It can be quite tricky to design websites for kids. For one thing, their attention spans are quite short. Another issue with kids is that if they do not like something, that’s it. They will not patiently work to find something interesting within your site. You should therefore design kids’ websites with the audience in mind – and they can be very tough judges.
Do consider the age group. Not all kids are the same. What works for a 3-year-old who can barely read will not work for a literate 10-year-old. When designing websites for kids, pay attention to the target age group of your audience. Can they read? What do they like? What appeals to them?
Make things very simple for the little ones, especially those under the age of five. Sites for this group should have minimal text with simple words, and lots of images. Make use of sans-serif fonts and lots of single words. Also, incorporate sounds and nature-based themes within the website content. Keep the color palette basic, but not drab or boring.
Older kids would be insulted by babyish content. Incorporate relatable graphics such as human figures. Words can be a little more complicated to challenge the target audience’s reading and comprehension skills. The color palette can be varied, but still on the brighter side.
Do use age-appropriate language. Websites for kids should contain age-appropriate language. Simple sentences are best, and most importantly, there should be no profanity or adult themes of any sort.
It’s also important to respect the children’s intelligence. If kids feel that your website content is condescending, they will not be happy with your site. Take time to find what language works for each age group and incorporate it accordingly. Above all, remember to keep things simple and maintain plain talk throughout.
Don't assume that kids will figure things out. Children are curious, but even they need guidance. For that reason, ensure that any website you create for kids is navigable. Keep the pages uncluttered and intuitive.
Incorporate icons that are large enough to be visible. These icons should be related to their functionality. Calls to action should be prominently displayed so that they stand out. The distance between icons that children need to click on should be larger especially if you're dealing with a younger target audience. Their coordination abilities may not be fully functional yet.
Do keep your website interactive. When kids are bored, they will leave your site. Therefore, it’s important that you create a website that can keep the kids’ attention. You can do that by creating an interactive website.
Take time to create an interesting storyline and characters with depth, if that's what your site is about. Animate your characters where possible, as they are much more interesting to children. Sounds also add on a new level of fun for most kids.
Also, take the time to create a site that adds value to your target audience. Include fun activities such as games. The important thing is to educate the kids in addition to entertaining them. If you can enhance their motor skills while you are at it, then you will have a winner in your hands.
Image credit: StartupStockPhotos via Pixabay
Don't forget the parents. Most parents would never allow children to access any website without checking things out for themselves. That's why you should never forget the parents while designing websites for kids. After all, they are the ones holding the purse strings.
Your website should have at least one well-thought section for parents. Include information about your site, the benefits, and features of your product, and additional resources that parents will find useful. Do ensure, however, that the parental section maintains a unified look in relation to all other sections meant for your young audience.
Kids’ websites are challenging to create because you have to please both kids and parents. This is why you must find a good designer and/or developer for your website that understands how your target audience thinks and acts. Only then will you end up with a product that provides a win-win situation for all concerned. Once you achieve that, you can laugh all the way to the bank.