.
- Then comes the section where parents will be given tips as to how they should be during the first day of the school.
There will be more content for both "while beginning in School"and "Here's what to do on the first day of school".
As I kept reading and began to classify the symptoms, ideas also began to emerge. These actually stemmed from thoughts- Rise above School Anxiety, Look within the child. Since I aim to communicate with the parents, I decided to come up with objects used by parents who are in the 28-32 age category. Prior to this I had visited various schools and got circulars to understand the kind of information they give and then I came up with this scenario.
The ideas are as follows:
1. Pen Stand
A daily usable product for every parent and child. Since I am catering to lower middle and middle income users, many parents may not feel the necessity of buying a pen stand immediately. The school can provide the parents this which could be used by parents and/or the child.
a. Collapsible StandThis concept arises from "Rise above school anxiety". The series of collapsible compartments rise up enacting the metaphor. The function of this structure is as you pull it, it will stand up to form a series of steps and the hand moves up to unfold each compartment. When all the steps open up it forms a pencil stand. For every parent comes a phase when they feel the child needs to be sent to school. This phase comes with its own set of challenges which both parents and children need to overcome. The action of pulling the compartment up symbolizes the fact that parents need to rise above anxiety and also prepare their children for the same. Every face of the structure will speak of day to day problems which children face while beginning school and how can they be tackled with parents intervention.
The material used could be a box paper that provides smoothness to open the compartments as well as has friction to stop it from collapsing. Alternatively it could be made out of silicon rubber. The illustrations in the form of comic strips can be screen printed on each of the compartment.
Parents might find the form interesting and be curious to open it. Once they do that they will find valuable information. The collapsible quality makes the users interact with it as they are required to physically lift each step.However its construction is challenging and the form might limit the quantity of information. It is actually a multipurpose stand as it can be used for various tasks. The hexagons which were cut out from each compartment could be riveted together and used to give additional information.
b. Look Within!
As the name suggests this pencil stand is created with the purpose of depicting the problems in the outer area and the solutions to each of those problems lies inside in the folded hexagon paper inside. The whole concept revolves around the fact that beginning school has a psychological impact on children for which parents should try to understand them and their needs. This can only happen if they give time and look within their children's heart to find out the problems which children face while beginning their school. Every child is different and their problems are also unique. It is up to parents how they communicate with their children and try to understand them. This stand consists of two parts. One is the main holder and the other is the divider fitted in the holder. This divider actually segregates the holder into compartments so that the user can group objects and place it accordingly. It not only eases out work but also makes your work faster. However these dividers can be removed and once they come out they can be opened and have information printed in it. From time to time users especially mothers can remove the divider, read it and place it back.
This can be sold through stationery shops and book shops such as Crosswords, Starmark etc and even be provided through school. Parents will find it useful as the divisions in the compartment can be used to categorize objects and it also has information useful to children. The stand not only performs its function it also communicates. Since the structure is very simple and the divider can easily be removed, read and replaced the whole act will be exciting. The construction of the box is very simple with minimum material wastage. There is also an adequate scope of explaining information with both the surface of the holder as well as the inner part that folds into compartments.
2. Mobile Covers
In the age group of 28-32 when most parents are working and are so caught up in their lifestyle that they barely have time to read or flip through parenting books. In such scenario they could do with a mobile cover that not only provides their handset protection but also gives them information which could be easily read while commuting. It does not require them to carry an additional book and read, as the information is in the cover of mobile itself. When not in use to keep the handset, it can be opened and kept as display.
The cover can also be removed and kept separately like an exhibit on the table and again folded back once the handset is done with charging.
Alternatively a desk calendar can also be a good source of information and a timely reminder for parents.
I have explored on handsets and pencil stands as I kept getting insights for them.