As the #1 educational media brand for children, PBS KIDS knows just what it takes to create smart, fun and educational content for their users.
For their annual Writers Contest, there is no shortage of content—stories written and illustrated by kids spanning the last 11 years. But how to present this content in a dynamic, fully-responsive experience that would give their users reasons to keep coming back?
KEY ELEMENTS TO OUR APPROACH
The site includes 10 theme packs that include characters, objects and backgrounds that users can include in their stories. And these themes? All concepted and hand-drawn by Planit to evolve this experience and allow the kids to express ultimate creativity.
The “Create Stories” section of the site features writing and drawing tools, theme packs, a badge system to help unlock additional content, and Story Sparks that randomize content to help ignite creativity.
Incorporating feedback buttons, the Writers Contest has a social component previously unseen for this audience. With options to “like” the Characters, Plot or Art from a story, the kids are encouraged to provide feedback. It was important for these to transcend the traditional “like” function and incite thought and reflection on the content.
When working with a brand whose target demographic is children, the strategy behind the user experience takes a different approach. With the never-ending slew of options for online entertainment, how do you ensure that yours stands out and rises to the top? In addition, with the seasonality of the Writers Contest, there was the task of creating an online environment that kids would want to come back to throughout the year and that teachers could feel good about directing their students to.
This is where Planit came in. PBS KIDS presented the challenge of taking their Writers Contest site and turning it into an online destination that brought the story writing and telling experience to life in a digital way. The end result had to be unique and tailored to their young audience. What resulted was an award-winning, nationally acclaimed storytelling tool.
Entries flooded in like never before, engagement skyrocketed and PBS KIDS couldn’t have been happier. And what better way for us to validate our own creative process than to build one for kids?