Design for digital well-being
Elevating the voices of young people through co-design
Smart Design partnered with Meta to understand how to address digital safety and privacy for teens on their platforms.
Designing digital products for young people presents unique challenges because they have distinct, yet rapidly-evolving needs, goals and motivations. This work was an important part of Meta’s commitment to the best interests of children, and is being used to influence policies, products, and features to ensure the needs of young people are met.
Designing with (not just for) young people
Gathering young peoples’ perspectives on the technologies that impact their lives is essential to ensuring that their experiences will be fun, satisfying, and safe. We used the co-design method because it engages people in creative activities as a way to understand their underlying needs and desires as well as develop their own ideas.
Smart conducted co-design sessions with teens in five different countries to understand the similarities and differences of their needs and contexts. We didn’t stop there. In order to triangulate the teen perspective with insights from other types of experts, we conducted co-design sessions with guardians, parents, policy makers, academics, and teen advocates in the same five markets. This approach helped us understand and balance diverse perspectives and offered a creative and inclusive way to listen to and elevate family voices as part of the product design process.
Building trust, communication
Avoiding one-size-fits-none solutions
Every family is unique. By listening to teens and guardians we learned about the kinds of customizable tools necessary for teens to adapt and thrive. These insights helped to inform a new suite of features on Family Center that give parents and teens more flexibility. These include adaptable limits that can account for situational context like weekends and vacations and the ability to schedule social media breaks for times when it is more likely to interfere with responsibilities such as school, homework, or sleep.
Scaling co-design at Meta
Beyond the product-level insights our research provided, Smart created a co-design toolkit for Meta’s product and policy teams to use. The toolkit includes actionable guidance and turn-key tools for planning and implementing co-design sessions.
Meta x Smart Design
Meta x Smart Design
Stay tuned for more updates from Meta and Smart Design as we continue to learn with and from young people and other experts across the globe. We plan to keep publishing and sharing the story of what we’re doing and learning.