Inclusive sexual education should include information for all students about sexual orientation and gender identity, taking into account the needs of LGBTQ+ students. YouMe is an inclusive sexual education app that aims to teach sexual education topics through gamification elements by allowing users to learn, apply, and discover.
YouMe is an academic project created as part of an Interface Design course (IAT 334) at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts & Technology. In 2019, the project was a finalist for a Vancouver UX Award for the UX by Students category. My role consisted of branding, UX design, and character design within this project.
YouMe focuses on making sexual education inclusive to suit the needs of all types of students, especially students within the LGBTQ+ community. Required in all North American schools, curriculum around sexual education is taught in all schools, specifically at the high school level. Although sexual education is a vital topic needed in the school curriculum, most of its content caters to heterosexual relationships/interactions.
Although necessary, schools can provide a biased form of education, affecting the youth's quality of education. Part of our research looked into current school curriculums around sex education. Despite more updated information on what teachers should teach students, we still found a lack of acknowledgement of the LGBTQ+ community. As such, we felt that sexual education should recognize different students' needs and provide a comfortable space for individuals without judgement. We also wanted to give more awareness to sexual identity and orientation topics to help destigmatize such topics and encourage others to avoid making assumptions through this project.
Our research found that, in general, young individuals learn about sexual education through online resources that may not be entirely accurate and sufficient. Therefore, it was crucial to provide a safe space for these individuals to receive the proper information and support around sex.
We also found that the current sexual education curriculum in many countries, such as Canada and the USA, lack information tailored to fit LGBTQ+ youth's needs.
Our target audience was teenagers, in particular teenagers like our persona Aleks who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. These personas helped guide our selection of research participants in our user testing component.
Because our application's primary goal was to educate the youth we did incorporate more working features within that scope to understand better how we could refine our final product concerning achieving our primary goal. As a result, we ended up making the parents' persona our secondary persona as they have more involvement with how their teenager learns about sexual education.
Also, we set out to create a journey map to map out the experience our target audience would experience. This journey map explores the app's learning modules and plays through its first lesson.
Initial wireframe sketches
Key page wireframes
Initial wireflow – answering quiz questions
Initial wireflow – three main screens
Our team conducted eight user tests to explore participants' overall experience and opinion of the app. Of this group, two users were between the ages of 12 and 17, four were over the age of 18, and two were parents over 40. Each participant tested the app on their mobile phone and completed a series of tasks. Upon completion of tasks, participants were then asked to explore the app without any guidance. Throughout the test, participants were encouraged to voice any questions or concerns they may have.
Some of the issues brought to our attention during testing included credibility concerns, lack of indication of the upcoming quizzes, concerns about the discover page, and the badges and reward system.
After completing our usability testing and reviewing the feedback, our team aimed to address these issues by:
After taking intensive work refining our initial ideas and wireframes, our team produced a functioning prototype of our app using Figma. We took into account our audience and pulled on elements of gamification and brand personas to create a fun and inclusive app within this process. The app itself consisted of three core elements of learning sexual education topics, applying what they learn through easy and interactive quizzes, and discovering new articles and games to further their knowledge.
Final interactive prototype (animations may not load appropriately due to file size).
YouMe started as many ideas and came together to become a project I am incredibly proud of. If I had the opportunity to go back to this project, I would love to further the app's learning component and take into account the different learning styles people may have. Moreover, pushing the gamification elements within this app to make it a more cohesive and fun experience for users would be another thing I would like to work on. Overall, I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this project. I learned a lot about what UX design truly is and how to be empathetic with my work. This project has also given me a lot of confidence to continue to push my crazy ideas and approach topics that may not always be comfortable to talk about.