T.bot is an app and product system for after-school use that helps children practice their time management skills while doing homework. It addresses children's need to visualize time allotted to homework subjects, and gives parents information on their children's progress. T.bot was developed as a high-tech counterpart to the Workerbee project.
As we grow up and move further into the professional world, good time management skills become ever more important for balancing work and our social life. We learn to appreciate the importance of this set of skills and try to remedy them as adults with daily planners and calendar apps, when perhaps focusing on starting early may produce better results. In addition, there is a lack of products designed to help young children learn good time management skills.
I surveyed my original audience, students at Carnegie Mellon University, to find what kind of products are most popular and useful for time management. Despite using multiple digital and physical tools, most students still struggled with keeping track of time and assignments. I learned that the market for time management tools designed for adults is over-saturated, and most products act as "band aid" solutions on a long-term problem.
Having refocused my audience towards children, I interviewed parents and a pediatric occupational therapist. These interviews taught me what time management skills truly entail, and gave me some insight on children's after-school patterns, and how to best help kids understand time and manage their homework.
Final Design | T.bot Timer
The T.Bot timer uses pico projectors to display the kid’s school subjects, time assigned to a subject’s homework, and encouraging words. The timer’s dial and push-top are used to turn the timer on and off, scroll through subjects, increase and decrease time, and start and stop the timer. The timer allows kids to set the minutes or hours they need for a task, and keep an eye on the time left while they work.
Final Design | T.bot App
Parents can follow their kid’s progress learning elapsed time by using the T.bot app. On the app, parents would be able to track multiple T.bots, view their children’s profile, add and delete courses, set checkpoints, and receive alerts when it’s time to review their kid’s homework.
Most importantly, the app provides parents with a weekly progress report on how each kid is improving their use of time, and which courses they may be struggling with.