Te Mauri Moemoeā — A Whānau Dreaming App
Te Mauri Moemoeā
— A Whānau Dreaming App
Te Mauri Moemoeā is a gamified app — designed for and with rangatahi and their whānau — that encourages and guides dreaming big! The product of a project led by Te Tihi o Ruahine in partnership with Toi Āria, Te Mauri Moemoeā is one of many planned product innovations to be integrated into a Māori wellness platform.
Currently in advanced stages of development, Te Mauri Moemoeā is a gamified dreaming app that inspires and guides rangatahi to set, work on and achieve their dreams. With its roots in a proven whānau-centred, strengths-based model developed by Te Tihi, designers from Te Tihi and Toi Āria have engaged Māori whānau in a co-design process to adapt what has been a kanohi ki te kanohi approach into a digital tool – with specific appeal to rangatahi and their whānau.
In-depth initial interviews involving whānau with personal experience of Te Ara Whānau Ora provided insights into the value of individual and collective whānau dreaming, and the needs of whānau as they are guided to set and achieve dreams. In co-design workshops whānau helped to define the challenges of moving from kanohi ki te kanohi engagement to a gamified digital mode of guidance. Based on whānau responses to a working prototype, a gamified narrative was iteratively developed.
Sustained feedback from over 40 individuals and 4 whānau has guided the iterative design of a meta-narrative based on Māori pūrākau of Tāne Mahuta (creation of an overall in-game quest based on the stories of Tāne); a whānau-centred onboarding process guiding users how to engage with the app; a core game loop using Te Ao Māori concepts to encourage and guide users to set dreams, invite contributors, navigate tasks, define collective whānau dreams, and acknowledge and celebrate achievements. Whānau feedback has also guided the design and development of a database to capture, retrieve and store information for measurement and reporting purposes.
To our collective knowledge, this 24-month collaborative co-design process of developing a digital dreaming tool with Māori whānau is without precedent in New Zealand. Te Tihi and Toi Āria have made successful joint funding applications to Vision Mātauranga (MBIE) for successive development sprints. Sustained co-design engagement with whānau has enabled a transformative process of discovery and problem-solving. Each of four successive design sprints has been built around interviews and workshops with whānau where they have been actively facilitated to contribute to app design.
An independent, Te Ao Māori-informed evaluation of the Te Mauri Moemoeā development process is currently underway. This is intended to contribute to mātauranga Māori by providing an opportunity for reflective practice involving groups of co-designers (Māori and non-Māori) who have been involved in all stages of a design journey. In reviewing all inputs, activities and outputs that were completed across the development phases, process evaluation will critically examine how the methodology approached co-design both for and with Māori. Contributing whānau voices will sit alongside kaimahi voices and quantitative indicators to ensure balanced and objective evaluation.
Lessons from the process evaluation will contribute valuably to the relatively small body of knowledge for Māori designers engaged in Māori-led and centred service, product and policy design. Further, it has the potential to disrupt and enhance public sector design by providing a practical, objectively critical case study of co-design with whānau and an exemplar of a Treaty-based partnership.