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Kids lately are pretty savvy. Having been raised with iPads and Instagram, you can’t just throw a rubber ducky in their laps and expect them to be entertained. Children demand tons from the products they use and love. And that’s why you would like to start designing for teenagers if you want to create a compelling brand.
Kid-centred brands run the gamut from toys to music to food to clothing… But regardless of what quite business you’ve got happening, remember that branding and style strategies that are a slam dunk with adults won’t be the simplest fit the munchkins. When it involves marketing to kids, less nuance is more. Show them why you’re fantastic, and show them during a big way.
Let’s check out our top three tips for designing for teenagers which will turn your product into the 21st-century version of POGs, Cabbage Patch Dolls and Tamagotchi.
When it involves designing for teenagers, there’s one thing needless to say – kids aren’t just miniature adults. Instead, they present a different set of interaction, experience and usefulness problems.
To get a handle on the way to design better digital products for teenagers, we spoke to education professionals exhibiting at Bett 2015 – the world’s leading event for learning technology.
Why is design so important for learning?
“Designing for teenagers is one among the foremost demanding fields there’s,” says Gary Beckett, Education Consultant at open source specialists, Precedence Technologies. “Kids are fantastic critics; the quantity of technology reception and within education means the design and feel of an object are nearly as important because the job it performs.”
Design guidelines for youngsters interactive products
Some important guidelines to follow while designing for youngsters include:
1. Design age-appropriate content
It’s essential to style user activities that match the cognitive development of the audience group. An honest example of age-appropriate content is BBC’s Bitesize, a web study resource which categorises educational content supported the National Curriculum’s key stages.
2. Understand children’s mental models
It’s essential to recollect that children do not have equivalent life experiences as adults hence do not have a comparable mental model when it involves understanding the planet around them. An honest example is children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. for instance, young children won’t visualise subtraction in terms of two – 1 = 1 but might understand a picturing as shown below:
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3. Use appropriate language
Again, thanks to children’s developing language skills, it is vital that the language employed by interactive products is understandable by the product’s target age bracket. This includes providing instructions in clear and straightforward languages and using words which are within children’s vocabulary bank. It is also important to not believe web conventions like using terms like ‘save’ because it might confuse children who aren’t conversant in such concepts.
Evaluation (usability testing with children)
Just like the other user-centred design process, evaluation is critical for locating out how users interact with a design so that it is often improved. However, it is vital in touch in mind that methods appropriate for evaluating interactive products with adults don’t necessarily work for youngsters . for instance, children with limited language skills won’t provide much insight during traditional usability evaluation methods like think-aloud or structured interviews. Also, children are more likely to offer partial responses while answering questions if they do not understand an issue. They’re also highly vulnerable to suggestions and have an imperfect recall for events from their memory.
Some ways to beat this include:
- Evaluate the child’s natural environment. Participatory observation is especially useful during this context because it allows the evaluator to watch the child’s behaviour without having to believe recall of events
- Avoid leading questions and specific terminology to stop superficial responses
- Use free-recall questions instead of specific inquiries to increase reliability (source: J.C. Reed & K. Fine)
- Interview people (e.g. teachers and parents) who could be ready to provide different insights on the child’s interaction with an interactive product and other useful information (source: M. Scaife & Y. Rogers)
- Make it fun!!
Designing for youngsters requires careful planning counting on the character of the project and therefore, the age-group of the youngsters involved. Always determine the age-group of the audience and use appropriate methods for conducting user research, implementing design guidelines and evaluating the designs. Lastly, an honest designer must not ever forget the moral considerations involved while designing for youngsters and will exercise their limits accordingly.