I have been wanting to start prepping early for Guru's day, in terms of how I want to display my boards. I am wanting to use the design of my boards to make them fun and engaging, as well as a way to kickstart making (as I feel my project is going in a tech direction, but I love making things!). I am also thinking more about my inner child, and the things I enjoyed doing as a kid as a way of getting in to the frame of mind of my users.
One of my favourite activities was puzzle games like jigsaws. So I thought making my boards in to a jigsaw would be a nice concept. So I started sketching a few ideas.
The colour palette
When designing with children in mind, I wanted to use a fun, colourful and inclusive colour palette. One which doesn't really lend itself to any gender stereotypes etc.. but also had an overall entertainment feel. I work part time at the DCA (in the cinema) and our family friendly smaller cinema where a lot of the children's films are shown when we have them, has a really intriguing colour palette.
I really like the combination of the jade, orange, magenta and neutral grey colour. I have decided to adopt this (the jade, orange and magenta) for each of my boards (context, investigation and concept).
I thought I would take my sketches down to the workshop to speak to them about getting this design started. I was encouraged to get some scrap wood and try it out, then very quickly realised how difficult trying to use the bandsaw or a jigsaw to cut out a jigsaw was not ideal! I think my best bet perhaps is using the laser cutter. Although I really wanted to use this exercise as a way to start making with my hands. I am wondering if maybe it is a good idea to come up with another idea. I am also trying to figure out how to lay the paper, and I am not sure if it will be that easy to solve where the text and images should go on the jigsaw.
I am thinking it is back to sketching!
I have also been looking further in to designing for children, in terms of principles to follow, as well as how designers can approach the different stages of development.
I am hoping to aim my project at 4+. The intention at the moment is to see if I can make an impact on the relationship children have with their screens, by changing the way they interact with a screen (less passive and consumptive and more active). Age 4 is typically the stage where children may begin to be introduced to independent screen time (although closely monitored). Behaviour with screen time is something which becomes a habit, therefore I feel by intervening at that point would have the most impact.
I have started reading through the principles as detailed by chidrendesignguide.org (found here), as well as books designing for kids: Creating playful, learning and growing. and Designing for Children: Marketing design that speaks to kids. I think it is really important for me to look at other literature on the subject, because in terms of designing for children it becomes more complicated where there are inhibitors, limited access to multiple children and also communication barriers, that I may not have if I were working with adults.
So far I have identified that:
- A successful design for a child delights (tickles their intellect and causes them to interact with something outside themselves), informs (respects their intelligence) and satisfies them (content, aesthetic pleasure or value).
- Children can develop rapidly and their personalities and understanding of the world around them and people around them grow as they do
- Children like to imitate what they see adults do (the typical kids want to grow up and adults want to go back to childhood!)
- That "cute" is not necessarily appealing to older children (8/9/10) as they begin to aspire to be older
- Design with your users in mind and appreciate a child's influence (perhaps co-design sessions / definitely test early!)
- Create space for play, but also allow them to chill. Mood's can change quite a lot in children and dependent on many things, so flexibility is a must!
I am wanting to start concepting / exploring the concepts I have so far further and also carry on reading about designing specifically for children, to better inform myself about the approach. I also am going to think more about how I want to display my Guru's day boards, but I am thinking perhaps developing my concepts further will help to inform the design.
I also think creating personas would really help this process!