Graduates 2018: Java Cooper: Product Design

I’ve always been quite a hands on kind of person and enjoyed helping my dad build things from a young age. (decks/treehouses etc.) Being able to apply this to real problems and help people is a win win for me.

My project aims to tackle screen over-use in children. I have many young brothers and sisters and see them easily addicted to their iPads and iPhones.

After researching further I found that children aged 5-15 who own a tablet spend an average of 6hr 34min per day on a media device. Some bad effects are a lack of time for human interaction, imbalance of activities and sleep problems. These then leads to detrimental social and mental development. 

My own primary research found parents would like control to be easier as parent’s busy lives is a cause of lack of control; children disagreeing with parents makes it difficult for them to enforce rules and children are not always aware of the duration that they are spending on devices.

SYMBA on tablet

 To tackle this issue I developed SYMBA, a product which ensures parents have complete and effortless control over their children’s screen time.  Its use promises positive experiences, healthier minds and brighter futures.

Children must top-up an allowance by scanning a code generated on the SYMBA device. The Junior app blocks selected apps from being used when time is up. In addition to this it positively encourages reducing screen time through a reward system.

The Alpha app gives parents access to adjustable restrictions, usage & top-up information and the ability to set rewards & tasks.

SYMBA on phone

How have you found studying Product Design at Brighton?

The course has been hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. The breadth of skills taught is very wide and through practical methods which i find the best way to learn. Both students and staff were all friendly and inspirational people.

 Due to the structure of the course I feel I fully understand and am well prepared for industry especially after a year of work experience, (studying in Barcelona for half and working for Kelly Hoppen interiors in London for the other half). I also feel that many doors are open: graphic designer, designer maker, consultancy, researcher, developer, project manger, etc. I have learnt that being confident and proactive about your own ideas is vital.

 What are your plans after graduation?

Options I would like to look at include work on developing and launching my product into the market and going back to London and working for Kelly Hoppen as a product designer focusing on lighting and furniture. On the side I might do some upcycling projects, restoring and improving furniture

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