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Kids App Development: Manual

  • Xenia Liashko
  • 2019-12-12 17:32:00

There are many children's programs on TV, schools use tablets in the classroom, and sometimes parents can find no other way to calm a child at a restaurant than to give them a smartphone. These are just small examples of how children are related to technology. Every year, this connection gets closer.

Currently, 53% of people aged three to four use tablets and smartphones to connect to the Internet. 79% of children aged 5 to 7 are online and 99% of children aged 12 to 15 are online.

Surveys confirm this point. According to a CNN report, children under the age of eight spend about two hours a day on screen media. CNN journalists compared this with the data from the 2011 report and found that the numbers remained roughly the same. However, the way children use this time has changed radically. Although he spends most of his time in front of the television, he is now mainly focused on mobile applications — mobile devices account for up to 35% of screen time, compared to just 4% in 2011.

Another Ofcom report shows that the percentage of children using the Internet is increasing among the youngest age groups: since 2016, this percentage has risen by more than 10 percentage points. Currently, 53% of people aged three to four use tablets and smartphones to connect to the Internet. 79% of children aged 5 to 7 are online and 99% of children aged 12 to 15 are online.

Most experts agree that only with the development of augmented reality, intelligent toys, child assistants, etc. will become a major part of children's lives.

What do children really do on their devices?

These are the main activities that children perform on smartphones and tablets, according to their parents:

Activities that children perform on smartphones and tablets, according to their parents:

Here we see that watching visual media, such as photos and videos, is the most popular type of entertainment for children on phones and tablets. Games are in third place. However, all these activities are very popular.

These statistics show that visual content is the most important type when it comes to children's apps. Now let's look at the most popular types of apps that can find their niche in today's more saturated market of mobile applications for youths.

EightDevs's case study: Childrenclub App for Mobile Operator

Types of Applications for Kids

Video Streaming Apps

Video streaming is the best way to play for your child. Children can watch movies for hours, and parents like to spend this time on classes during long trips. Content can be a parent's primary concern. Although many video streaming services already have age restrictions, your child may still encounter inappropriate content.

Entrepreneurs create their own applications for streaming video to mobile devices, often with educational content in mind

To solve this problem, there are separate applications for streaming video for children. The design, UX and content of these applications are directed at children. Video streaming apps for children are often produced by popular media companies. For example, there are apps for children from Disney, YouTube, and Nickelodeon.

However, some entrepreneurs create their own video streaming apps for mobile devices, often with educational content in mind. For example, BrainPOP Jr.creates an animated weekly video in which animated characters make learning science, social sciences, mathematics, health, and technology a pleasure.

Most video streaming apps offer subscriptions, so you can easily earn money by providing valuable content that children like and that parents can trust.

Educational Apps 

There are countless educational apps for kids and teenagers, and the most popular of them are extremely creative. It is very important to teach children how to learn to play, and application developers create ideas for learning gaming apps that cannot even make learning work.

For example, thanks to Tiny Robot Maker, kids can create their own robots. For drawing, there is the Very Hungry Caterpillar app, through which youngsters are encouraged to design, paint and dye photos. Swift Playgrounds can even teach kids the basics of programming!

The most important thing when it comes to educational apps is to make them more attractive and child-oriented. We'll talk about this later in this article.

Educational applications are probably the most entertaining way of learning and give kids the opportunity to learn in different ways. Unlike movies, which children must watch carefully to learn something new (which is often difficult for them), interactive applications give children and app developers many creative and flexible learning opportunities.

Mobile Games for Kids

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish games from educational apps when it comes to children's applications. Learning applications look like games, and games can also teach. However, in this section, we focus on gaming applications that are just for fun.

The best examples of games for children come from a popular computer or console games like Mario, Minecraft, and Animal Crossing, based on the classic Nintendo game.

Games are one of the most popular categories of applications for children. Developing games does not require entrepreneurs to have outstanding pedagogical skills, and earning them is fairly easy. For example, games also use the latest technologies. Currently, AR is a big trend and you can use it in the children's gaming application to win the competition.

However, kids gaming applications should avoid integrating in-app purchases, because children don't always understand what they are paying for in-game items for real money to parents. Speaking of which, let's discuss tips for creating applications for children. There are many of them!

Developing Apps for Kids: Useful Tips

Some find it easy to write a children's book. Simple characters, simple story, some funny jokes and you got it. In fact, it is more complex than it seems. They must take into account child psychology and differences between kids and adults.

Mobile apps for children are similar to children's books. If you want to create a learning application for children or another application for children, you must remember how to be a child yourself!

Differences Between Kids and Adults as an Audience 

When designing a mobile application, there are three main differences between children and adults.

Kids:

  • Love challenges;
  • You need constant feedback on every action you take;
  • Grow fast.

Challenges are extremely important when it comes to children's applications. This feature is more for educational games or apps, but in some children's videos, you'll also find creative ways to challenge your viewers.

In fact, even adults love challenges, but only when they are expected, for example, in games or gaming apps. Children love challenges everywhere, making their achievements more meaningful.

But without an opinion, the challenge is worth nothing. It is very important to respond to any action that the child performs in the application. However, feedback should not be reliable. Let me explain.

If the child makes a mistake in the educational application, you will not immediately show the solution. Instead, point out what is wrong and let the child find out. It is important that children can make mistakes and correct them.

Finally, remember that children grow up very quickly. This explains the rather narrow age groups to which the apps refer: 3-4, 5-6, etc. This is because children are constantly growing, and the three-year application does not work for a five-year-old. A good strategy is to choose an age range of up to two years.

Children and Adults: Similarities

Despite these fundamental differences between children and adults, there are also some similarities. Adults and children:

  • Expect consistency
  • Don`t like surprises
  • The application should exceed their expectations.

Consistency is the most important when it comes to user experience. Adults hate it when the app is inconsistent and prevents them from reaching their destination. Children will not like it too, especially if using the application is a bit difficult.

The purpose of your app is the first thing parents look for after installing the application on their child's device. You must give your parents a reason to use your app and do it from the very beginning. But not only adults should convince you. Children get bored quickly if they see that the app is meaningless.

Remember that surprises and expectations are two different things. Users are unlikely to be happy about this if the application behaves unexpectedly. However, this does not mean that you can not add small things, such as funny chargers or other small details that evoke positive emotions.

UI / UX requirements for Kids App Design

The rules for designing applications for children and adults are different, and although parents will probably install applications, you must first develop your product for children. Let's discuss what is important when designing children's applications.

  1. Use caution when using in-app purchases as a monetization strategy. If it's too easy to pay for something in your app, it's likely your parents will be discouraged. Children will not understand that they are paying for their parents' money.
  2. Do not place interactive elements at the bottom of the screen because children will accidentally touch this area.
  3. Use bright colors.
  4. Offer many options instead of a script. Children are explorers by nature, so do not let your application comply with one scenario.

This tip applies to educational games and applications for kids and teens. 

Kids Apps Development: Conclusion

Here are some basic things to keep in mind when developing mobile applications for children. This tip applies to educational games and applications.

Every year, more and more children receive mobile devices with Android and iOS, such as phones and tablets, at a young age and spend more time watching screens.

Unlike previous years, when children sat in front of the TV for hours, the applications are now before the game.

It is very important to moderate the use of equipment by children, but in the modern world, it is inevitable that technologies support us in almost every part of our lives.

Get in touch with EightDevs's team to talk about your idea for kids' apps.

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