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Turning waiting time into playtime and learning time

Objective: hellosmile was looking to improve the waiting room experience in their dental clinics by designing engaging, educational features for children. Process: The LAB design team began by studying behaviors in the existing waiting rooms. They conducted interviews with stakeholders to discover potential improvements for new waiting room designs. They charted the different kinds of visiting family groups, children and their play patterns. Discussions were had with the hellosmile team about what ideal waiting room behavior looked like, and solutions were brainstormed around how to create the calm, controlled, inviting learning environment that was desired in hellosmile waiting rooms. The decision was made to create a one-of-a-kind, custom play experiences so that the waiting room visit becomes memorable and special for the child. Transformative play experiences were explored, and those that created a shift in scale seemed to be the most powerful. Oversize vegetables and a customized large scale tooth brushing game were created to convey hellosmile’s message of preventive oral care and overall health and wellness. Each of the toys were designed to encourage calm, group play. Outcome: The collection of toys engages and educates young patients while they are waiting for treatment. The toys begin to transform the dental experience and encourage kids to be calm and respectful while they play.

hellosmile Partners & Contributors