Can Yarnadag
Arvind Sanjeev
Ine-Charlotte Asakskogen


Physical prototyping
Service design
Design research prototyping 


Two-week project exploring 
product and service design 
around better city transportation

Meet Evo! The alien botanist


Tell me more
about EVO!

Evo is a service and a product that turns any trip in the city with kids a learning-focused adventure. The service is a customizable and internet-connected toy called Evo that teaches kids about traffic rules and gives them location-specific information. Evo has a companion app that transforms boring daily routes into adventure quests. Evo interacts with kids through a voice interface, giving them directions and quests. Kids can earn stars every time they complete quests related to traffic safety and navigation. EVO helps parents to entertain and protect their kids.


1. Parents and kids order Evo through an online portal

2. Evo arrives in the mail

2. Evo arrives with all of the customization


3. Set up Evo with your kids


4. Input your destination using the companion app


5. Watch your route being transformed into a quest for Evo


6. Evo will guide your kids through a voice interface


7. Every time a quest is completed, you can feed Evo a star!


8. Evo is connected to smart city infrastructure and public transportation systems


What was your research process?

We used a mixture of in-depth interviews, observational research, and empathy research. In order to understand the topic, we started with in-depth interviews. We talked to both kids and adults about their traveling habits and experiences. We visited them in their homes and observed as they took their children around the city. To help us better understand the people that we are designing for, we created a set of interview tools to help us go deeper into their daily routine. Our transportation cards and journey map tools helped us to understand identify the pain points.


Talking with a mother in Zurich about getting on to public transportation with kids


In-depth interview with Jacob about his daily journeys with his daughter


Tools that we developed to help identify pain points

Another important part of our process was empathy research. Because none of us are parents with young children, we felt like we needed to experience traveling around the city from their perspective. In our first empathy experience, we traveled around the city with a stroller. We experienced the pain point of going through rush hour on public transport with a stroller.

In the second empathy experience, we rented Copenhagen style cargo bikes frequently used by parents to transport kids. We rode them around the city to experience picking up and dropping off kids.


Experiencing pushing a stroller through rush hour


Renting a cargo bike to experience picking up kids

In our research, we discovered surprising things that challenged our preconceived notions about traveling with children. We identified five insights that went beyond the problem of getting from point A to point B. These insights guided our ideation process.


Our five insights from research


Tell me about your ideation & prototyping phase

Quick prototypes and bodystorming in the real world shaped our design direction. Based on our five insights, we realized that the act of traveling in the city and transitioning to more independent travel was an important milestone for both kids and the parents. When traveling with children in cities, parents often teach and mentor their kids to be independent. Traveling together is also an opportunity for heart-to-heart conversations. After several rounds of sketching and ideating, we dot voted on the ideas that best address our insights.

All of the post-its and our service blueprint


We dot voted on our favorite concepts


We had to give up on many darlings

To validate our choice, we created quick prototypes to test in the real world. We created a physical companion that would help guide kids throughout the city. We strapped an iPhone to a pillow and went out into the real world to body storm our concept. 


Bodystorming helped us with figuring out the details of the service journey


Our first prototype was a pillow with a phone

In our research, we discovered surprising things that challenged our preconceived notions about traveling with children. We identified five insights that went beyond the problem of getting from point A to point B. These insights guided our ideation process.


A weekend testing session with Leo who loved to feed Evo stars


Luna was really sad to see Evo leave


Allegra gave us some tips on the UI design


How did you design the service of EVO?

In the final phase of the project, we focused on the story building, service journey, and business plan. From the testing sessions, we realized that to engage with young kids, we needed to create a narrative around EVO. Thus, the story of EVO, the Alien Botanist, was born. The kids loved the idea of doing challenges that would help EVO get home. We found that road safety and navigation themed challenges worked well when they were incentivized with a feeding reward. We moved on to working in higher fidelity.

We challenged ourselves to think about the business aspect of this service. We envisioned our service as a subscription model where parents can buy into new quests. We did some market analysis and found our price proposal to be similar to other smart toy offerings. The parents we spoke with were happy to pay for a service like this.


Evo product and quest pricing


What was your
role on this project?

I was focused on in-depth interviews, prototyping, and overall strategy. This project was a great opportunity for me to try out new research methods. I was able to conduct in-depth interviews, empathy research, and analogous research.  I took a lead role in building and creating the final version of Evo. Finally, I contributed to the project on from a high level and created the business strategy.

Prototyping EVO