During the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide studies pointed out that 1 out of 4 children was showing signs of depression or over anxiety. Helping kids to understand and deal with those emotions has become the mission of Valérie Dormal, co-founder of Focus.

Not just another meditation app

When Valérie started to think about a solution to help kids to deal with anxiety and stress, she had no idea how it would look like but she was certain that the solution will have to be 100% tailor-made for kids and for kids alone.

She did not want another unfriendly medical device or another school exercise book.

The solution would have to be something that kids would be eager to play with, something cool, something with which they could easily interact, something more tangible than “just” another app on their parent’s cellphone.

That’s how she came up with the idea of Focus: an intelligent heart-rate sensor connected to a mobile app. A device that helps kids to deal with their emotions using simple exercises and real-time feedback loops.

UCL - Focus App - Splash Device

The brand

A sensor, an App,… a sensor, an app… do you get it? To build something truly engaging for kids, we imagined a whole world where Mio and Kayou (the two main characters) are kids’ best friends and will be their guide and support throughout their whole journey with the app.

UCL - Focus App - Logo Characters
UCL - Focus App - Logo Mockup

The app

From day one, we knew the app had to be conceived for kids first, THEN for their parents. Not the other way around. After several rounds of UX research and user testing, we came up with the final concept.

The main app interface is super simple and playful. The two main characters are always there to help the kids to find their way into the exercises. All the settings and more complex stuffs have been packed into a “parents” section so they do not interfere with the main app experience.

Ultimately, the goal was to build an app that was not the core of Focus’s user experience but that would help enhance it; the leaf-shaped heart-rate sensor was designed by iOL Product Design to provide the necessary visual feedbacks during the exercises so that the kids only use the app when necessary.

UCL - Focus App - Interfaces
UCL - Focus App - UI
UCL - Focus App - Rewards

Motion design

In addition to the branding and mobile application development, we also helped Focus with their initial crowdfunding campaign by producing a short and self-speaking motion design.

UCL - Focus App - Motion Storyboard
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