Tiny Lotus is mobile app that provides guided meditation for parents and toddlers to practice together during bedtime routines.
Home page for the mobile app
Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)
During the period of the Prize submission, I conducted extensive user centered research to establish a deep understanding of the parents' needs. After 20+ interviews with parents, I identified parent's emotional wellbeing as a key area that impacts early childhood development and lacks good resources. Initially, my solution idea centered around wellness activities for the parents only. However, I learned that parents are already so overwhelmed by existing list of chores and responsibilities that it would be difficult to add one more activity to their day. This realization led me to pivot and focus on a shared experience between parents and children because parents value bonding with their children. Bedtime routine could be an intimate and precious time between the parent and the children if things go well, or a source of stress and anxiety if not. Recognizing the potential of bedtime routine for fostering emotional peace within the parent and parent-child emotional connection, I decided to focus on creating an app that engages the parent-child dyad in guided meditation.
During parent interviews, I asked parents to draw their energy level throughout a typical day. Parents’ energy level decreases throughout the day, occasionally spiking after putting the child to bed.
During parent interviews, I asked parents to draw their emotion from positive to negative and vice versa throughout a typical day. Parents undergo strong emotional responses to their children’s behaviors and moods.
Name or Organization
The legal name of the applicant is Yuxi Liu.
I aim to implement my solution in families of all socioeconomic class in the United States.
What is your stage of development?
New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD
What is the stage of your proposal?
Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.
Describe your submission in one clear sentence
Tiny Lotus aims to increase parental emotional wellbeing and parent-child bonding by making bedtime routines peaceful.
Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)
The parent's emotional wellbeing directly impacts their children's development during the early childhood years. Given the heavy responsibility of parenting, parents have little to no time in the day to focus on themselves. Tiny Lotus is an easy tool that fits smoothly with the bedtime routine. Overtime, parents develop a habit of meditation and emotional awareness, while the children benefit from the intimate peaceful bonding. As a mobile app, Tiny Lotus will be accessible by any family that has a smartphone.
Select an Innovation Target
Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology
Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)
Tiny Lotus aims to increase parental emotional wellbeing and parent-child bonding by making bedtime routines peaceful. Current meditation apps are generic and do not guide parents on how to meditate with their little ones. Tiny Lotus seeks to both help parents grow mindfulness but also deepen the bonding between parents and their children.
What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)
Parents are overwhelmed and emotionally drained by the responsibilities of parenting and life. The emotional wellness in the parent directly impacts the quality of care he/she is able to deliver to the child. I aim to foster the most loving environment for young children to grow up in by increasing emotional wellbeing in parents.
Explain your idea (5000 characters)
I am in the prototyping phase of my solution development. I have developed a mockup of the mobile app using Figma and Marvel. Next, I aim to conduct an extensive series of user testing through interviews and observations to both seek validation for the use case and test the usability of the design. While I conduct the user tests, I will create the library of guided mediation audios using a professional mic.
Who benefits? (1500 characters)
1) Parents and their children are the beneficiaries of my idea. The shared experienced, repeated consistently on a daily basis, will help create deeper connection between the parent and the child. Parental care and emotional connection are the most for the child to feel secure.
2) I have interviewed 20+ parents with 0-3 year old children. I have also conducted observations at local nurseries.
What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)
The impact I aim for is improving the emotional wellbeing of parents with young children, and positive child development as a result. I seek to measure impact in terms of the frequency, length, and quality of engagement in the mindfulness activities. I plan on designing tracking mechanisms in the app to measure usage, creating activities such as journal entries for the parents, and conducting pre and post interviews/surveys with the parents.
How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)
As a mobile app, all families that have a smartphone could access Tiny Lotus.
Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (1500 characters)
My idea is a new way of engaging with end users. There are many mediation apps including ones targeted at children. Tiny Lotus takes on the innovative approach of fostering joint engagement, by guiding parents and children through mediation together.
Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)
Word of mouth and targeted marketing through parent networks could help drive the adoption of Tiny Lotus.
Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)
My idea is highly feasible given my network of early childhood education experts, engineering talent, and designers. I have spoken to several early childhood education experts from Stanford and Harvard for child development advice. I will continue to engage them in conversations and have their guidance in the design of the app's content. Furthermore, I am connected with several networks of engineering talent and designers that I could tap into for building a functional MVP and the real product. Lastly, I have the financial resources to hire the talent I need to build the MVP.
Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (1500 characters)
I foresee using a freemium model to create financial sustainability.
HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (1500 characters)
Yes, I have incorporated a human-centered perspective in my design and development from day one. The problem discovery phase was conducted using empathy-exercises including in-depth interviews and observations.
User feedback is at the core of the development process, driving the constant modifications and iterations. Tiny Lotus seeks to impact behavior change and lead parents to adopt a new habit. In order to achieve this goal, it needs to be aligned with the parents' lives today, accessible and easy to use. Extensive user testing will be implemented to ensure the usability and meaningfulness of the app in the parents' lives.
Tell us more about you (3000 characters)
1) James Heckman's research on the value of investing in early childhood education first piqued my interest in this age group. My interest grew through 9 months of talking to parents, attending relevant conferences, and exploring existing support products and services. Especially over the last 5 months, I had a number of in-depth interviews with parents and discovered this emotional wellness need.
2) I am most excited about the impact potential of working in the early childhood space. The same investment made during early childhood versus higher education would have much bigger positive effect because of the critical development that occurs during the first three years.
3) I am a master student in the Learning, Design and Technology program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Early childhood education is my primary focus of studies. I am developing Tiny Lotus as my master's project/thesis. My courses have been selected to give me the research and theoretical background to incorporate learning science into my design. Prior to graduate school, I worked as a consultant and a product strategist at an education technology company.
Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (500 characters)
Yes, I have the network of early childhood education experts as a panel of advisors. I will need technical talent which I
As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)
I seek help with rapid prototyping, UI/UX design, synthesizing user testing data, and impact measurement.
Would you like mentoring support? [Relevant only for Early Submission Deadline]
Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?
Yes, share my contact information