Some Thoughts About Designing Websites for Kids

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Children are concrete thinkers, they want things clear and understandable.
"What you see is what you get" is a good concept to remember when building a website for kids.
Keeping in line with the above, kids enjoy seeing things they know and recognize.
So use shapes, figures, natural objects, animals, and human elements that are easily recognizable to draw them in.
Use the three B's when presenting these elements: Big, Bright, and Beautiful.
This will help get their attention.
Once you have their attention, keep it.
Be sure to give clear instructions for your calls to action.
Use concrete, simple examples or voice over with an example to explain what and how they are to do things on the site.
Also, make sure the margin of error around where they are to click is large and forgiving enough so kids do not get frustrated trying to click on an object.
Keep in mind that double clicking is difficult for little fingers.
Be consistent.
Kids learn cause and effect early in their development.
Make sure if you ask them to click on "a" so that "b" happens, "b" always should happen when "a" is clicked.
Keep them entertained with lots of cause and effect elements that have bells and whistles that work on the page.
Keep the senses in mind when designing.
The more of the child's senses you can bring to bear in the interaction with the site, the more involved the child will be.
Creative sounds, voiceovers for any text, and lots of engaging elements to view and click with help to involve the senses.
The power of positive reinforcement.
Children what to feel good while they are playing on your site.
Why would they want to visit a site a for a second time if they were frustrated by it the first time the visited.
So make it exciting, happy, humorous; any feel-good emotion that reinforces them enough to bring them back.
We all repeat behaviors that are reinforcing to us, it is human nature - think about it.
Test at critical points of development.
Don't let yourself get too far without bringing in the experts - ask the kids!! Children are concrete thinkers, they want things clear and understandable.
"What you see is what you get" is a good concept to remember when building a website for kids.
Keeping in line with the above, kids enjoy seeing things they know and recognize.
So use shapes, figures, natural objects, animals, and human elements that are easily recognizable to draw them in.
Use the three B's when presenting these elements: Big, Bright, and Beautiful.
This will help get their attention.
Once you have their attention, keep it.
Be sure to give clear instructions for your calls to action.
Use concrete, simple examples or voice over with an example to explain what and how they are to do things on the site.
Also, make sure the margin of error around where they are to click is large and forgiving enough so kids do not get frustrated trying to click on an object.
Keep in mind that double clicking is difficult for little fingers.
Be consistent.
Kids learn cause and effect early in their development.
Make sure if you ask them to click on "a" so that "b" happens, "b" always should happen when "a" is clicked.
Keep them entertained with lots of cause and effect elements that have bells and whistles that work on the page.
Keep the senses in mind when designing.
The more of the child's senses you can bring to bear in the interaction with the site, the more involved the child will be.
Creative sounds, voiceovers for any text, and lots of engaging elements to view and click with help to involve the senses.
The power of positive reinforcement.
Children want to feel good while they are playing on your site.
Why would they want to visit a site a for a second time if they were frustrated by it the first time the visited.
So make it exciting, happy, humorous; any feel-good emotion that reinforces them enough to bring them back.
We all repeat behaviors that are reinforcing to us, it is human nature - think about it.
Test at critical points of development.
Don't let yourself get too far without bringing in the experts - ask the kids!
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