Paws & Play

An interactive and educational game for children to learn and explore with both physical and digital HCI.


Paws & Play is an educational toy that consists of an interactive board game with stories and mini games designed into the software application. Children explore and uncover the story by interacting with the physical and digital elements of Paws & Play.


Interaction Design with Paws & Play

As an interaction designer I focus on exploring and designing new interactions in an educational and entertaining environment for children ages 7 to 10. By designing a physical interface that allows users to interact with the virtual environment, we created a tangible design experience for our users to become a part of the story

I collaborated with other multidisciplinary artists and designers to conduct user research and explore different possibilities to further enhance the user's learning experience .

Some of my work involved:

  • 3D modeling
  • prototyping (arduino, processing)
  • storyboarding
  • wireframes + UI design
  • user testing
  • creating user research documentations and release notes

" Cognitive development level and experience makes usability for kids critical "

Children on the Web, 3rd Edition | Report by Nielsen Norman Group

User Research and Interviews

Since the term “interaction” is different depending on what profession the individual has, we have interviewed early child educators, child centered interaction designers, and parents to gain knowledge related to children’s interactions.

The feedback we got from early child educators mostly lies within the social aspect of the interaction.



Through many iterations and user testing, we realized that the social aspect of interactions need to be re-evaluated because Paws & Play is a tangible user interface that goes beyond traditional HCI. Although the majority of our product promotes individual play, its core interactions are performed by the child along with his/her caregiver.


Tangible Design

We created an immersive environment for our users to unfold the journey by exploring Paws & Play through learning.

By designing the tangible user interface, we took advantage of their rich physical affordances to reduce the overall learning curve. The combination of digital and physical interactions also minimizes ambiguous interactions so users can focus more on the overall experience.


Gaming & Learning Experience

One of our primary goals is to integrate learning through play into Paws & Play to educate our users through gaming. We designed an interactive gaming environment where our users are not pressured to learn and encouraged to explore and solve problems through creativity.


© 2017 Ambrose Yau. All Rights Reserved.