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Studying the current Adoption scenario in India and analysing the difficulties faced by various entities within the domain of Adoption (Adoption Centres, Adoptive Parents, Adoptees)
Format - Extensive Classroom Project
Team - 2 UX Design Students - Isha Deosthali & Chahat Premprakashi
Role - Research, Problem Analysis, Ideation & Design
Timeline - Dec 2019 - Feb 2020
The Current Scenario
In recent years, the stigma around adoption in India has significantly gone down and people have become more open to the idea of adoption even without issues related biological birth. However, this awareness came with a few consequences. While the number of children in the adoption pool remain constant the number of parents opting for adoption has increased causing the process to take longer than a year or two. This has increased the burden on organisations and reduced the likelihood and impact of adoption preparation for parents. Our study covers the need for adoption preparation extensively.
A Flow Model for Parents
This study was conducted with 17 Adoptive and Prospective Adoptive Parents, 5 Specialized Adoption Agencies, and 4 Adoption Counselors in Pune and Mumbai in the month of December-January, 2020.
64.7% parents preferred adopting a healthy child
76.4% preferred a girl child
Few of the parents were not satisfied with the services provided
Most parents complained about the long waiting period
We've always wanted to adopt a child but the entire process is quite overwhelming. We've heard parents have had to wait for years to be able to complete the adoption process.
I'm a little scared about dealing with the difficulties of parenting for adoption. Do we have counselling to help with this?
I have a small network of adoptive parents who I reach out to when I need help, that has been really helpful for me.
What if we aren't able to establish a relationship with the child? What if the child is not willing to accept us as its parents
click on the image to see the expanded view
User Study Insights
Number of cases of disruption and maladjustment have been on the rise recently.
Preparation for adoption was a major obstacle and need to ensure the success of adoption.
Sensitizing parents to the concept of adoption could help reduce the cases of disruption & maladjustment.
A robust adoption preparation system was needed to improve sensitization towards adoption.
The Problem Scenario
To design a more efficient adoption preparation system that helps parents learn and prepare for post-adoption challenges in an engaging and interactive manner without increasing the burden on the adoption agencies.
What have competitors done?
Only few apps that had essential resources used modules and tests to ensure preparation
There was little motivation to continue using the application
Most apps focused more on resources and less on helping parents experience parenting
There was a need for a stronger adoption preparation system that increases motivation, engagement and retention.
An app that connects all entities of the adoption process and gives parents access to additional preparatory resources like videos, tutorials, and blogs.
An app designed for the social worker to use during the Home Study to test the eligibility of parents and determine their adoption preparedness.
A game designed for parents to prepare for the adoption and to evaluate their preparedness with respect to other parents.
A VR based game that allows parents to answer questions while experiencing adoption preparation in an engaging and interactive simulation.
The Alternative we went with
To help different entities of adoption stay connected while allowing parents to prepare for adoption.
The VR Set
VR based version of the game to be used during the Home Study in order to ensure efficient preparation and selection.
Thus we propose,
‘AASRA - Assurance and Adoptive Support for Reliable Adopters'
an immersive Adoption Preparation system that attempts to provide parents with a more realistic experience of challenges post-adoption.
The System Architecture
The Information Architecture
The User Interface
Welcoming the users to the Aasra app and summing up the basic features of the application so that users are familiar with what they can do on the application
Preparation page that allows you to see your score on the leaderboard and continue playing the game to enhance your score
The home page consists of quick resources like links and videos to keep you updated
Since Aasra would work with the Central Adoption Resource Authority, the app would only be accessible to registered parents
The game on the mobile app would include a simple interface indicating the situation with questions and lifelines
The app helps you connect with all entities in the domain of adoption from the agencies to the support groups
Forgetting deadlines has been a recurring issue in the process. The app provides you with a proper calendar with set reminders
The VR Game
Designing for the future of adoption preparation
Can be used during the Home Study Report by the social worker
To ensure that the parents are prepared to join the process of adoption.
In the game parents would be required to answer questions in a realistic simulation through Virtual Reality.
This would also help parents pave their own paths while ensuring that the learning is impactful and long lasting.
The design concept was shared with few Adoptive parents in order to understand their perception of the system.
Parents appreciated the idea and were interested in seeing how it could help reduce the issues and difficulties related to adoption parents.
They appreciated that the system would allow them to immersively experience challenging parenting situations.
They mentioned that the adaptation to a virtual reality game could be difficult for a few parents at first
Incorporating the feedback
Initially the idea was to keep the game in the app as well to make it easier for parents to revisit their training from the home study, but based on the feedback we decided to start the preparation process with the help of the application first so as to make the transition to VR smoother over the years.
Thus, we decided to move the VR game into the future scope of this project.
We believe that AASRA could provide parents with a more realistic understanding of possible challenges that might arise post completion of adoption.
It would also make the preparatory system independent to a certain extent, thus ensuring every parent goes through the essential training without over-burdening the Adoption agencies.
Furthermore with the increasing time taken to finish the adoption process, using a VR based game in the future along with a mobile app can make the learning more impactful and long lasting.
Considering the several benefits of gamified learning and the use of Virtual Reality, we believe adopting this system could help improve the preparatory system of adoption, thus reducing the possible cases of maladjustment and disruption.
This project was one of the most extensive projects I had the opportunity to take up. Since the topic chosen was quite sensitive, the user research was extremely challenging. We spent a number of hours looking at the domain from the eyes of different entities in order to ensure we had a 360 degree view of the topic we were working on. We also attempted to include professionals from the domain into our design process at every level in order to ensure we were designing for the right audience at all times. This project helped us look at design research and the design process quite differently. Including Virtual Reality in this system helped us learn quite a bit about the requirements and technicalities of the technology as well as the process that would go into designing a game for the same. Additionally, since the two of us were equally invested in the domain once the research began, the design process was more of a learning journey than anything else.
We would like to sincerely thank all Parents, Adoption Counselors, Adoption Agencies, Adoptees, and our HoD for guiding us throughout this process and allowing us to be a part of their lives.
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