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The app helping kids feel good online in the face of rising cyberbullying

Summary

In many countries, 1 in 3 children have been a victim of some form of cyberbullying in the last year alone. Tozi is a first-of-its-kind-app developed in collaboration with Vodafone Foundation and Dublin City University to tackle this growing online issue.

Challenge

Bullying, which remains a significant issue within schools, has found a means to amplify its influence - the internet.

Vodafone Foundation, in partnership with Dublin City University’s Anti-Bullying Centre, approached Potato to build an app that could help kids of today stay safe online, and get the help they need if they find themselves on the receiving end of cyberbullying.

To answer that challenge, we would need to dig into the problem space, create a brand that appeals to our target audience, and design an app experience that helps solve the problems we uncover.

Testimonial

Testimonial from Fiona Gamble, Project Manager (Tozi)

"The team brought an energy and openness that fostered deep focus and creativity ... We love the final app design and we love all of the branding"

Vision

We started from the larger problem area of ‘Cyber Safety’ and, in collaboration with the experts from Dublin City University, quickly honed in on ‘Cyber Bullying’ as being a growing yet underserved global issue.

Through co-created in-person interviews, we discovered that cyberbullying is indeed a concern amongst school-going kids. Not only were more kids experiencing cyberbullying than ever before, but they were also witnessing it amongst their friends. And while schools were attempting to educate kids on cyber safety, it wasn't matching the needs of kids experiencing or witnessing cyberbullying. What safe spaces exist outside of school? How can they reach out to talk to someone?

With our insights in mind, and a combined team of Potato, Vodafone Foundation, and Dublin City University, we felt it vital to establish a very clear purpose for our combined team, a longer-term vision to strive toward, and an achievable mission to complete.

Purpose: To create a kinder, safer and more loving digital world for young people.

Vision: Empower and support young people in their journey to creating a positive digital world for themselves and their communities.

Mission: Provide young people with reliable information and tools, helping build the skills and knowledge to improve their digital wellbeing.

Research

We had two challenges in approaching user research for Tozi. Firstly, when performing in-person user research with children, there are very strict guidelines and methodologies to follow. Secondly, while the Dublin City University’s Anti-Bullying Centre were very familiar with research involving interacting directly with kids, they weren’t as familiar with User Research for building products.

Thanks to Potato’s ‘One Team’ approach, we were able to couple our User Researchers with Dublin City University’s Anti-Bullying Centre research team. Together, we were able to achieve:

* First-hand insight into what bullying looks like from a kid's perspective, in today’s always-connected world

* Understanding of how kids use their preferred digital services

* Exploration of kids understanding of ‘wellbeing‘

* Validation of initial assumptions, and test early branding ideas

These research insights gave us everything we needed to move on to developing a compelling brand and app design.

Tozi - designing

Brand & Design

Following vision setting and user research, our lean team were able to get started on Brand and App design in parallel.

At Potato, we employ a process called ‘Protobranding’, a lean and rapid approach to developing a new brand identity with a focus on the requirements for designing the experience in which that brand will be used - an app, in this case.

Alongside Vodafone Foundation and Dublin City University’s Anti-Bullying Centre’s teams, we conducted co-creation workshops to identify the personality, principles, tone of voice and name of this app.

To support both the app design and a later media campaign, we created a lean brand toolkit, including logo, typography, colours, imagery, and even examples of real-world applications of the brand.

The Tozi app is designed to be a safe, curious space for our young users. Within ‘Cosmos’, users can explore a wide array of interactive content. Tozi's content offers abundant variety, including podcasts, articles, videos, and quizzes, catering to different preferences. We acknowledge Tozi's audience's preference for bite-sized content, so we highlight listen, read, watch and play times.

‘My Space’ is Tozi’s safe, personal space. Its purpose is to allow kids to check in, and chill out. It offers users the opportunity to track their feelings over time, reflect and grow with guided journaling, and receive a daily dose of wisdom.

Outcome

Tozi officially launched to the public in August 2023. The app's launch was supported by an online media campaign utilising the branding assets previously crafted by Potato.

Although the app is currently accessible to children in Ireland through both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, Tozi was intentionally designed to pave the way for a broader rollout in the near future.

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