FABBY

A web service for fun field trip to Fab lab.

Fabby is an entrepreneurship project. We aimed to provide educational family activities for parents and children on Fabby website.

Deliverables: Scenario video, Customers' feedback

Sep.2015 - Jun.2016

Paris, France


My role:

User research

Problem definition

UX/UI design

Front-end development

Fab labs and education

Society needs the next generation to master tomorrow’s technologies. Parents want their kids to exposure to new technologies.


Fab lab is a small-scale workshop offering personal digital fabrication. A fab lab is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer-controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials. Fab lab is a high-tech supportive environment and an open place to play, learn, collaborate, create and invent.

Personas and their problems

Our target users are families with children from 7 to 9.

The demands of parents, children and Fab lab are summarized in the table. Fab lab can provide educational family experience for parent, children and fab lab.

However:

  1. Outside Fab labs: 80% families don't know about the Fab labs.
  2. Inside Fab labs: 70% don't know what they can do in Fab labs when then first enter the Fab labs

Solution: fun field trip to Fab labs

To solve the problems, we designed a web service that brings families to fab labs where they can create their own DIY artifacts and get step-by-step instructions. Through Fabby, we build the bridge between families and Fab labs. The whole service includes three steps:

  1. Choosing activity: Children and parents choose activities they prefer at Fabby.eu. They reserve a nearby Fab lab and get the ticket to attend the activity.
  2. Play in the Fab lab: Parents bring childrens to the researved Fab labs and enjoy their fun and good experience in Fab labs. Children will get a DIY laser cutter printed model after the activity.
  3. Post project: Children can post their printed artifacts online to discuss and share with other kids

Design

We designed the website with Sketch and InVision.

Some web pages are shown below, from the home page, users can choose to:

  1. Login/Register + Personal Profile
  2. Choosing an activity + Booking a nearby Fab lab + Printing Fab lab ticket
  3. Post projects

Our first workshop

After developing the first prototype, we held a small workshop in the LOREM Fab lab in Paris. We contact one family from the Facebook and invite them to use Fabby and attend the workshop. They successfully printed a wood table and a dinosaur. A video about this experience was shown below.

User testing and design iteration

We have three iterations in the whole process.

1. Customized model website

Let children design a customized model online and print it in fab lab.

However, the idea can't be implemented with current technology.

2.Shipping printed model to families

Allow children choose model online and print it in fab labs. Shipping the printed models to Children.

However, only a printed model pieces are not attractive for children and Parents.

3.Fun field trip to fab lab

Let children reserve activities online and bring them to fab labs.

This is an entertaining and educational experience for both families and Fab labs.

Voices from customers & Fab lab staff

After producing the first prototype, we took our first customer to LOREM Fab lab in Paris. After attending the activity, she would like to pay 10 euro for our whole service. We also collected some feedback from other kids and the staff in fab lab.

Our team

We are a multicultural and interdisciplined team with 5 people of different backgrounds and different countries. We had a really good experience on this project.

Overall learnings

  1. Find out what users' real needs is not easy, it require careful observation and thinking.
  2. Play with children is one way to talk with them.
  3. Children of different ages behave differently.
  4. Go to the scene where users really use the products.
  5. Acquiring customer is not easy but you should really try hard.