Designing a website for children is a completely different endeavour. Not just because of the required visual appeal but because it is not as straightforward to keep children engaged as an adult. Unlike grown-ups who search for informative content, children look for fun elements for entertainment, education and engagement.
Moreover, children constantly seek instant gratification on every attempt. Targeting a website design at children requires a bright colour palette, bold typography, and appealing visual elements. A website for children must be easily comprehensible, easy to use, visually appealing, and attentively engaging. Here are some trends and best practices used in web designs targeted at children:
- Aesthetic Features
Irrespective of the age group you are targeting, some aesthetic elements stay the same in the case of a children website. One such element is the use of vibrant, bright colours. Vivid vibrant colours quickly get the attention of kids. Children’s’ websites generally apply a bright colour palette including all primary and secondary happy colours like red, yellow, orange, green, purple and blue. In some cases, designers also use pastels shades and jewel tones sparingly in combination with more saturated colour patterns.
Moreover, not just the colours, but the entire mood of the website should reflect happiness, fun, and friendliness when targeting children. Designers often create a happy ambiance by using cheerful characters, smiling faces, positive wordings, and energetic gestures. Another technique that engages children is the use of recognizable shapes like those of animals, objects in homes, in nature, in school or anything they find identifiable. It not just creates a sense of familiarity but also reinforces their learning process. Do not forget to break the rules by using unstructured layouts for incorporating a focal point that keeps the teeny-weeny eyes and little brains occupied. To add a sense of reality, play with shadows, gradients, and bevelled effects to add visual depth and create a three-dimensional vision.
- Functional Elements
A web design targeting children must have user-friendly navigation, beautiful icons, and obvious call-to-action buttons. Using graphics that clearly stand out make instructions more obvious and over-simplified. Moreover, the website must have large clickable areas to avoid mistaken clicks since children find it difficult pointing the cursor. Use clear, oversized, easily-spottable icons. Use simple easily-readable text and comprehensible graphic images for navigation icons. Use bold but simple typography with many typeface effects and an appropriate sizes and colours.
- Interactive Elements
Children simply love interactive elements. Develop a storyline in your website design to help them connect better and stay engaged for longer. Add happy, loveable, friendly animated characters too with voice and sound effects. Interactive sounds, music, voice-overs and friendly animations stimulate the senses of children by reinforcing their learning process and keep them engaged. Do not forget to incorporate games, fun activities, or educational videos to provide education with entertainment. Such interactive elements help in enriching the reading, listening, and comprehension abilities of children. Moreover, they also stimulate creativity, imagination, and coordination.
- Foster Education
Children’s websites provides a great opportunity for learning with fun. All the activities and games on a children’s website must be focussed on educating and training young minds. There are many ways to foster learning in children and keep them engaged. For example, adding riddles, puzzles, maths quizzes, story reading sessions, and noughts and crosses are some good ways of emphasizing learning and reinforcing basic concepts. Do not forget to also include a section informing parents about the usability of your website outlining its purpose. You can also add some essential information and resources for the parents. Be mindful of advertising on a children’s website. Children cannot differentiate an advertisement or promotional content from actual website content. Therefore, it is not always appropriate to add advertisements to a children’s website. In case, you require to do so, reconsider their placement so that children do not accidentally click them.
- Designing for Different Age Groups
Designing a children’s website is not an easy cup of tea especially when you are targeting different age groups. Research suggests that depending on the age group, children will not engage with something they consider too childish or too old. Designing a children’s website requires a distinct usability approach for creating narrowly targeted content. For example, if you are targeting children between 3-5 years of age, you can capture their attention with bright colours, interactive sounds, limited text and simple words. But designing a website for children aged between 6-8 years will not work out well, just with bright colours and familiar sounds. You may need to use graphics for adding more depth, more vivid, dense, or layered images and human-like characters. Again the typography stays simple with easy-to-read words. Children aged between 9-12 years are more proficient and look for a more grown-up feel. You may keep the typography simple with more complex words and use saturated colour palettes. You can also consider using distinctive photographs of young children. Do not forget to add more functional interactive features suitably designed for grown-up minds.
- Why Should A Website Design Targeting Children Use These Elements?
Because young minds must be nurtured and educated with fun and engaging activities to develop cognitive skills and learning abilities. Learning activities incorporating rewards encourage children to achieve and acquire new skills. A children’s website must be designed to stimulate their senses and let their creative juices flow. For this, the website design has to be beautiful and colourful along with being educational and interactive. The design elements must stimulate their senses by focussing on the personality and interests of a child in a particular age group. It should leave a lasting impression on young minds and encourage learning, cheerfulness and positivity. It should also include elements from nature and surroundings to keep children well-informed and aware of the natural elements around them.
Do you need a website design targeting children? Think differently, unleash the child within you, think out-of-the-box, give wings to your imagination and create a piece of marvel!