Design an educational or school assistant tool for elementary school children. 

Joa Inspiration

In today’s schools, standardized testing consumes almost 20–50 hours per year. Plus, students can spend 60–110 hours per year in test preparation alone.

Early childhood mental health for young children (K-5) are still at it's developmental stages as well as directly connected to the functions of family and relationships as well as how they deal with conflict. Young children also can't process mental illnesses and traumatizing experiences which is why these elements can negatively effect mental development into adult hood. 

This increased emphasis on testing starts as early as the third grade, which invariably creates more pressure on students to excel. Because of this, we are seeing more students with test anxiety; in fact, test stress affects more than 20 percent of all students, making it the most prevalent impairment in school today. Clearly it is no small problem, and left unchecked, test anxiety can have an impact on long-term learning.

What is Joa?

JOA is a technology plus educational tool catered to students from kindergarten to 5th grade. The device is a keychain that allows parents or loved ones to leave a message of encouragement or serve as a reminder system for young students. The device pairs with an app that allows parents or loved ones to send voice messages to the device if they were not able to record one directly to the device. 

The device also allows students to hear a message such as "don't worry sunshine, you'll do great" right before a test, separation anxiety, or stressful situation so that the child can hear comforting words or encouragement and reassurance. 

The Design
Design Breakdown


Joa mimics the shape of a sun. We shaped it to look like a sun so that it is inviting & fun for children but also because the sun is a symbolism for positivity &happiness.


Joa comes in three distinct colors that all have a connection to education. Orange: creativity, Yellow: positivity & happiness, Blue/Aqua: calm. The colors were also designed to be gender neutral


Joa has a keychain loop so that it is attachable to backpacks and easy to carry. 

App Companion
App Functionality

Connection: connection can be added through cellular service, bluetooth, or wifi.

Record: Parents, loved ones, and even teachers can record, store, archive, and delete messages. 

Settings: For parents with multiple children, they can assign names and manage up to 6 Joa devices through the app.  

Sent Messages: For parents with multiple children, they can assign names and manage up to 6 Joa devices through the app.  

Additional Joa Functionalities

Communication: Joa can be used to communicate from parent to child as well as teacher to child and teacher to parent. 

Record/messages: Although you can leave an encouraging message, this can also be served as a device that can remind the child of pickup times or phone numbers.  

Emergency button: Children can press the blue button to indicate an emergency. The notification will be sent to the Joa app. 

Brand Style Guide
The Team