The goal of the project was to design a tablet app concept where children from the ages from 6 to 14 can stream their favorite TV and movie content.
I was responsible for this project from start to finish. This included doing research, defining personas, creating flowcharts and wireframes as well as designing a finished user interface.
User research on a $0 budget
For this project, I didn't have a budget for research but because of a very specific target audience of this app, this step could not be skipped. Thankfully, there were studies that have been done by Nielsen Norman Group. After intense research, the summary with most important findings was available for free on their website. Here are some interesting things I learned:
After going through the NNG studies, I decided to go a bit deeper and talk to some teachers. What I learned from a teacher who works with kids aged 6-10 is that they know how to use a smartphone and are comfortable with using the search function to find their favorite YouTubers. I also learned that a lot of kids at that age don't own a phone, so their parents give them a tablet.
Defining User Categories
Based on the research I defined four different user groups based on their needs and stages of physical and cognitive development: Parents (18+), Teens (13-17), and Younger kids (6-8).
Defining User Flow
After that, I proceeded with creating a flowchart showing how the app would be organized. The main takeaway are the separate flows for each user category.
After I was done with all the planning I moved on to wireframing and I started with the onboarding flow.
Wireframing: Separate Flows
As the flow I defined earlier contains separate flow for each user category, I wireframed them as well. After the first step (shown in the previous set) teens and kids get a message letting them know if they will need a parent to help them set up the app.
Wireframing: Main Flow
After I took care of the onboarding screens I moved on to wireframing the main flow. Since the research showed the kids are already familiar with how other apps like YouTube, I decided to stick with the common interaction patterns.
User Interface: Tap Targets
Research shows that kids require a tap area 4 times larger than those suitable for adults (2x2cm vs 1x1cm) so I made sure to increase the size of all targets. Also, I decided to make the interface grow with them, starting with the biggest tap targets and progressing to regular sized ones as the kids grow and develop their motors skills.
After everything else was complete I proceeded with designing the remaining screens - most of them in 3 different versions for different user categories.