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KiteReaders, Inc.



visual design

As a publisher of children's ebooks and apps, KiteReaders supplemented their ebooks' content with a children's activity zone called KitePlay. The activities and games were educationally focused, targeted to kids age 6-9, and featured characters from KiteReaders best-selling ebooks (like Peter Rabbit). I'd previously developed the KitePlay activities for their website using HTML5, so they were already playable on mobile devices, but not in an app format.

The new challenge was to explore how KitePlay could be turned into an app that both supported KiteReaders ebook business and extend its range of book-based games. The primary focus of this project was to design an interface that was very kid-focused and easy to use.

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Research & Structure

A starting point was to research the data on how kids interact with mobile apps. It was important to understand how kids age 6-9 interpret symbols and buttons, their clicking behaviors, and their pain points among current apps.

With a solid understanding of best practices, I worked with the product team to identify the scope of content and task requirements. From there, a simple structure started to take shape around the basic content areas of ebooks and games.

Research & Sketches
KitePlay App Prototypes KitePlay App Prototypes KitePlay App Prototypes

Visual Approach

The app design needed to maintain consistency with its website counterpart. It was also important to take into account the limited screen space of mobile devices. Therefore, I started with the interface design for smartphones first and for tablets second.

KiteReaders' color palette was bright and bold, so I continued the use of primary colors. Menus were kept simple, buttons were well defined and large, and decision points/selection options were kept to a minimum per screen. Object placement and interaction flow encouraged exploration and experimentation. Characters and game navigation were visually represented and easily accessible along the bottom frame of the screen.

While the structure was simple, the vivid colors and visual appeal of touchable objects encouraged a high level of interaction.


Currently, the app has not yet moved forward beyond the prototype stage. However, after review by the Academy of Art's Spring Show committee, it was selected to be showcased in the Mobile App Design category at AAU's 2013 Spring Show at the Palace of Fine Arts.