Exercise 46 – Design a smart product that uses AI for kids.

Post and review answers and feedback to answers in the comments section of this post.

See also:

How to answer a product design question in a product manager job interview

List of product design questions for product manager job interviews

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I would first ask for some clarity around the what the age group of users, “kids” is. Let’s assume that it’s children in the age range of 6 to 12.

I will also ask who they expect to be the user of the product. Is it the parents, kids, or the kids’ teachers & school staff? Let’s assume that they say we can make that decision.

I will ask if they expect the product to be hardware or software. Let’s assume for the sake of this interview that the interviewer lets me decide the form of the product.

Finally, I would ask if they want me to focus on a particular area such as health, education, safety, etc. If I am given the option to chose, I will choose education as I think that it can have a significantly positive impact on their lives. I would also look for a particular objective. In this case, the objective could be something such as improving their learning experience.

Now, when I think about the kids group, there are a few needs that come to mind:
– They like to play and have fun
– Their parents would like to know what they are doing in school
– Their parents would like to be closely monitoring their children’s social life in school (e.g. who they are friends with)
– They commute to school every day by parents or school bus service
– They sometimes fight with each other in school
– They do homework in school and at home
– Each kid prefers to learn at a their own speed
– Each kid has a unique set of interests and talents

There are a few AI based solutions that can potentially help kids in the education space. Here are a few ideas:
1. An AI based voice tool that asks a few brainteaser questions every day to measure the child’s level of development and shares the results back with the teacher and parents
2. An AI based tool that listens to conversations and uses voice data in class to determine how well each student is doing on a particular topic or class and reports data back to teachers and parents
3. An alarm that detects when two kids are having arguments and informs their teacher. This can help reduce fights among the students
4. An AI tool that measures the quality of homework that the children do each day and determine what improves their quality in terms of location, time of the day, surroundings, etc
5. A friend recommender that takes kids’ school performance, preferences and interests, personalities, voice data to develop an understanding of the child and make recommendations on friendships between kids to teachers and parents
6. AI tool that manages and advises on speed of learning of each topic to the parents and teachers

Now I would rank these ideas based on impact on the kid, impact on the parents, impact on the school, and cost of implementation

1. Idea 1 – low impact on the child might not enjoy the activity, high impact on parents and teachers as they are able to build a better understanding of the child’s abilities , medium cost of implementation
2. Idea 2 – Medium impact on kids as it doesn’t require them to do anything and can make them happier in the long run, high impact on parents and teachers, high cost of implementation as there might not be enough data from voice to determine how well a student is doing
3. Idea 3 – Medium impact on kids, medium. Given that teachers are usually present in class, this service’s additional value is small. Cost of implementation is low.
4. Idea 4 – High value to the kid as the tool helps them communicate their preferred learning environment, high value for parents and teachers since the service can help them with their objective – making children learn better. Cost of implementation is High. We need to find an interface to pass the information to the servers. This can be hard (e.g. A watch or phone can determine location, time spent, noise level, etc however, you would still need a tool that determines the quality of the homework done. It could be data entered by the teachers or integration with teachers’ scoring and kid performance tracking software / tools)
5. Idea 5 – Medium value to the kid, parent, and teacher as they all benefit from helping kids make friends that are better matches for them. Cost of implementation is medium
6. Idea 6 – High value to the kid, parent, and teacher as it helps kids go through a better learning experience, learn at their own speed, and focus on their areas of interests. Cost of implementation is medium

Based on the evaluation completed above, I suggest that we prioritize Idea 6 as it will also enable us to add additional features such as idea 4 to it over time.

Here is how the MVP will look like:
A cloud based service that takes kids voice data in class, speed of completing courses and exercises from sites such as Khan Academy and YouTube, and information provided by teachers (e.g. exam scores) and provides analysis and recommendations to the teachers and parents via a mobile or web interface. The information will help teachers and parents observe each kid’s velocity of progress (knowledge accumulated per unit of time) on various topics such as math and science and compare the numbers to other kids in the school.

The product can evolve over time to a more advanced tool that can also recommend next topics for the kids to learn based on their interests and talent.


Hi Emanuel. Great answer. I really like it. I think you could have probably added more detail to the MVP but this answer is really good too.