Designing websites for young children brings its own issues that need solutions. The home/landing page has to attract the child’s attention, the navigation has to be clear and easy for young children to negotiate and the text has to be large enough and clear enough for young children to bother to spend the time reading.
These are the things we looked for in this collection of websites for kids – how designers create solutions and resolve the problems to capture both children and parents at first glance.
Websites for Kids
This site uses a background with a sky illustration, orange text with a white outline is used for the navigation menu, and the pastel colored content area uses lovely illustrations with obvious call-to-action buttons on the right.
The site dedicated to this famous doll is obviously aimed at girls, so is presented with a lot of pink coloring. A fast-moving slide show on the landing page will certainly capture the attention of all the Barbie-loving girls out there!
Thomas & Friends
Another popular children’s character, this time mainly aimed at boys, so blue is the predominant color. Featuring an animated slide show and navigation pictorial icons making it easier for young children to find what they want.
This TV program’s site hardly needs any introduction. They use their signature yellow color, large navigation pictorial icons and a fairly large grid-style layout for the home page.
Fifi and the Flowertots
This site is aimed at pre-school children and features a video player in the center of the home page. A great site for both children and parents for traveling time, etc when the child can watch the videos without the parents worrying.
A fun site for children where they can choose a robot and make it dance. For a website dedicated to children, this is very minimal in its design.
This site is for very young children, and it uses bright, solid colors to attract them. A navigation bar of pictorial icons is situated below the main image, and another navigation bar of black text for parents/teachers is located at the top.
This is a new beta version of the Speakaboos site that provides stories, songs, games and educational activities for children. Every illustration on this landing page is a link, including each image on the rotating circle at the bottom.
The landing page of this website that is aimed at schools is a busy, bright animated illustration with the instruction to ‘Click to go down’ on a placard carried by the blue bird.
PBS Kids is an American TV channel, and their website design is presented in the flat style – which is unusual for a kids’ site. Large blocks of solid, bright colors make this site very appealing to children.
National Geographic Kids
This famous magazine and now online magazine have been working for the conservation of the planet Earth for many, many years. The version of their site designed for kids is presented in a similar style to their main site. There is a lot for children to do, see and learn on this site.
NASA Kids Club
America’s space facility offers a very nice website for children to learn and play games. The central image shows a space-age desk with wall-mounted screens. The screens show a selection of links, and the numbers are the skill level you can choose games for – the games for the selected skill level then replace the links above. A top navigation bar offers links for adults.
Fantage is a virtual world for children where they can play socialize and learn in a safe and exciting online environment. Their landing page with illustrations of children in front of buildings is charming enough to hold the attention of most children.
A site full of games and activities for kids of all ages. The home page uses bright colors and amusing illustrations and is simply full of links!
The Warner Brothers site for kids promotes their well-known characters such as Scooby-Doo. Bright and busy to keep the attention of children.
Cool Math 4 Kids
A site dedicated to helping children with difficulties they may be having with math. This is a no-nonsense design, with bright colored links on a black background and a bright red bounding box.
This popular TV channel is aimed at slightly older children, however, they still use pictorial icons for the navigation bar at the top. The full width slide show promotes their popular programs with more links to programs just above the slide show. The rest of the page as you scroll down is in a grid-style layout.
This is a music-making site for children, and they use a bright yellow backgroun with illustrated blocks in the content area. This is an excerpt of their ‘About’ section: ‘Franktown Rocks is a fun mutliplayer online game for kids 8-12. You can create a character and walk around the city of Franktown and play with other characters. You can play games, make music, complete quests, watch videos, drive cars, buy a pet and dress it up, add rooms and even an elevator to your house, and listen to songs from Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, TobyMac, the Jonas Borthers, Selena Gomez, Michael Jackson and many other great artists.’
On this site children can ‘adopt’ a monster. The landing page is an amazingly beautiful and slightly animated illustration with a small slide show on the notice board.
This site is designed to help children learn through games. The design of the landing page is really outstanding and should interest and attract children of all ages to continue into the site.
So those were the kids websites that we thought solved many of the problems of creating interest and eye-candy for youngsters. We are, by now, well aware that no matter what the problem, designers will find the solution, or to be more precise, many solutions.
Have you designed a website for kids? If so, what are some of the problems you encountered and how did you work around them? Please share your links and opinions with us in the comments section below.