Frankenfix

Design thinking game for 4th grade and up. 2016–2018

Game Design

Design Research

5 RISD & Brown Students

3 Semesters

FrankenFix is a game designed to be affordable and to inspire creativity in kids.
We believe that creativity is a skill like any other, and learning how to go through the design thinking process can help kids excel in humanities, sciences, and the arts. It will encourage collaboration, failure, perseverance, and the spark for learning. We have tested the game with various Rhode Island schools.

I designed the play-flow experience with a Brown University student (Psychology Major), and also created the children's illustrations below.

Process

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Problem

How can we design a simple and affordable game that teaches kids applied design thinking methodology?

The Providence Public School District (PPSD) has been struggling with low school performance for the past few decades, and is ready to try a new approach.

68%

of Providence schools found to have made insufficient progress in raising academic scores since 2006.

55%

of Providence schools were still identified as needing improvement in 2016.

62%

of elementary schools continue to cut creative courses in exchange for STEM curricula.

The Providence Innovation Zone is an initiative undertaken by the city to boost scores of the lowest performing schools through a 2-year period of experimentation. If the school fails, they close.


Designing a classroom game that’s affordable and adaptable for the Innovation Zone schools will help these underfunded schools foster STEAM environments in STEM-heavy classrooms.

Ideation & Prototypes

The first prototype sets up our overall gameflow:
Guide players through the steps of design thinking: observation, research, prototyping, testing, and presentation. The total time was determined by average duration of after-school extracurricular activities.

Initial Playthrough Path

Realizations

Some issues we ran into regarding this iteration during testing were its time consumption, lack of instruction manual, and its inability to be played without a supervisor.

No Instruction Manual

Needs Supervision

Takes too long

User Testing

Throughout our numerous testing sessions and prototyping, we’ve received very helpful feedback from students and teachers through Google Classroom (G-Forms).

Testing at West Boro Middle School

West Broadway Middleschool

Kickemuit Middleschool

St. Michael's Country Day School

William D'Abate Elementary School

Final Playflow

Understanding the User + Defining the Problem

User feedback leads kids to change their design solution

Team dynamics are changed to encourage co-operation under stress

The design solution’s execution process is changed to test critical thinking.

Teams critique each other’s work to build presentation skills

Final Product

Product Form

Die-cut cardboard packaging layout, labeled.

Instructions

The goal of the instructions is to empower kids to easily facilitate the game under a time restriction. The average class time is 45 minutes, and Frankenfix can be played under 30. In addition, the language and vocabulary of the instructions have been simplified to a 4th grade reading level.