I worked as an interactive designer on this project with a team that included a product manager, a writer, and an illustrator. We wanted to create an interactive storybook for children grades 3-5 focusing on science and utilizing knowledge from around the Smithsonian. We chose to make it an around the world trip where the children using it could either swipe and go through the book linearly or they could jump around using the map.
The biggest challenge was that I had to do a bit of research about how children in this age group use iPads and touch devices. I needed to figure out how intuitive they are or where I needed to add instructions. With the age, we also had to figure out how best to tell the story – what is the reading comprehension level, scientific comprehension level, geographic comprehension level.
We studied other children’s storybook apps and were able to test the book on a handful of children in our target age range.
Another challenge was creating the story to be linear or non-linear. I worked with the writer to make sure the flow made sense, but this was a different storyline than I was used to.
Finally, I used a program called iBook Author, which I had never used before, so I had to learn how to create the book in the new program.
Designing the product not only gave me unique insight to children as a user group, but also, gave me the interesting opportunity to work on a team outside of my norm. While typically I work with developers and other designers, I was the most knowledgeable person in regards to design.
Expedition: Insects is on the Top 10 list for Children in the iBook store.