Getting tweens moving again

HopeLab Zamzee

Research and Strategy
Experience Design
Hardware/Software Prototyping

To move me, first you've got to understand me

We worked with HopeLab to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity by finding ways to motivate kids to be more active. We spent time with kids in urban apartments, rural towns, and after-school programs across the United States; we saw patterns and identified reasons for why some kids were opting out of activity.


Turning patterns into behavioral profiles

These patterns led to a powerful framework of behavioral profiles that helped us to empathize with specific segments of the market. We focused on motivating and engaging those kids who were less active and more atisk for childhood obesity.

We realized the best way to engage kids was to embrace their passion for connecting with one another through technology. The resulting opportunities and design principles served as jumping-off points—and guideposts—for a series of brainstorms.

Prototyping the first activity monitor

Promising ideas were prototyped and visualized in the context of future user experiences, then built as working prototypes based our discoveries. Our prototype system was used in an extensive clinical trial, and qualitative user feedback sessions informed iterations to the user experience. Before most of today's popular wearables were on the market, we were prototyping and creating an activity monitor that was tied to a rewards system.


59% increase in activity

Tweens using the product and service had a sustained 59% increase in moderate to rigorous physical activity compared to control groups! That captured the attention of President Obama, who celebrated HopeLab and this program as a successful model of social innovation in 2009.