When SkillsFuture Singapore approached us with the idea of developing an app to educate the smallest kids about the job market and let them recognize their strengths and passions, it sounded like a real challenge. It was not that we lacked experience in mobile app development or capacity to carry out the project for the government. It was about developing an app for kids.
Why is it difficult?
First, kids’ time on mobile devices is limited and not encouraged. Thus, if you develop an app for preschoolers, it is vital to make it meaningful and engaging.
Second, the idea of seeing kids’ frustration with an app was horrifying for the whole team. More so when we realized we were to affect children’s perception of careers and maybe even define their future career paths.
As time went by, we are proud to look back at an excellent app we have created and share our tips on creating a mobile app for kids.
Career Quest: Career Studies for Preschoolers
The features of the Career Quest allowed to capture the attention of children and serve a powerful tool of kids development:
- Mini-games. The app has ten exciting mini-games that train concentration, logic, visual memory, creative thinking, and more. As children challenge themselves and try their skills, the app points to the strengths they have and prompts them to the careers where these strengths can best be used.
- Exploration of industries and careers. Acquaintance with careers starts with walking a virtual city. This way, young learners may be in change or their own career quest and explore buildings and industries that interest them more. Forty interactive locations and a wealth of animations help them explore various job roles and responsibilities in a fun and engaging way.
- Quizzes and badges. After learning about particular job roles, students are invited to take a short quiz and earn a badge. These are important elements of gamification that make users more involved in an app.
- Interaction with app characters. Kids can speak to different characters to find out what they value about their jobs. This is good training of communication skills that encourages children to be curious about the jobs, whether in or outside of the Career Quest virtual world.
- Avatar Customization. The chance to unlocking new items and try on new closes customizing your avatar is a good way to motivate young learners. What is more, it grants kids the chance of self-expression.
With all these solutions, the app was very warmly received by both children and their parents and was recommended for primary schools in Singapore as part of their curriculum.
Designing Application For Kids: Key Considerations
While any app should be intuitive, engaging, reliable, and free from security issues, creating an app for adults is very different from creating an app for kids. Here are the key points to consider:
The app for kids should be bright, vibrant, and multi-colored. Here, it is important to have relevant research at your side, as adults and children differ in what colors and images they perceive as attractive. Needless to say, developers should take into account the fine motor abilities of children to let them easily navigate the app.
Narration and Music
Along with excellent imagery and navigation, mobile apps for children should have well-selected music and voice cover. As kids are just learning to read, narration should explicitly explain all the tasks and options to the young player. At the same time, a mute function would be very helpful when playing next to parents induced to work from home.
The learning app for kids should correspond to the capacities of a user, as going through tasks that are either too easy or too difficult is very frustrating for kids. Thus, it is essential to tailor the app to the specific age group and envision an appropriate leveling system.
Gamification is strongly related to the engagement of the users. Apart from games and quizzes, it is worth adding other elements of gamification to appeal to the youngest users. These may be earning scores and badges, opening additional features upon reaching a milestone, self-expression through an avatar and interface customization, etc.
After robust testing of technical aspects, do hire several young associates for app usability testing. Attend attentively to all of their comments, shouts of delight, and puzzled frowns to finish with an app they will truly enjoy.
Creating an app for young children is a unique, highly responsible experience. If you have decided to embark on this journey, be sure to consider all the factors mentioned above and partner with a reliable mobile app development company to make your idea a reality.