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Nickelodeon Worlds

2nd Place Winner in the Nickelodeon x Adobe Creative Jam

Overview

I participated in the Nickelodeon x Adobe Creative Jam – a 2 day design competition where my team placed 2nd out of 145 teams across the US and Canada. We created Nickelodeon Worlds – an immersive, educational experience where kids could not only learn more about COVID-19, but also pursue fun and engaging indoor activities with friends and family.

ROLE

Product Designer

TEAM

Brandon Ngo

DURATION

48 Hours

The Challenge

Help kids feel safe, informed, and connected in the spirit of #KidsTogether. Design an Android tablet or Apple iPad app that provides a safe way for kids to communicate, share, and connect with their friends and family.

The Target Audience

In accordance with the guidelines of the creative brief, target audience is kids ages 11 to 13 years old.

The Solution

Nickelodeon Worlds is an immersive, game-based experience that incorporates essential information on Nickelodeon’s #KidsTogether movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. The product immerses users into Nickelodeon-themed “worlds” where kids join their favorite characters in learning more about COVID-19 and can actively connect with friends and family in the best way possible – engaging, themed videos and games.

Research

Although we only had 2 days, we still made it a priority to conduct thorough research to better understand the product space, especially since neither of us had experience designing for kids.

Secondary Research

We started by researching kids' cognitive processes and the experiences they respond most positively to. We also read into the best practices for leveraging games for education and learning. This provided us with a sense of direction as to how to create the most user-centric, educational experience.

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SNIPPETS OF ARTICLES WE REFERENCED IN OUR RESEARCH

Key Findings

•  Kids require clear instructions because they lack the ability to create mental connections.
•  Kids respond to storytelling due to their limited understanding of the world and imaginative nature.
•  Kids need instant gratification and effects after their manipulations of the product.
•  "Freedom and choice" are the two most important features for helping kids utilize games for learning.

User Interview

Luckily, my younger brother fell into the age range of our audience, and we were able to conduct an hour long user interview. Though we would have liked to have conducted more interviews to gain a more cohesive understanding of the space, this was all we had the means for due to the time crunch.

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TALKING WITH ALEX, MY 14 YEAR OLD BROTHER

Interview Insights

•  Immersive, interactive games are extremely popular within his age range, such as Roblox to Minecraft.
•  A means for creative expression and user freedom are highly sought after by young kids.

Ideation

With the research we gathered, we were able to begin determining which features to implement. We aimed to leverage the findings of our research to effectively appeal to our target audience, while also addressing each of the five requirements outlined in the creative brief.

The Concept

Because our research strongly emphasized interactive, imaginative experiences, we decided to create an immersive, world-based game that allows users to feel as if they are entering distinct Nickelodeon created worlds, such as Spongebob's Bikini Bottom, and pursue fun, educational, activities within each world. 

Based on the core insights derived from our research, we came up with tangible, effective features that work together to create the most user-centric, educational product geared towards children.

Research Insight

Our Solution

Kids need clear instructions & storytelling to process information.

Kids require instant gratification & effects after conducting an action.

Freedom & choice are the best learning & educational tools for kids.

A clear, story-based onboarding process for both the product itself and individual activities.

An animated task bar that indicates item completion and micro-animations integrated between actions.

Kids have the freedom to choose any "world" and interactive, creative activity of their choice.

We honed the features in our product in order to effectively address each of the five requirements that the Creative Brief given to us by the Creative Jam listed. Each brief-specific solution is outlined below.

The Brief

Our Solution

1. Help kids stay connected to their classmates, friends, and family. 

2.  Allow kids to express themselves privately or in a secure community.

3. Give kids the ability to share photos, videos, & creative projects.

4. Encourage kids through a game to learn about safety.

5. Educate kids on best practices & habits to keep the household safe.

Within mini-worlds, kids can play games, watch videos, and do activities with friends and family.

Through art and creation-based games, kids can pursue creative expression and freedom.

After every game & activity, kids can share their work via secure platforms such as Instagram.

Every game is uniquely curated to serve as an educational experience on COVID-19 and safety.

Kids can learn through educational videos on safety such as Spongebob’s hand washing tutorial.

Design

183 artboards and a lot of coffee later, we were able to bring our idea to life! We focused on maintaining the integrity of the Nickelodeon brand, integrating intended functionalities derived from our research and the creative brief, and making the product user-friendly for children.

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DESIGN

Onboarding

Get to know the ins and outs of Nickeloden Worlds, from how to play games and watch videos in order to complete tasks to how to enter a new "world", though a straightforward and interactive onboarding process inspired by the Nickelodeon brand. 

DESIGN

Home

Enter any Nickelodeon world of your choice, from Spongebob's Bikini Bottom to iCarly's Shay Apartment, and fill up each world's bar through curated games, activities, and videos. Or, stay on Planet Earth to learn more about COVID-19 and pursue safe, at-home activities. 

DESIGN

Gameplay

Dive into Bikini Bottom and join Spongebob in learning more about COVID-19 and connecting with those around you through interactive activities, digital games, and educational videos. Make sure to fill your bar up and share your experiences and creations with your digital circles after!

DESIGN

Gameplay

Need a change of pace from Bikini Bottom? Enter Victorious' Hollywood Arts and join Beck in interactive, at-home activities, watch Jade's educational videos, or connect with friends and family with Tori. You can return to Bikini Bottom or find another world of your choice at any time.

Takeaways

This was my first design competition, and first ever complete prototype, and I was ecstatic to learn that we had placed 2nd! I learned so much from the experience – from the ins and outs of Adobe XD to the fundamentals of interaction and game design and designing for kids. A huge thank you to Adobe Creative Jams and Nickelodeon for this opportunity!

Research is the Key

I'll be honest – Brandon and I were super intimidated when we first read the creative brief and saw that the product was a kids application. Neither of us had any idea where to begin, nor how to appeal to this young age group. But after conducting user research, we were able to develop a better gauge on the product space and effectively cater towards our audience. Research truly is always Step 0 in the design process.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

This was Brandon and I's first time working together, and it was my first time collaborating with a fellow designer in such close quarters for the end to end design of a product. By the end of the competition, I learned not only the importance of teamwork, but the beauty of it. Nickelodeon Worlds is the product of both of our ideas and brains working together, and teamwork and multiple perspective truly fuels innovation.