With over 200 nationalities in the GCC, English is often the language of choice in schools and at home. This has directly affected the ability of almost 70% of Arab children to read and write in their native language. KalimaLock (Kalima means ‘Word’ in English) was designed to improve the literacy skills of Arab children by encouraging them to learn Arabic on a daily basis and increase their exposure to their native language.
Knowing how children today are so attached to their mobile devices, with most spending an average of 6 hours daily. Samsung, a global leader in Smartphones/Tablets, wanted to use this as an opportunity to improve their literacy skills – by creating a design solution that would be integrated seamlessly into a child’s daily experience of using a mobile device.
How the final design was conceived
It was the simple action of unlocking a mobile device that inspired the creation of KalimaLock. Through this mobile app, we were able to redesign the pattern of dots on Samsung’s native lock screen to create a new pattern of dots that formed an Arabic word. So now, by simply following a predefined pattern of dots, a child will be able to learn how to read and write a new Arabic word (randomly selected from a library of words), every time the device is unlocked.
The idea behind using the lock screen as a learning tool was based on the insight that children use mobile devices because of its games/apps/videos. So we decided to use what they love as an incentive to encourage them to learn Arabic. KalimaLock was also designed to be easy for parents/teachers to set-up. All they had to do was activate the app, create a password pin and set the difficulty level. So even without supervision, parents/teachers are reassured that the child is constantly learning Arabic - as long as he/she is using the device.
Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Launched on Arabic Literacy Day, 8th January 2016, KalimaLock received widespread publicity from over 27 major press and online publications in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar – generating a total of 12,132,528 impressions in just the first week.
Although recently launched on Google Play Store and Galaxy Apps, KalimaLock has already gotten the attention of GEMS Education, the largest education provider in the region, who is looking to implement the app in all of its 44 schools, which will be used by over 104,000 students. At the same time, Samsung is currently in the process of launching an integrated digital and social awareness campaign to reach out to the public/parents – to educate and promote the use of KalimaLock not just in schools, but also at home.