Most UX designers, in pursuing design for kids, merely resort to the use of brightly colored imagery and large buttons. But relying on such an oversimplified design approach to appeal to children only results in commonplace design clichés that fail to meet children’s needs.
What exactly is a kids-first approach to design? There are many considerations that you’ll need to take into account during your design process to satisfy the needs of children. Implementing a kids-first design approach is far from simple.
Designing for Specific Age Groups
First of all, you must think beyond the gross concepts of kids or children. Kids’ needs are highly variable and relative to several different age groups under the age of maturity. Each of these age groups has its own specific constraints, attributes, and perceptions that UX designers have to address. Children’s needs also depend on the part of the globe and the society to which a child belongs. Your UX design decisions should be based on both a child’s age and psychosomatic development, which determine appropriate UX design elements.
Unlike for adults, who you can easily place in broad age groups—for example, spanning the ages of 25 to 45—defining the right age groups for kids is much more critical. A couple of years can completely alter the capabilities and skills of a child. Therefore, grouping kids into different age brackets and designing solutions for each of them is of paramount importance. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, UX designers should create design solutions for children belonging to at least three major age groups:
- Young kids who are approximately three to five years old
- Kids who are six to eight years old
- Older kids who are nine to twelve years old