Kidaptive teamed up with Idean to create the hottest apps in edutainment

August 10, 2013

Entertainment News

Learning games and “edutainment” are the topics on everyone’s lips in Silicon Valley at the moment. With their impressive background in cognitive science, statistics, visual effects and animation, Kidaptive founders Dylan Arena and PJ Gunsagar were perfectly placed to tackle the challenge of creating engaging games while measuring young children’s cognitive development.

Kidaptive’s “Parent’s Pad,” an assessment tool designed to deliver the most comprehensive feedback on preschoolers’ learning, was launched on May, 13, 2013.

Kidaptive’s iPad games are in the form of “appisodes” – top quality animations with an appealing story, where kids are given tasks such as identifying colors and shapes throughout the game. All their actions and responses are recorded, enabling parents to follow their child’s development on various dimensions of learning. The challenge was visualizing this data, as the dashboard has to communicate information to parents in the right level of detail and complexity. With no UX expertise in-house, Kidaptive came to Idean for help in creating the perfect solution.

Starting with research sessions with teachers and parents, Idean’s designers Arto Viitanen and Petri Heiskanen successfully structured and visualized this concept, creating a timeline of events as well as a breakdown of each individual learner’s accomplishments.

Here is an example of the “Parent’s Pads” early wireframes:

To help parents navigate, colors and icons were created for each category and learning dimension, allowing a simple visual connection to more complex concepts. With drill-down navigation, the parents are able to dive into as much granular detail as they want, while still getting a good overview of their child’s development. For visual design, the challenge was to create a style that fits the context, without making it too childish for parents to engage with.

Idean’s Andrew Longstaff was responsible for the front-end development of the concept, delivering a complete functional product for Kidaptive.

In addition to the parental dashboard, Idean’s team also designed and published a backend system for content management.

Kidaptive’s Dylan and PJ were extremely pleased both with Idean’s design work, and with the team’s responsiveness and flexibility. “It was a super easy working relationship,” says Dylan. PJ adds: “I’ve shown these materials to investors, advisory board members, potential customers – like Apple – and everyone has been frankly blown away by what they’ve created. What they’ve brought to the table has essentially given a whole new light to the product”.

Since working with Idean, Kidaptive has successfully secured venture funding and been featured several times in tech blogs and other media, most recently on Techcrunch:

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