Literary Safari hired me to design a literacy app based on the game hangman. I was charged with adding in the classic letter guessing game, letter writing practice, word spelling practice, and personalization based on drawings made by the kids.
I was hired as a consultant for this project and worked hand-in-hand with the developer, Kevin, to implement all of the designs. I did all of the UX design for the entire app, including:
• Gameplay (one and two-player)
• Letter and Word practice
• Story building
• Picture drawing
• And more
This project was on a tight budget, and we wanted to have a lot of good play involved so that kids would get the most out of the experience and not drop out early. So I looked very deeply at how kids and parents played through the first few play sessions to ensure their journey was good, and we were able to test enough that we felt confident in how it would be perceived.
For this product, I was very adamant that kids never felt like they got stuck anywhere. So we tried to stick true to some basic rules;
• We always wanted the home button present
• We always wanted a sense of progress to be felt with the bottom right of the screen (not backing out of things)
• We wanted to use motion, voice, and flashing to draw attention to get kids moving through the app
After I found the basic structure of the app, a lot of those rules were easy to keep accurate. We had to add features as we developed, but the basic structure stayed intact.
I worked through many white box mockups and sketches, but many pieces came together once we landed on the final layout for the hangman game and the home button menu. Testing for this project mostly happened with family, friends, and kids we knew to get quick feedback.
This project was a lot of fun to work on and inspired kids to try new ways to play with combining words and open creativity. It was even recognized as one of the 20 Best EdTech Tools of 2016 by Common Sense Media and featured in the New York Times' “10 Children’s Apps for Summer Road Trips.”