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Louis Lazaris is a freelance web developer and author based in Toronto, Canada. Trusted by This article will showcase a of popular commercial websites targeted towards children with an analysis of trends, elements and techniques used to help keep children interested and stimulated.
Humans are mentally stimulated by a of factors, and this is especially true with children. Color choices and combinations that would likely be rejected or laughed at Good looking websites 2009 deing a typical website may be welcomed on a website for children. How many of the color combinations used in the screenshots below would succeed on a website aimed at an adult audience? Not many. So, when deing a site aimed at kids, use bright, vivid colors that will visually stimulate in an unforgettable way. Funbrain Playground.
Kids will remember and return to a website if their experience is a happy one. Elements can be incorporated into the de to ensure that a cheerful, positive mood is presented.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse creates a happy mood by making Mickey himself a visual focal point on the. His happy face and body language help enhance this happy feeling, creating a welcome atmosphere. The Play-Doh website creates a happy mood using a beaming child as the focal point. The Fifi and the Flowertots website has a large smiling Flowertot character in visual focus, creating a happy mood. Children are stimulated by recognizable elements that they can relate to. Natural elements such as trees, water, snow, and animals are used in the websites shown below.
In many cases, these elements are overemphasized through size or simplicity of de. The Disney website alters its theme depending on what product is being promoted. In this screenshot, they use a Grand Canyon-like landscape to create a memorable visual experience. CBC Kids uses a seasonal theme based on simplistic, eye-catching graphics. PopCap Games uses a grassy landscape in front of large rays of sun.
Large de elements have proved to be effective in all types of Web de, demonstrated by the fact that large typography, large buttons, and large call-to-action areas have become commonplace Good looking websites 2009 modern de. Because children are naturally drawn to simple, obvious, and recognizable objects, websites deed for children will increase their effectiveness through the use of large de elements.
Many sites deed for children use this element effectively. Children like to let their imaginations run wild in a world that looks and feels real. This Good looking websites 2009 of atmosphere can be created through depth in de elements.
This might include extruded shapes, shadows, landscapes, beveled effects, shiny gradients, or floating objects. Often, many of these elements are present in cartoon-like displays, as shown below. Poisson Rouge creates a deep, realistic atmosphere using a window that looks outside at the sun, along with a of other 3-dimensional elements. Rainbow Magic creates depth in their de through a Flash-animated landscape scene that moves as the user hovers over different elements.
In any website de, and call-to-action areas should be focal points.
Peppa Pig has a horizontal bar that includes large icons and easy-to-read descriptions for each item. Sesame Street has an easy-to-locate horizontal bar, along with large call-to-action areas. My Little Pony uses text-basedcreating a less-graphical experience, which allows focus on the content elements. On a typical website, certain de elements are viewed as distracting, unusable, and cumbersome. This is an old-school trend in typical Web de, but is an effective means of catering to -based audience.
The intro animates through a road until the characters appear on the horizon. The Yahoo! Kids bar is created with Good looking websites 2009 and makes sound effects and animates when its items are hovered over.
This trend is very common on many of the sites featured in this article. National Geographic Kids - Videos. What child does not enjoy playing games? Almost all the websites researched for this article include games that educate, stimulate, and allow direct interaction, while also incorporating many of the de elements already discussed. Below are some examples. CBeebies - Gordon the Good looking websites 2009 Gnome. Kids like to have something Good looking websites 2009 to take with them, to help them remember their experience. Printable pictures and colouring s allow kids to have a keepsake of their experience, while giving website owners an opportunity to enhance and promote their brand outside of the computer screen.
Pingu Coloring s. Teletubbies - Print To Color. Sound, animation, and large obtrusive graphics are often frowned upon in typical Web de. Other unconventional elements and de choices are discussed below. The cursor on the Discovery Kids website turns into a snapping bear trap graphic. The cursor on the Sesame Street website is followed by a yellow star when it hovers over standard HTML elements, and turns into a yellow star surrounded by smaller animated stars when the cursor is moved over clickable Flash elements.
Sometimes a bar will produce sound effects, but in other cases, the links will sound out what they represent in a cheerful voice. The CBeebies bar uses a voice to sound out the destination of each item. The Bob the Builder bar speaks to the user on mouseover. The Fifi and the Flowertots features a speaking bar. This is not to suggest that using a grid as the basis of the de is wrong. It may be beneficial to start with a grid, then de elements outside the grid in a controlled manner.
This flexibility in de and layout is demonstrated on a of the sites already discussed, but is also evident in the bars of the examples below. The bar on the Spongebob Squarepants website is slanted, going against convention in typical grid-based Web de. The Hannah Montana website features bar graphics that break the grid. The In the Night Garden website features a very unusual bar de that bears little resemblance to that found in a conventionally-structured de.
Below are some examples of websites that utilize a more rigid, grid-based format, and as a result are not as unique, memorable, or captivating as some of those already considered in this article. The Crayola website is somewhat old-school with its grid format and vertical. Neopets is also deed on a more structured grid. Granted, Good looking websites 2009 some cases a stronger grid-based de would be necessary if the audience was an older child audience, as is the case with SI Kidsshown below.
If you are attempting to reach the minds and hearts of young, impressionable people through an online experience, you are entrusted with a weighty responsibility. Children are mentally fragile, and easily affected by what they see, hear, and touch. Promoting education through games and activities will show that your company cares about the user and how their online experience might affect them in the future. Online Learning Games from Fisher Price include games that vary according to age group. Here is a summary of both conventional and unconventional best practices for deing a website for kids:.
If you ever have the opportunity Good looking websites 2009 create a user experience that is geared towards children, be sure to follow some of the proven methods demonstrated on many of the sites discussed here, and your website will have a good chance to be a big hit with children. Just the things you can actually use. Everything TypeScript, with code walkthroughs and examples.
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