They still haven’t coined a name for the youngest of them all, the generation after the millennials. Digitally more native than the millennials, kids today know more of technology than we can guess. Apps become the way of life for them more than anyone else. Software companies specializing in eLearning Apps & software solutions cash in on these opportunities and a growing number of startups make their debuts with educational apps directed to children of all age groups.
But of course, there are apps for the kids for different purposes and how apps become a part of these young lives is an amazing story unfolding!
Apps for Kids – Rules of Thumb
The apps for kids has to be different than the other apps, with the inherent challenge of designing and strategizing it in a way that they are enjoyable but not addictive, educational but not preachy and easy to use but not boring.
Keeping this niche user base engaged is no mean feat either.
Rules of Thumb
Launching the Apps
The home screen of the app is usually not much of use for children between the age of one & three years if heavy on text. As the children do not know to read and write, it makes it difficult to choose from several options provided to them.
The splash screen, on the other hand, is a necessity to keep very young children engaged & interested in the app while it is being launched. The loading process should entertain the kids by means of some animation to fill out the waiting time.
- The app aimed for children between the age one & three should immediately launch with no home or in between screens.
- For the children little older, besides several different options, there should a simple and clearly visible start button or start screen
- It is important to minimize the number of buttons to maximize the size and provide easy clickable target areas. This creates a more natural sensation of clicking buttons and prevents the possibility of clicking some unintended place.
The App Settings
A kids app should not require frequent settings as this would be the most daunting task for a child.If an app requires frequent setting changes then the design should be simple enough for a child to manage easily. However, for an educational app for senior students, education app development companies can handle this differently than other apps.
It is recommended that the settings button not be somewhere that is easily accessible to avoid being tapped accidentally by the children. Generally, the settings are to be set by the parents, so it is recommended to put them on the setting panel of the device. The Application installation stage can be used for setting the configuration according to the need of the child. This reduces the frequency and the possibility of error.
Age Appropriate Designs
Apps should take a clue from the toys children play. A little child plays with large toys, has large pieces in blocks & jigsaws which progressively get smaller as fine motor skills mature.
Designing big is better when it comes to apps for the little ones and helps easy recognition. Smaller components on the UI should be introduced as age increases.
Creating simple activities which are easy to understand for the kids is the key for the success of the app. Audio-visuals should be such that the child can easily comprehend.
The sudden discovery of hidden features and surprises adds to the joy and builds curiosity making them feel there are things to be explored & discovered which improves the child engagement with the app.
Though designing to make tasks easy isn’t new to the UX designers but rules and practices in case of apps for children need to be even more simplified and reinterpreted to a certain extent.
For example, a child holds an iPad or tablet with both hands and generally, the fingers might touch the corners of the app screen. This action needs to be ignored but touching of the child elsewhere on the screen is a definite action.
Challenges and Rewards
Kids like being praised and rewards have a positive impact on their self-esteem ensuring them that they are doing well. A cheer or clap or a nice smiley on reaching a milestone or solving a challenge indicating success makes the child more positive and better engaged to the app.
A child when feels less entertained or less challenged will switch to another app more quickly than an adult.
Challenges rewards, it goes without saying should adapt to the age of a child and especially for ae Learning application solution, these go a long way.
Challenges & Rewards
Striking a Balance –Learning & Fun
Apps make learning all fun. The enjoyment & increased engagement develops the ability to comprehend well and enhances the basic curious nature of kids in a positive direction.
When children do a certain task with the fun quotient in an app they might do it repeatedly and that is how learning happens. Kids learn better sub-consciously when exposed to specific information repeatedly.
On a Parting Note
SPEC India offers interactive Learning Apps for K to 12 students specially designed as a step away from traditional classroom methodologies shifting to inclusive & interactive learning as a part of our solutions for making education more contemporary.
High on the fun quotient, Interactive Learning Apps make the most of gamification in education to keep the audience enticed & informed meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Recognizing the changing needs of the youngest generation, we remain geared to keep young audiences engaged with interesting apps & eLearning Apps & software solutions.