Frolic: Mobile application that aims to increase active play for girls.
Team of 11, including students and staff.
Role: UX Engineer & Designer
Recognition: 1st place in 2019 National Institutes of Health Shape of Health Competition.
National Institutes of Health is seeking new ways to get health messages out to girls and women.
Despite decades of research, US children are increasingly unhealthy at earlier ages.
Video games are a new tool to boost knowledge and skills.
Our goal was to create a more useful and accessible app that brings innovation in health behavior change through interactive video games around prevention for girls and women.
Our final solution is a mobile game primarily designed for girls from ages 7 to 12 and supports family involvement. The concept and design (Phase 2) for the mobile app won first place at National Institutes of Health’s Shape of Health Competition competition. As part of the winning design the app was funded and shipped to the iOS App Store.
Minimizing screen time
- Frolic is a hybrid digital-physical play experience.
Overuse of screen-based media is linked to greater obesity and less physical activity.
Ngantcha M, Janssen E, Godeau E, Ehlinger V, Le-Nezet O, Beck F, Spilka S. Revisiting Factors Associated With Screen Time Media Use: A Structural Study Among School-Aged Adolescents. J Phys Act Health. 2018 Jun 1;15(6):448-456.
Hybrid digital-physical games can support physical activity in players.
- Frolic increases player autonomy and supports healthy choices.
Giving children choices about what to play can increase their physical activity.
Sanders, G. J., Juvancic-Heltzel, J., Williamson, M. L., Roemmich, J. N., Feda, D. M., & Barkley, J. E. (2016). The effect of increasing autonomy through choice on young children’s physical activity behavior. Journal of physical activity and health, 13(4), 428-432.
Choice and autonomy are especially effective for girls, both in activity duration and intensity.
Roemmich, J. N., Lambiase, M. J., McCarthy, T. F., Feda, D. M., & Kozlowski, K. F. (2012). Autonomy supportive environments and mastery as basic factors to motivate physical activity in children: a controlled laboratory study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9(1), 16.
- Frolic reinforces physical activity and engagement with the app.
Feedback and reward systems in games shape player behavior.
Incorporate a range of well-established behavioral strategies for shaping healthy activity.
- Frolic fosters family engagement with physical activity.
Family-based interventions can be effective at shaping child behavior.
Foster, C., Moore, J. B., Singletary, C. R., & Skelton, J. A. (2018). Physical activity and family‐based obesity treatment: a review of expert recommendations on physical activity in youth. Clinical obesity, 8(1), 68-79.
Parental engagement and child physical activity form a positive feedback loop.
Sleddens, E. F., Gubbels, J. S., Kremers, S. P., van der Plas, E., & Thijs, C. (2017). Bidirectional associations between activity-related parenting practices, and child physical activity, sedentary screen-based behavior and body mass index: a longitudinal analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 89.
Peer support helps children stay active, too.
- Frolic helps all girls join in physical play.
Girls can select games that are culturally relevant and age-appropriate.
Morrison, S., Knight, C., & Crew-Gooden, A. (2015). Perceptions of Physical Activity and Influences of Participation in Young African-American Adolescent Girls. Journal of National Black Nurses' Association: JNBNA, 26(2), 51-59.
We can build on existing guidelines for game accessibility and inclusion.
Porter, J. R., & Kientz, J. A. (2013, October). An empirical study of issues and barriers to mainstream video game accessibility. In Proceedings of the 15th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility. ACM.
Data Display to parent and child