YaYa – Because of – YaYa!

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YaYa –
Because of – YaYa!

Just like we teach children early on to avoid getting physically ill, YaYa does the same for their mental health.

Our invisible service layer becomes an integral part of their networked life and facilitates the child to develop good habits, behaviour and routines, eventually assisting in becoming mentally healthy individuals.

The service uses data collected from their surroundings like gadgets and wearables, along with inputs from their parents and sets tasks in the form of incentivised nudges that aims to foster mentally healthy habits and behaviour over a period of time with the essence of fun and game. The children earn ‘YaYa points’ for most tasks they accomplish. These can later be used to make real life purchases.

MA1 – Team 10

Amogh Luxminarayanan
Astha Johri
Kyle Macdonald
Shanshan Liu
Nayoon Lee
JIna Kim


Tell us what the concept is about. What are you designing? What are the key benefits?

Yaya is your family’s networked service layer connecting wearables and smart systems from your day to day life. Empowered with live updates, parents can now get insights into their children’s Mental health and emotional wellbeing. It evolves with the child and becomes more personalised with time.

Parents are encouraged to give incentivised “nudges” in the form of fun tasks and challenges to children which help develop mentally healthier lifestyle choices which in turn become habits.

Yaya offers mainly 4 key service layers.

  • It first collects and analyses crucial data that relates to a child’s mental health status. This is used to create a personalised system for each child. 
  • Secondly the important information regarding the child’s life is made easily accessible on the Yaya Parents’ Dashboard – particularly to bring attention to any irregularities in things like sleep quality or energy levels.
  • The third layer harnesses the power of machine learning where “nudges” are suggested. These can be set either by the system or by parents or by both. Some examples include setting fun tasks and challenges for eating a breakfast menu with the colors green and red , or to going to find yaya points in the park with a friend. The service prompts the child with these dissolving tasks through various touch-points. However, it ultimately is at the discretion of the child to accept it and act on it. In most cases, the nudges set by system are personalised to the child with respect to his learning. Moreover, as the child ages, the system collects inputs about his likes, dislikes, interests and new found knowledge and utilises this information to set tasks for him. In this way, the service stays relevant.
  • Finally, depending on how the child finishes the task, Yaya points are awarded which can be exchanged for real life purchases and rewards. Not all tasks have YaYa points, ensuring that it is not solely the ‘points’ that is driving any kid.


Tell us some of the key findings of your background research and what is the problem you are trying to address.

Mental health is a big problem globally. 1 in 6 people each week experience a common mental health problem. Governments and some private sector are now realizing it and trying to address the issue, but what is being done is heavily focused on diagnosing and curing. We focused on the fact that mental problems come at an early age. Which, when not properly addressed or brushed aside comes back at later stages in life manifested as more serious issues. Half the mental health problems are established by the age of 14. What we want to do is prevent that problem rather than curing it in later stages. We do this by bringing awareness to the issue and by helping children develop mentally healthy habits.


Tell us something about your users and key stakeholders involved.

Our users are children aged between 6-12 years old. Key stakeholders at primary level are children and their parents. At the secondary level, there are teachers in their school, the service provider, (alpha), partnership companies that provide in the real life benefits of yaya points (ex.grocery markets, toy stores, etc), and smart device companies.


Give us an idea of the future scenario where your project will be working. 

Our speculation into the lives of children in the future lead us to believe that by 2023, an average six year old could be more introverted, due to limited interaction with people and easy and early access to technology. With early exposure to personal assistants and the increase in virtual friends that he connects with via online gaming and other such toys/games powered by virtual reality, he could prefer to spend time at home leading to issues such as lack of interpersonal skills, reduced physical activities, over exposure to information or even early maturity. Similarly parents in the future may use child monitors and smart toys to assist them in parenting, thereby not needing nannies or caretakers.

YaYa system aims to engage a child in a way where there is good balance between virtual life and real life and ample contact with nature. By rewarding of Yaya point, the system, along with inputs from parents, aims to cultivate balance and good habits amongst children, additionally familiarising them early on about decision making, consequences of their decisions and resilience, achieving the goal to prevent mental health problem in the future.


Tell us if you have thought of a specific location where to prototype.

Our initial prototype will be with a set of families based out of the UK who have kids that are between the age group of 6-12years. We aim to prototype this in their home environment. We aim to gradually make our way into all spheres of a child’s life. Initially starting from his house and school to eventually being able to connect to his social networks and any external touchpoint outside of school/home, that would form a part of his routine life. (Eg; Extra-curricular activities, sport groups etc)


Give us an idea of your strategy, your process, your prototyping plan and the next steps.

There are 4 phase to develop our system.

  • First one is concept development and proof which include service development and user validation.
  • Second phase is building digital environment. In that step we will do some technical development like dashboard testing and platform development.
  • Connecting with home environment is our third step. At this step we will onboard new devices, expand service partnership and pilot home service layer.
  • The last step is developing school environment which include developing and testing for group use and involve teachers.

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