top of page
Top Of Page

A tangible children's tool to reduce testing anxiety.

America is a test-centric nation. In fact, over 20% of students experience testing anxiety.  With this in mind, our team set out to build a product that seamlessly infused technology into the classroom experience.



The toy aisles are overcrowded and oversaturated. By leveraging Joa as a tool, not a toy we can position the product to be a niche solution for parents. 


My role for this project included ideation,  research, user interviews, UX/UI Design, and prototyping.

We asked ourselves

How might we provide emotional support for children with testing anxiety? 


Joa is an analog recording device and mobile app that alleviates testing anxiety children. 

Confidence begins

with a voice 

Joa was designed without a screen to limit in-class distraction. The device allows parents the ability to record soothing messages that empower and encourage positive test performance.  The message can be recorded directly on the device or in the mobile application.

How it works




/ Design Choices

Joa was designed to be minimal yet bold to excite children to feel proud when they carried the device. As a team we intentionally choose the colors blue, orange and yellow evokes feelings of calmness, creativity, and happiness.


 When our group began to explore how the product would live in retail spaces we intentional positioned Joa as an educational tool that would live in the technology section of retail spaces. This distinguishes Joa as a brand and differentiates it in an already oversaturated toy market.






/ Research, Sprints and Surveys

When approaching this problem my team members and I could all relate to being a child with some form of testing anxiety. In the beginning, we conducted research to familiarize ourselves with the topic. We looked into testing trends in the U.S., the forms of testing anxiety, and pain points experienced by children with testing anxiety,


Our team also performed a variety of design sprints to help the team narrow and focus the problem. Whiteboard sessions allowed the team to quickly express ideas, iterate on those ideas and make collaborative decisions.  


From that secondary research, we were able to craft survey questions and map out all stakeholders to kids with testing anxiety. We then reached out to 3 different kinds of stakeholders and interviewed 10 people in total. This research laid the foundation for our insights.



Sprint research findings

Key Insights

Awareness and education is important for children.

The more active parents are the  better the students' performance.

Hearing a parents voice is 35 percent more likely to soothe a child in high-stress situations. 

After we combed through all of our findings, we found that kids with testing anxiety had almost no formalized support or services in the market. Our team decided to focus on correcting maladaptive self-talk which is a fundamental component of overcoming anxiety. Our goal was to normalize childhood anxiety and give children the chance to shine in the classroom.


/ UI and Branding

Bringing Joa to life

The name Joa was created from a word association game that myself and my team members created.

Joa was formed from the root word Joy, and Jovi. We invented a name specifically so it could be a brand differentiator in the market for tech products.

Brand Story

Joa needed to not only appeal to children but

to other important stakeholders - parents.


To do this we intentionally framed the language in the brand story. We utilized universal values shared with us during interviews to depict a parents experience with a child with testing anxiety.

/ Physical & Digital prototyping

To test out the idea, we 3D printed a model of what Joa would look like in the hand. Inside of the model we placed an Arduino recorder to simulate what the experience would be like for a parent recording on the device for the first time.   

Website and App Design

Due to time limitations, we didn't spend too much time on the website design. Instead, we created a framework to make sure the website was understandable. I designed the website and wireframes.


Since the website is outward facing I made sure the site was playful yet practical. Parents needed to be able to get to information quickly and children needed to aesthetically enjoy the site's design.



/ Mobile Screens


As a team, we hoped to shine a light on the importance of this mental health issue that is often seen as an invisible disability. Joa employed simple solutions married with the right technology to hopeful bring the most impact on students.  I learned a ton on this project. 



/ The Just-Do-It Attitude

This project allowed me and my team to get scrappy and learn new software tools to quickly prototype several designs for the final concept of Joa. Having an iterative process from the beginning of the project brings about better design states.




Meet the Crew

Jessica Bagby, Experience Designer 

Sarah Burley, Visual Designer

Angelica Ortiz, Experience Designer 

bottom of page