PROJECT

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

An inclusive, sex-positive and fact-based approach to sex education. The Book of Discovery is an adaptable, digital book that grows with the child. Parents program their values into a notes section and children can learn from their parents while privately exploring a variety of topics at their own pace.

DESIGN RESEARCH,
SPECULATIVE DESIGN, PRINT DESIGN  
FALL  2019, 8 WEEKS
TEAM: MAYGHA PURI, IAN YU
INTRODUCTION

An eight-week speculative design research project centered around understanding the relationship parents and children have in regards to sex education in the United States. We designed research sessions to uncover the values, knowledge, and beliefs parents have about sex education and how they facillitate, or don't facilitate, conversations regarding sex education with their children.

I designed methodologies for the research sessions, synthesized and coded key insights, and translated those insights into a set of design principles that shaped our formative ideation sessions. I developed the visual style and tone of the books, crafting illustrations and the experience for the child and parent when interacting with the book.

DESIGN OVERVIEW

Highlights

We created a speculative, digital book that adapts with the child's age and allows parents to input their values to create a more personalized approach to sex-education. I created illustrations that begin with a more playful and child-like style and progress to a more sophisticated tone as a child matures. Parents can add their values to each section of the book, and kids can interact with the book on their own time, using the values left in the book as guidance for their own personal understanding and exploration.

UNDERSTAND

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

METHODS:
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS,
CIRCLE OF TRUST,
CARD-SORTING,
ROLE-PLAY

No items found.
ANALYZE

ANALYZE

Principles

We synthesized our insights into a set of three design principles that we used to guide our design decisions.

Safe & Personalized

Sex is a sensitive, taboo topic that requires comfort and confidentiality. We need to make sure our solution establishes trust with people and gives them a safe space to discuss their values and the emotional aspects of sex, while acknowledging that each person has a different perspective on the meaning and implications of sex.

Fact Based

It is easy to be misinformed about sex so we want to make sure all the information we provide is scientifically accurate, fact-based, and that it empowers people with knowledge about their own body and reproductive health.

Sex-Positive

While many participants found it important to implant fear into their children, sex positivity leads to a healthier, more informed understanding of sex. We want our approach to address sex in a positive light and alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with the taboo nature of sex.

SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

Poster that includes a storyboard to illustrate the use of the book. Parents could enter their values into a paired app, and the notes would appear in the child's book in the corresponding sections. Children could leave questions in their book that could be filtered to sex education experts, or brought up as topics of conversation with parents depending on the nature of the question.

UNDERSTAND

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

METHODS:
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS,
CIRCLE OF TRUST,
CARD-SORTING,
ROLE-PLAY

ANALYZE

UNDERSTAND

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

METHODS:
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS,
CIRCLE OF TRUST,
CARD-SORTING,
ROLE-PLAY

No items found.
ANALYZE

Insights

From our research we uncovered that each parent had a wide spectrum of different values and ideas when it came to sex education. We synthesized the 15 interviews by listening to the recordings, writing down quotes and snippets of information, and externalizing the data by discussing each note out loud with each other. From this process we were able to cluster the data points into themes and eventually narrow down on insights.

01. For parents, sex and personal values are inseparable, parents want their kids' sex education to be guided by their beliefs.

02. The sex-ed conversation between parents and children has a fear-mongering nature, as parents overweigh the consequences of sex.

03. The shameful and taboo nature of sex leads to misinformation and lack of communication between parents and their kids.

04. Parents believe each child is unique and sex ed should be tailored to fit each child's experience, environment, and personality

05. Sex is everywhere. Parents fear the information kids may learn from porn, television and the internet and find it important to disprove misconceptions.

06. Parents find it important for sex ed to include topics of emotions and healthy relationships, yet many of them never talk about it.

07. Due to the generational gap with a lack of formal sex ed training for parents, many are misinformed or uncomfortable teaching their own kids.

08. When parents approach the topic of sex with their daughters, they emphasize self-protection and the consequences of sex far more than they do with their sons.

09. Parents express fear that kids being exposed to content about gender expression and identity will influence their development

ANALYZE

Principles

We synthesized our insights into a set of three design principles that we used to guide our design decisions.

Safe & Personalized

Sex is a sensitive, taboo topic that requires comfort and confidentiality. We need to make sure our solution establishes trust with people and gives them a safe space to discuss their values and the emotional aspects of sex, while acknowledging that each person has a different perspective on the meaning and implications of sex.

Fact Based

It is easy to be misinformed about sex so we want to make sure all the information we provide is scientifically accurate, fact-based, and that it empowers people with knowledge about their own body and reproductive health.

Sex-Positive

While many participants found it important to implant fear into their children, sex positivity leads to a healthier, more informed understanding of sex. We want our approach to address sex in a positive light and alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with the taboo nature of sex.

SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

Poster that includes a storyboard to illustrate the use of the book. Parents could enter their values into a paired app, and the notes would appear in the child's book in the corresponding sections. Children could leave questions in their book that could be filtered to sex education experts, or brought up as topics of conversation with parents depending on the nature of the question.

UNDERSTAND

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

METHODS:
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS,
CIRCLE OF TRUST,
CARD-SORTING,
ROLE-PLAY

ANALYZE

ANALYZE

Principles

We synthesized our insights into a set of three design principles that we used to guide our design decisions.

Safe & Personalized

Sex is a sensitive, taboo topic that requires comfort and confidentiality. We need to make sure our solution establishes trust with people and gives them a safe space to discuss their values and the emotional aspects of sex, while acknowledging that each person has a different perspective on the meaning and implications of sex.

Fact Based

It is easy to be misinformed about sex so we want to make sure all the information we provide is scientifically accurate, fact-based, and that it empowers people with knowledge about their own body and reproductive health.

Sex-Positive

While many participants found it important to implant fear into their children, sex positivity leads to a healthier, more informed understanding of sex. We want our approach to address sex in a positive light and alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with the taboo nature of sex.

SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

Poster that includes a storyboard to illustrate the use of the book. Parents could enter their values into a paired app, and the notes would appear in the child's book in the corresponding sections. Children could leave questions in their book that could be filtered to sex education experts, or brought up as topics of conversation with parents depending on the nature of the question.

UNDERSTAND

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

METHODS:
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS,
CIRCLE OF TRUST,
CARD-SORTING,
ROLE-PLAY

Insights

From our research we uncovered that each parent had a wide spectrum of different values and ideas when it came to sex education. We synthesized the 15 interviews by listening to the recordings, writing down quotes and snippets of information, and externalizing the data by discussing each note out loud with each other. From this process we were able to cluster the data points into themes and eventually narrow down on insights.

01. For parents, sex and personal values are inseparable, parents want their kids' sex education to be guided by their beliefs.

02. The sex-ed conversation between parents and children has a fear-mongering nature, as parents overweigh the consequences of sex.

03. The shameful and taboo nature of sex leads to misinformation and lack of communication between parents and their kids.

04. Parents believe each child is unique and sex ed should be tailored to fit each child's experience, environment, and personality

05. Sex is everywhere. Parents fear the information kids may learn from porn, television and the internet and find it important to disprove misconceptions.

06. Parents find it important for sex ed to include topics of emotions and healthy relationships, yet many of them never talk about it.

07. Due to the generational gap with a lack of formal sex ed training for parents, many are misinformed or uncomfortable teaching their own kids.

08. When parents approach the topic of sex with their daughters, they emphasize self-protection and the consequences of sex far more than they do with their sons.

09. Parents express fear that kids being exposed to content about gender expression and identity will influence their development

Principles

We synthesized our insights into a set of three design principles that we used to guide our design decisions.

Safe & Personalized

Sex is a sensitive, taboo topic that requires comfort and confidentiality. We need to make sure our solution establishes trust with people and gives them a safe space to discuss their values and the emotional aspects of sex, while acknowledging that each person has a different perspective on the meaning and implications of sex.

Fact Based

It is easy to be misinformed about sex so we want to make sure all the information we provide is scientifically accurate, fact-based, and that it empowers people with knowledge about their own body and reproductive health.

Sex-Positive

While many participants found it important to implant fear into their children, sex positivity leads to a healthier, more informed understanding of sex. We want our approach to address sex in a positive light and alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with the taboo nature of sex.

ANALYZE

SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

Poster that includes a storyboard to illustrate the use of the book. Parents could enter their values into a paired app, and the notes would appear in the child's book in the corresponding sections. Children could leave questions in their book that could be filtered to sex education experts, or brought up as topics of conversation with parents depending on the nature of the question.

UNDERSTAND

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

METHODS:
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS,
CIRCLE OF TRUST,
CARD-SORTING,
ROLE-PLAY

SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Insights

From our research we uncovered that each parent had a wide spectrum of different values and ideas when it came to sex education. We synthesized the 15 interviews by listening to the recordings, writing down quotes and snippets of information, and externalizing the data by discussing each note out loud with each other. From this process we were able to cluster the data points into themes and eventually narrow down on insights.

01. For parents, sex and personal values are inseparable, parents want their kids' sex education to be guided by their beliefs.

02. The sex-ed conversation between parents and children has a fear-mongering nature, as parents overweigh the consequences of sex.

03. The shameful and taboo nature of sex leads to misinformation and lack of communication between parents and their kids.

04. Parents believe each child is unique and sex ed should be tailored to fit each child's experience, environment, and personality

05. Sex is everywhere. Parents fear the information kids may learn from porn, television and the internet and find it important to disprove misconceptions.

06. Parents find it important for sex ed to include topics of emotions and healthy relationships, yet many of them never talk about it.

07. Due to the generational gap with a lack of formal sex ed training for parents, many are misinformed or uncomfortable teaching their own kids.

08. When parents approach the topic of sex with their daughters, they emphasize self-protection and the consequences of sex far more than they do with their sons.

09. Parents express fear that kids being exposed to content about gender expression and identity will influence their development

ANALYZE

Principles

We synthesized our insights into a set of three design principles that we used to guide our design decisions.

Safe & Personalized

Sex is a sensitive, taboo topic that requires comfort and confidentiality. We need to make sure our solution establishes trust with people and gives them a safe space to discuss their values and the emotional aspects of sex, while acknowledging that each person has a different perspective on the meaning and implications of sex.

Fact Based

It is easy to be misinformed about sex so we want to make sure all the information we provide is scientifically accurate, fact-based, and that it empowers people with knowledge about their own body and reproductive health.

Sex-Positive

While many participants found it important to implant fear into their children, sex positivity leads to a healthier, more informed understanding of sex. We want our approach to address sex in a positive light and alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with the taboo nature of sex.

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

Poster that includes a storyboard to illustrate the use of the book. Parents could enter their values into a paired app, and the notes would appear in the child's book in the corresponding sections. Children could leave questions in their book that could be filtered to sex education experts, or brought up as topics of conversation with parents depending on the nature of the question.

Research Question  

What challenges do parents face when approaching their kids about sexual education?

Secondary Research

Our team did secondary research into the policies on sex education in the United States before beginning our research and design sessions. We realized that few states in the U.S. require sex education to be medically accurate, and many schools create their own curriculum (so there is no clear or unified standard amongst schools). We also uncovered that many parents and kids do not have the "sex ed talk" together and sex ed is often taught after kids are already becoming sexually active. These findings helped to inform the structure of our research sessions.

Insights

From our research we uncovered that each parent had a wide spectrum of different values and ideas when it came to sex education. We synthesized the 15 interviews by listening to the recordings, writing down quotes and snippets of information, and externalizing the data by discussing each note out loud with each other. From this process we were able to cluster the data points into themes and eventually narrow down on insights.

01. For parents, sex and personal values are inseparable, parents want their kids' sex education to be guided by their beliefs.

02. The sex-ed conversation between parents and children has a fear-mongering nature, as parents overweigh the consequences of sex.

03. The shameful and taboo nature of sex leads to misinformation and lack of communication between parents and their kids.

04. Parents believe each child is unique and sex ed should be tailored to fit each child's experience, environment, and personality

05. Sex is everywhere. Parents fear the information kids may learn from porn, television and the internet and find it important to disprove misconceptions.

06. Parents find it important for sex ed to include topics of emotions and healthy relationships, yet many of them never talk about it.

07. Due to the generational gap with a lack of formal sex ed training for parents, many are misinformed or uncomfortable teaching their own kids.

08. When parents approach the topic of sex with their daughters, they emphasize self-protection and the consequences of sex far more than they do with their sons.

09. Parents express fear that kids being exposed to content about gender expression and identity will influence their development

ANALYZE

Principles

We synthesized our insights into a set of three design principles that we used to guide our design decisions.

Safe & Personalized

Sex is a sensitive, taboo topic that requires comfort and confidentiality. We need to make sure our solution establishes trust with people and gives them a safe space to discuss their values and the emotional aspects of sex, while acknowledging that each person has a different perspective on the meaning and implications of sex.

Fact Based

It is easy to be misinformed about sex so we want to make sure all the information we provide is scientifically accurate, fact-based, and that it empowers people with knowledge about their own body and reproductive health.

Sex-Positive

While many participants found it important to implant fear into their children, sex positivity leads to a healthier, more informed understanding of sex. We want our approach to address sex in a positive light and alleviate some of the negative consequences associated with the taboo nature of sex.

Sex Ed Book of Discovery

Poster that includes a storyboard to illustrate the use of the book. Parents could enter their values into a paired app, and the notes would appear in the child's book in the corresponding sections. Children could leave questions in their book that could be filtered to sex education experts, or brought up as topics of conversation with parents depending on the nature of the question.

SYSTEM OVERVIEW