How to design engaging digital products for kids

“By establishing a two-way interaction with parents, children can take their classroom experiences into the home and work with parents to keep the learning journey alive.”
Words: Louisa Wetton
Bett 2015 is free to attend and takes place from Wednesday 21 to Saturday 24 January 2015 at ExCeL London. “Designing for kids is one of the most demanding fields there is,” says Gary Beckett, Education Consultant at open source specialists, Precedence Technologies. Don’t add irrelevant things to the screen, and lay things out in a sensible way with plenty of space” suggests Ben. “Devices must offer diversity in collaboration and interaction connecting students and teacher, student and student; and student and interactive board with any type of BYOD device.”
Learning happens at home too
It is important that children continue to be engaged in digital products outside of the classroom, to ensure that the learning process continues. Rather, they present a completely different set of interaction, experience and usability conundrums. The reward system should allow the children to make choices, customising their online world.”
Help foster a sense of ownership
Kids love to get involved in making and doing. “Enhancing learning and engagement in the digital classroom can be achieved with investment in the right piece of tech, used in the right way,” says Baig. “It’s also important to remember that kids grow up very quickly – something designed for a 15 year old may need to look and work differently to something designed for a 10 year old. When it comes to designing for kids, there’s one thing for sure – kids aren’t just miniature adults. Showing actual students solving creative challenges is a great way to help other kids see how your products will be relevant to them and their projects. He advises: “Children are kings at cutting through all the fudge; stick to a simple story, it’s more honest. They want to see something funny or unusual. Children love to be involved in creating and putting their unique stamp on something. “At Monster Phonics we found the key is to create a dynamic world. Why is design so important for learning? “It’s important to connect with a child’s experiences in the real world too,” explains Connors. Simon Davenport, Senior Direct Marketing Manager, LEGO Education Europe concludes by explaining why this is so important: “Encourage continued learning outside of the classroom – this is where the power of digital learning really comes into play. Be as specific as possible about your intended audience, in order to get the best outcomes.”
Filippo Yacob, CEO, connected toy specialist Primo, agrees that simplicity is vital. Children love surprises. I’d also say that it’s important to make it ‘un-master-able’ – the best toys and games are easy to learn and impossible to master, giving you the opportunity to re-define your own long term goals and overall narrative.”

Encourage continued learning outside of the classroom – this is where the power of digital learning really comes into play

Create an element of surprise
To keep kids engaged and eager to learn, keep your designs clear, simple and also add small rewardsAccording to Ingrid Connors, Founder and Director of mobile app, variety and surprise are key to keeping children engaged. Small rewards along the way are vital.

Updated: 11.12.2014 — 02:31