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A child- and user-friendly app for a smile

By November 30, 2017August 18th, 2021kids, UX research, UXkids case study

Every year, CliniClowns make more than 90.000 ill and handicapped kids smile. In order to reach even more kids, CliniClowns decided to replace the website with an app.

The main goal of the app was to connect clowns and kids online. Therefore the interface had to be fun and easy to use for both kids and clowns.

The role of UXkids

CliniClowns realized that the success of the app depended on how well it matched the needs and expectations of the users. This ambition to create the best possible user experience brought CliniClowns to UXkids.

“UXkids provided us with valuable insights into the needs and expectations of our target group. This encouraged us to make major changes to our initial app design. We were glad to see that UXkids has all the necessary skills required for doing research with kids!” (Victor van der Veen, Online Project Manager at CliniClowns)

UXkids was asked to: Join the team as objective UX for kids experts Do an inventory of all ideas and worries within the team Advise on the scope of a minimum viable product Plan and conduct UX research with different user groups Warrant the user-friendliness and user experience of the app

During the development of the new app, UXkids was involved at five different stages of the project. In this case study the role of UXkids is explained in more detail.

1. Brainstorm session

The project was kicked-off with a brainstorm session. As expert on user- and child-friendly digital media, UXkids was asked to take the lead during this session. In order to get everyone on the same page, everyone involved in the project was invited. Besides members of the CliniClowns team, the visual design party and the technical party were part of the project team. This diversity resulted in very broad and interesting insights.

Getting the project team on the same page during the kick-off session. Getting the project team on the same page during the kick-off session.

During the afternoon the focus was on the different users. Guided by UXkids the entire app team worked in groups on the creation of user personas.

The result

At the end of the kick-off session, UXkids gathered, prioritized and documented all insights. Based on all available information. UXkids was also able to write up a plan for user research.

2. Inventory user research

UXkids was responsible for thorough user research. The diversity of the user group was a big challenge. The app had to be equally fun and usable for kids between 4 and 12 years of age, for kids with different illnesses and handicaps, for media- and non-media-clowns, and for parents. UXkids conducted focus groups and interviews to gain valuable insights into the users’ needs and expectations regarding the app.

Based on the user research, UXkids worked out user personas for the different user groups. Based on the user research, UXkids worked out user personas for the different user groups.

The result

Based on the insights from the user research, UXkids worked out different user personas. This allowed the whole team to get a good understanding of the different users. The user personas included information, such as personal media usage, needs and frustrations, and personal expectations towards the app.

“During the first week after the release something, the whole project team had hoped for, happened: A child connected with a clown in a live chat while driving to the hospital! We hope the app will give us a lot more smiling faces!” (Mijke Das, Senior product lead at CliniClowns)

During a status quo meeting, UXkids presented the insights and conclusions from the research to the project team. At the end of the meeting, all team members knew who they were designing the app for and what features these users requested.

3. Feature session

UXkids took the lead during the feature session. During this session, the scope for the app was defined, keeping the different users in mind. Again, all parties involved in the project were present, allowing everyone to bring in their expertise and ideas and discuss possible challenges.

The result

The different opinions made up a very interesting and creative discussion. In the end, all agreed on a concept for the app, which was not only realistic, but which also got everyone excited.

4. Expert review

Greenberry was responsible for the visual design of the app. However, before the app was built, UXkids conducted an expert review, evaluating the design on it’s child- and user-friendliness.

An excerpt from the expert review report for the CliniClowns app. An excerpt from the expert review report for the CliniClowns app.

The result

All insights from the expert review were documented by UXkids in an hands-on report. Suggestions for optimizing the interaction design were included. This way, the advice from UXkids became tangible and could be implemented in the visual design quickly.

5. UXkids Clubmiddag

During the final round of development, UXkids organized a UXkids Club meeting. Six kids were invited to share their thoughts and ideas about the CliniClowns app. They (1) brainstormed about icons, (2) participated in a mini-user test and (3) designed their own app.

The result

UXkids gathered all insights from the day and translated them to specific feedback on the app. Based on this feedback, the usability was further optimized and the app could be finalized.

What is an expert review?

As an external party, we have an independent and objective view of your project. As Child-Centered Design experts we can help you make informed design decisions, prevent design mistakes and decide when UX research is needed. We prefer to give advice based on research with the users. However, based on our expertise and experience we can also provide recommendations for a concept or prototype.

About UXkids

UXkids is the only company in the Netherlands that is specialized in the user experience (UX) for children and teens. Do you have a question or need help with designing digital products for kids that will have a positive impact? Then let’s talk!

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