The importance of teaching through fun

how can children learn about logic and programming?

1 . My role and team

I was the leader of the design team, driving the product decisions together with the product manager. The team was composed of 4 developers and 3 designers.

I was responsible for all visual targeting, ideation, research, the study of user experience, targeting and application testing, product targeting, and decision support towards the business objective of the product. Alignment with the HQ on the definitions and interfaces definitions. My work was of execution and direction, in an integrated way with all the participants of the team.

2. Goal

The target was to translate the requirements, creating an engagement game, something ludic and useful to teach kids. The challenge was to create a kids game to teach kids basic notion about logic and programming

ideation

My team and I sketch a lot of options, using the kid's mode platform characters.

hypothesis

The first draft was not good (visually speaking), we were trying to create something basic, without great graphics, low poly, simple visual language. But this was the main problem.

3 . Design Process

The basic game design is, you have the character on point A trying to cross an island path to get a candy on a point B. The user has to insert directional commands blocks inside a command line to get the goal.

But how to validate that? Testing with our target. We try some users test to validate usability and visual.

Topic research

Our research was focused on how children learn concepts of logic and notions of programming. Through conventional methods and applications that have the same principle. We raised a series of behaviors that aligned with the age group and learning characteristics.

target Analyzes

Through various analyzes and readings on creating apps for kids, plus our experience with the SamsungKids application, we were able to more accurately align the age range we would work with. Part of testing and searching with users, we were able to validate these items and reinforce our audience and the application framework for them. 

User interviews

When we applied a user test, kids, around 6 to 8 years old. The main feedback was not so good about the playability and the visual retention. This is the first element to get retention and kids attention.

The result

The result was amazing because the concept was refuse. The most users tested, hate, did not understand the game logic and feel boring about the game evolution. Perfect, this is our main input to the thing and get better about the game.

4 . Design principles

We had two weeks to restart most of the visual assets, creating new 3d models concepts for scenario and gamification. Our team (let me clear, the great team is only 4 developers and 2 designers) work hard to align visual goods and good performance. The target device is the entire Samsung line.

The hard work

The first phase of the project was done. We delivered an entire game redesigned, with new visual identity, get better about 3D models, textures, shadows, lights, and animation.

ideation validation

My team and I wrote the story. We presented several times the new proposal, to refine, to decide the best way to improve the game.

From Design For Kids: Digital Products for Playing and Learning

"Merriam-Webster defines “playing” in a number of ways including “a recreational activity, especially the spontaneous activity of children.” Whereas they define “learning” as “the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something.”

5 . Storyboarding

The new challenge to us was how to improve the game, how to bring more history, more involvement and create an ecosystem that could be more solid about the brand and the product.

Storytelling

It was necessary to create a context that gives more dramatization in the base of the game. Helping to expand the story and offering possibilities for expansion.

Characters

In addition, the insertion of the other characters would be justified within the context of identifying children with the characters in the game, since the KidsMode brand offers this variety.

6. Second round

Restructuring the application has brought us the goal of increasing learning and challenge. Implementing more levels and balancing all phases and their gameplay. Focusing on product retention.

Delivery

We got some unique tests in the winter Olympics in Korea. These tests were done by the Korean team with children who were in the Olympic park.

Retention

The results were very positive since they presented fundamental data that validated the history, gameplay, and retention.

7 . Next steps, data and store

The project has been launched and through metrics, we will follow its retention and use. With these data, we will design the evolution of the product, along with new tests with users. O was developed through the Unity tool, which enabled the product to be released for IOS and Android. Soon the product will be available in its new version of the logos Googplay, AppleStore, and GalaxyApps.

The project served as a lesson in several ways:

  • Once again we validate that we must constantly listen to the user
  • The project enabled us to make quick decisions and greater agility in changing the scope according to results and responses
  • The project had 4 radical changes in its development, but we were able to adapt thanks to the experience of the team.
  • My design team was able to demonstrate speed and integration in capturing information in tests and research and applying this data to product development

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