Allowing for seamless case-by-case review parental control

Singapore Design Jam
24th Jul 2019
Building up on an app assistant's role to assist in parent-child negotiations over appropriate content.
Product Context

Ditto is a companion app for a connected speaker system that includes a voice assistant used to control music, answer questions, play movies and manage other connected devices.

In order to provide the service, Ditto is powered by different types of data, including:

  • The Ditto speaker system and companion app both include a voice assistant. The voice assistant uses voice recognition to identify different users and access appropriate information for them.
  • Ditto may access third party services you have authorised including your music streaming service or your calendar.
  • The Ditto speaker is always listening but uses 'sleep' mode when not in use. You can 'wake' the device by using the phrase “Yo Ditto [your request]”. Whilst in 'sleep' mode the speaker cannot connect to the Ditto server and no data is logged from your device.

Problem & Opportunity

Designing for young people is also designing for their parent or guardian in mind. Parents may want to restrict access to certain kinds of content, especially video content, and they need tools that can set down ground rules but are flexible enough to also make exceptions.

Young people need the space to act freely within clear boundaries set by others and the challenge is in balancing these two needs with each other.

How might we...

...foster easy parental control over content through built-in features

Design Features
Combining automated gatekeepers with parental review

While a child's account is not allowed to play all types of content, Ditto offers a thoughtful restriction system by combining automated supervision with human controls. If a child asks to play a TV show that is, by default, not allowed for their age group, Ditto instantly offers to ask a parent's linked account for permission. This mechanism plays well with the assistant role of the app while empowering children to decide on whether to go through with the request. If the child allows it, Ditto messages the parent to ask for approval, seamlessly fostering parent-child negotiation.

parent teen ditto singapore
Next steps

How might we build on Ditto's ideas to...

  • Combine preemptively deemed 'appropriate content' with human, case-by-case review