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An A.I parenting-aid that empowers kids to develop healthier longterm habits.

YaYa is a networked service layer designed to improve the long term mental health of kids. It connects all wearables and smart systems in a family’s life that gives “nudges” in the form of gamification for children to help themselves make mentally healthy lifestyle choices. Connecting all wearables and smart systems in a family’s life that helps parents keep aware of their children’s mental, emotional health. 

In Collaboration with



Speculative Design

Deisgn Futures

Product Design

User Research

Service Design


8 Weeks


5 People


IoT ecosystems

Nudge Theory



Lifestyle services

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Designing for Health & Happiness

Alpha is a Moonshot factory - an innovation facility created by Telefonica in 2016 to build Moonshots: audacious projects on the edge of what is technically possible that will affect 100s of millions of people, have a positive societal impact, and grow into Billion Euro plus businesses. Alpha Health is the first moonshot. Its mission is to deliver breakthrough solutions to address the greatest challenges in the health sector worldwide with a focus on reducing chronic diseases by increasing people's happiness and enabling positive behaviour change.

This project started in the context of the cross-platform research project of RCA Service Design with Telefonica Alpha Health to explore future service visions on health and happiness.The question we were asked was

“How far should we expand ourselves?, How might we empower people to find balance in the expansion of their available options in life with the threat of compromising their bodies and minds? How might we deal with external actors that will intervene in a way that decreases the potency of our agency?”

Leverage networked technology to empower children to develop resilience and foster healthier habits in the future (5-10 years forward)

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How it works?

The best way to change a habit is to change the routine. YaYa collects and analyzes data that relates to the mental health status of the child and gives different tasks that are non-intrusive, hence the term ‘nudges’. Nudges works in different frequencies as the child is growing up, learning from the system, and developing as an individual. 

When the child successfully finishes each task, he or she will be rewarded with Yaya points which they will be able to use in real-life purchases, discounts etc. These points are the reinforcing incentives which act as a loyalty plan for healthier habits, helping to convert small wins into long term habits. 

Yaya’s feature expands to a parent dashboard visualizing various data for consideration regarding the child’s emotional, mental status as well as the Yaya tasks the child is doing. It will include information like sleep time&quality, energy levels, stress levels, etc. This will help parents be aware of any irregularities with the child’s mental status.​​​​​​​

Service Layers, Journey map and Parent dashboard

Mapping the kids of the future

Based on primary and secondary research we made some predictions about the lifestyle that kids in the future would live and the gadgets or access to information they may have. This also takes into consideration the changes in style of parenting that may take place in response to the changes in society..


Mental Health in kids 

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Increase of mental health related issues will directly relate with having a healthier and happier life. From our desk research we found out that mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. In fact, 75% of mental illnesses start before a child reaches their 18th birthday. For this reason that mental health can develop in an early stage of life, we decided to focus on our topic of prevention of children from having mental health problems.

3 key insights

From further research, conducting interviews by visiting school fairs to meet parents, interviewing parents and teachers, we found three key insights and opportunities.

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Service Requirements

On the basis of our research, we defined certain guidelines for designing and developing the service to ensure it always remains in service of the parents and the child and does not over power the normal process parenting.

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We used a gamifying approach to prototype the service. We played this game with young parents who were asked to make decisions on behalf of their kids. By planting provocative tasks and challenges (nudges) , the parents had to decide what would their child choose in their daily routine.

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Insights from the prototype:

1. System will help parents engage better with children regarding their habits

2. Incentives successfully nudge children to make ‘better’ lifestyle choices.
3. The service should be customised according to culture and/or age.
4. There should be tasks with a gradient, not always black and white choices 5. There will be the hacking of the system

Mapping secondary research - Strategy safari

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