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WebVisions 2010 - Developing for Digital Kids


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Developing for Digital Kids

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WebVisions 2010 - Developing for Digital Kids

  1. 1. 1601 2 nd Avenue, Suite 900 Seattle, WA 98101 Barbara Pritchard Executive Producer Tiffany Young Executive Creative Director Developing for Digital Kids
  2. 2. Overview <ul><ul><li>Creating engaging digital experiences for kids of different ages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kids These Days </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General Considerations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User Testing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples/Case Studies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond the Browser </li></ul></ul></ul>Tiffany Young, Executive Creative Director Barbara Pritchard, Executive Producer
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Smashing Ideas, founded in 1996, has become one of the leading digital media studios by creating immersive, interactive content that transforms consumer‐driven brand experiences in a digital world. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the clients we’ve created kid content for include: </li></ul><ul><li>American Greetings </li></ul><ul><li>Cartoon Network </li></ul><ul><li>Disney </li></ul><ul><li>Hasbro </li></ul><ul><li>Mattel </li></ul><ul><li>Neopets </li></ul><ul><li>Nickelodeon </li></ul><ul><li>Nick Jr. </li></ul><ul><li>Nintendo </li></ul><ul><li>PBS Kids </li></ul><ul><li>Pokémon </li></ul><ul><li>Smashing Ideas is based in Seattle, with offices in Portland and in the UK. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn more about us online at http:// / . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Kids These Days Sources: Norton Online Living 2009, Kaiser Family Foundation
  5. 5. Kids These Days Sources: Norton Online Living 2009, Kaiser Family Foundation
  6. 6. Kids of Varying Ages and Skills <ul><li>Preschool – ages 3-5 </li></ul><ul><li>Kids this age have limited hand-eye coordination. Using a mouse and keyboard at the same time can be difficult. Most can’t read. </li></ul><ul><li>Kids – ages 6-9 </li></ul><ul><li>Kids in this range are mastering the mouse and keyboard, but get frustrated easily and have varied attention spans. Hand-eye coordination varies enormously between a 6-year-old and a 9-year-old. </li></ul><ul><li>Tweens – ages 10-12 </li></ul><ul><li>Kids this age are online superstars. They’re surfing, watching, playing and exploring. They’re also starting to learn the ropes on social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Teens – ages 13-17 </li></ul><ul><li>Teens are quick to share info, but may not understand privacy concerns or consequences. </li></ul>
  7. 7. General Considerations <ul><li>COPPA Considerations – Keep kids safe. Don’t gather information about them that you don’t need. </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li>The FTC will host a COPPA Rule Review Roundtable on June 2, 2010. Visit http:// for more information. </li></ul><ul><li>Log-in/Sign Up – Keep username/password creation and authentication as simple as possible. Don’t lose kids before they even sign up. </li></ul><ul><li>Chat Considerations – If you include chat functionality use canned chat or a filtered dictionary that auto fills in word options. Screen user-generated content before posting for other kids to see. </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Buttons – Kids tend to click “games” navigation buttons more than anything else, followed by “videos.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Fold – Keep the important stuff above the fold. It’s not easy for a 3-year-old to scroll. </li></ul>
  8. 8. General Considerations <ul><li>User-Generated Content – Decoration activities, video mashups, profile personalization and more. </li></ul><ul><li>Appointment Gaming – Much like appointment TV in the past, websites can create repeat visits by scheduling new games or content to go “live” at the same time each week or by scheduling special online events. </li></ul><ul><li>Collectibles – Keep kids engaged in site content by letting them earn pieces as they go. Missions, tasks and quests also help progression through difficult material. </li></ul><ul><li>Reward Systems – Visual rewards kids can keep in a virtual trophy case, with new rewards released over time, can help kids stay engaged and entertained. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Usability <ul><li>The younger your audience, the simpler your content needs to be. </li></ul><ul><li>Controls should be simple </li></ul><ul><li>Buttons and hit areas need to be large/generous </li></ul><ul><li>Click/Stick/click/drop VS. Click/hold/drag/drop </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions should be brief (and use should be intuitive) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid copy - voiceover if at all possible with visual cues </li></ul><ul><li>Give feedback (visual, audio) regularly; be encouraging </li></ul><ul><li>Provide hints and time out cues </li></ul><ul><li>Always allow for success </li></ul>
  10. 10. Usability <ul><li>As kids get older, content can ramp up in difficulty and complexity to keep kids engaged, but the fundamentals remain. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep copy to a minimum </li></ul><ul><li>No one reads help screens; Keep usability intuitive </li></ul><ul><li>Collections, awards/rewards and currencies </li></ul><ul><li>Standard navigation plus promos </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing, socializing, ranking/rating </li></ul><ul><li>Fun, surprising, engaging visual effects/audio sfx </li></ul>
  11. 11. User Testing <ul><li>Plan ahead </li></ul><ul><li>Just because they’re a kid doesn’t mean they’re your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Where to put them? </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask questions; ask them to show you how to do X or Y </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid trying to help them </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them to rate the app on a numeric scale of 1 to 10 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Games as Learning <ul><li>Define a clear curriculum objective first. Ensure your team understand the objective. </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller games with focused curriculum will go further than large games that try to cover too much. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t lose the fun factor! Kids know the difference between a game and a lesson. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Games as Learning <ul><li>Tutorials – Consider creating a brief animated tutorials at the start of the game </li></ul><ul><li>Voiceover cues – Don’t forget prompts when writing your script. </li></ul><ul><li>Hint structures – Tiered voiceover cues to help the child that’s struggling. </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards/Payoffs - Plan your animated and SFXs payoff points. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Case Study: Reward Systems/Quests
  15. 15. Case Studies: Awards
  16. 16. Case Studies: Collectibles <ul><li>Planet 51 </li></ul>
  17. 17. Case Studies: Collectibles <ul><li>Planet 51 – Character Cards </li></ul>On first visit On rollover On click with no cards found
  18. 18. Character Rollover Case Studies: Collectibles Planet 51 – Character Cards Character Collected Persistent UI updated
  19. 19. Beyond the Browser <ul><li>Another trend we’re seeing and something for you to consider…Find ways to take what’s offline online, and what’s online offline. </li></ul><ul><li>Can your application include something to print that takes the experience offline? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you create an application that takes something tangible from the real world and adds value to it in the digital world? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you encourage kids to do something in the real world by tying it to something they love to do online? </li></ul><ul><li>Some examples…. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Beyond the Browser Printables
  21. 21. Beyond the Browser Pokewalker example Players can wirelessly transfer any one of their Pokémon from one of the two games to the Pokéwalker and walk them through virtual routes as the player walks around in real life. By walking, players earn Watts, which are used within the Pokéwalker to encounter and catch wild Pokémon or search for hidden items, and can be transferred into Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions to unlock new routes. There are even special versions of certain Pokémon that can only be found within routes on the Pokéwalker, giving players added incentive to keep their Pokémon with them wherever they go.
  22. 22. Beyond the Browser The Big Help
  23. 23. Beyond the Browser Toys with Codes Coming Soon …TRULY Interactive Toys: Offline, real-world toys track interaction and award you points/status online.
  24. 24. Favorite Projects/Missed Opportunities HIT : Created a game that unlocked a new level each week for four weeks. Nickelodeon traffic on the game passed any other launch that time frame. MISS : Scheduled a large group of kids to test out a new application for Nickelodeon and then discovered none of them were allowed to watch TV and few were allowed on the computer. HIT : Games and Awards – 10+ games with site and integrated award system is proving to be a big hit with girls 5-9. MISS : Usability – Power & aim was too difficult of a game mechanic for 5-9 year olds. HIT : Visual/Audio Feedback – Nintendogs site had great audio assets and fun visual style. Often kids are even more “aspirational” than I anticipate. MISS : Client’s need to capture data involved complicated sign-up process including parent email and password creation with special characters . This became a huge drop-off point for kids.
  25. 25. Questions? Barbara Pritchard Executive Producer [email_address] (206)378-0100 Tiffany Young Executive Creative Director [email_address] (206)378-0100 Thank You!