• Time when you have to play with the kids.

Play with kids Jigsaw Puzzles

The Good and Bad News

The Good and Bad News

Flower Garden Big Jigsaw Puzzles, Animals, Birds. The good news is that we are seeing more and more sites and apps like DIY that are available for kids today. The bad news is that we are not seeing enough of them. There are still far too many mediocre experiences for kids out there apps, sites, games, even toys thrown together with little to no regard for how children learn and play. As designers, we have a tremendous, untapped opportunity and responsibility to design great experiences for kids.

Play with kids Jigsaw Puzzles, The Council on Communications

The Council on Communications

Vintage Cottage Big Jigsaw Puzzles, 1000 Pieces. The Council on Communications and Media reported the results of a study conducted, which found that children in the United States average about eight hours of screen time a day, including TV, video games, websites, and mobile devices. While we're not looking to increase those hours, our goal as designers should be to improve the quality of children's apps by creating better interfaces, better experiences, better content, and better tools for them.

Designing for Kids

Touch-based interfaces

Ships Big Jigsaw Puzzles, Vintage City. Kids delight in challenge and conflict, regardless of their goals. Adults, when they are trying to accomplish routine tasks like checking their account balances or reading email, don't. Toca Boca, a Swedish company that makes wonderful apps for preschool and elementary aged kids, nails this concept with its Toca House iPad game. In this game, kids have to clean a rug by swiping a vacuum cleaner over it.

Conflict in games

Clear Audio Cues

Dogs Jigsaw Puzzles, Vintage city. Conflict is important for adults, too, but at a more macro level. Conflict in movies and in games for adult audiences helps move the story along, but for kids, little micro-conflicts, like cleaning up a dirty rug, help them resolve their own inner conflicts. LEGO did an interesting study on conflict play where it determined that conflict helps.


Visual and auditory feedback

Flower Garden, Port and city Jigsaw Puzzles. Kids love visual and auditory feedback whenever they do anything in a digital space. If you open any site or app that is designed for kids, you will see that every interaction produces some sort of response or reaction. On the other hand, adults like to get feedback at the point of success, or when they do something wrong.


Playing by the Rules

Double Big Forest Cabin Jigsaw Puzzles. Both kids and adults get annoyed by design elements that seem random and unnecessary. A common misperception about designing for kids is that they like everything on the screen to do something cool. Children like items on a screen to do cool stuff as long as there is a method to the proverbial madness.