Creative Digital Agency

10 Golden Rules of Interface Design for Children

by The DrimTeam

A young audience is one of the most demanding. Here are some basic guidelines for grabbing and holding the attention of children.

1. Don’t abuse the text
Children have difficulty reading. Use short paragraphs, and a minimum font size of 14 px.

2. Create large buttons
Children’s motor skills are still developing, so buttons should be large and well separated.

3. Navigation should be easy
Try not to use too many scroll bars, and arrow icons are great for ’forward’ and ’back’ options.

4. Keep content interesting
Kids are always looking for fun. Basically, all the things that annoy adults (like some animations and sound) will amuse little ones no end.

5. Praise them
Youngsters love being congratulated for their accomplishments, especially by characters that they can identify with. Humour them!

6. Don’t expect patience
Content should load fast. Display large progression bars to make it clear that it is working.

7. Allow them to explore
Kids are curious, and they will want to click all over the screen. Put measures in place to make sure that this will not end in disaster.

8. The less forms, the better
As mentioned in number 6, kids are impatient, and therefore more reluctant than adults to provide contact information. If it’s absolutely necessary, keep it short.

9. Don’t take anything for granted
Children won’t always understand universal conventions. Most don’t use the browser’s ’back’ button, for example. If they can’t figure something out, they will probably close it and start something else.

10. Design for a specific age range
Differences in the development and tastes of children separated by just a couple of years are enormous. Remember this.

When it comes to kids and technology, the truth is that the ’norm’ never really stays that way for long. Extensive market research is needed before considering an interface that would be optimised for just young audiences .

Do you need a web application for children? Talk to us about how we can help.

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