Designing for todays youth, and tomorrow’s consumers

Partnering with Arm, Northstar ventured to understand the complex relationship youths aged 11-18 have with technology and developed an innovative solution to the problem of online bullying.

The research

A global survey with over 2000 youths plus one-to-one interviews unearthed new and reality-checking insights.


Digital connectivity is necessary for interaction with peers as well as being a way of life.

The majority of youths connect with their social circle digitally, with 81% using a device daily.

The main form of communication is through messaging on different platforms.

Most communication is done through messaging on social media and messaging platforms, both one to one and in groups.

There is a strong awareness of the negatives of technology.

Youths understand digital addiction and anxiety, and that their behaviour plays a big part in the lives of others.


How can we help youths stay conscious of their actions in their digital environments?

The solution

The Conscious Keyboard.

A smartphone keyboard plugin that encourages responsible digital behaviour by making youths more aware of the consequences of their actions.

What are the functions of the Conscious Keyboard?

Detects hurtful and harmful language using machine learning.

Delays the immediate sending of hurtful and harmful messages.

Prompts the user to reconsider the message, while leaving the user with the final choice.

Tracks messaging history and supplies reports, allowing users to monitor their actions.

Connects the user to their nominated support network to ask for help.

Educates both users and their support network on digital wellbeing.

The Conscious Keyboard learns.

Using machine learning it identifies when insensitive or hurtful messages are created.

The Conscious Keyboard prompts reflection and leaves the decisions to users.

The Conscious Keyboard notifies the user when a hurtful message is detected.

If the user decides to send it, the message is placed on a 5 second freeze to allow users to reflect on their messages, giving time for them to change their mind.

The Conscious Keyboard gives youths an overview of their behaviour.

A history function provides reports on users’ messaging history, allowing them to see their progress.

The Conscious Keyboard connects youths to their dedicated adult.

An ‘Ask for help’ button allows users to approach their parents or chosen adult for help.

Parents or the chosen adult are then notified.

The Conscious Keyboard supports and connects parents and youths.

The guide offers support and guidance for parents, digital parenting tips, and how to come to an agreement with the child when installing the app.

Additionally, a built-in guide provides parents with a range of resources on how to navigate the challenges of raising a child from the online generation.


Qualitative research
Quantitative research
UX/UI design


Design Thinking
In-depth interviews
Global survey

Project deliverables

App design

Let's talk

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