leapFrog > Customization Research

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leapFrog > Customization Research
LeapFrog > Customization Research
:-) Michael Chanover
; ) Teena Gores
: > Melissa Harris
:-} Marni Taradash
This book Belongs To:
web
physical world
Introduction:
Fueled in large part by a growing economy, an increase in customizationfriendly technologies, and the KGOY phenomenon, the role of youth customization and personalization is rapidly increasing within the marketplace.
From avatars for MMOGs to fashion accessories, just about every new product and Web site is offering some form of customization. Yet, with this flood
of new products and offerings, LeapFrog has an opportunity to develop
a series of a design principals that enable a more meanful customization
experience for our customers.
To do this, we are creating this two-part research and design brief. The
first part takes a quantitative view at what is happening today in the world
of customization and the Web by surveying a collection of Web sites and
assessing the customization formula. The second part looks at other ‘realworld’ examples of customization, how we can learn from the behaviors in
these examples, and how we can apply this learning to LeapFrog products. Both the content and the process of this research and design brief
are containers, able to be filled with more ideas, learning and discovery.
Much like the gestalt of customization, this document is a starting point.
Definitions
“Second Life is about personal expression and your avatar is the most
personal expression of all. After all, an avatar is your persona in the
virtual world. The picture below shows how easy it is to create your avatar. Despite offering almost infinite possibilities, the tool to personalize
your avatar is very simple to use and allows you to change anything you
like, from the tip of your nose to the tint of your skin. Don’t worry if it’s
not perfect at first, you can change your look at any time.”
—Second Life Website
cus·tom·ize
–verb (used with object) -ized, -iz·ing.
to modify or build according to individual or personal specifications
or preference: to customize an automobile.
per·son·al·ize
–verb (used with object), -ized, -iz·ing.
1.to have marked with one’s initials, name, or monogram: to
personalize stationery.
2.to make personal, as by applying a general statement to oneself.
3.to ascribe personal qualities to; personify.
leapfrog
web
Part 1
Kid’s Toys & Products
Kid’s Entertainment
Kid’s Educational
Kid’s Educationa
Cartoon Network
Design, share, and buy
Create your Barbie.
Create a t-shirt iron-
your own custom LEGO
com homepage design:
on or print it out as
models.
character, colors.
a poster.
character gallery
Create & print: book-
line boutique. Show
marks
and ‘sell’ fashions
Disney
and decor
Create your own on-
you created.
girlsense
American Girl
Kiddonet
AOL Learning
Kiddonet jr
APlusMath
Barbie
Crayola
Create an online di-
Create mini movies
ary, scrapbook, or
with animation and
upload your design,
wishlist. Get mes-
sounds. E-mail to
& order your model
sages from Barbie &
fellow Nick users.
Download software,
create your model,
online.
gigapets
Fisher Price
Hasbro
friends, save & e-mail
your creations.
Mamamedia
Design your own ban-
Create & send: e-cards
Brainpop
ner ad to advertise
Millsberry
Cosmeo
your boutique.
Nick
Discovery Kid
Nick jr
Headsprout
PBS Kids
Nat. Geo. Kids
playhouse disney
Scholastic
LeapFrog
Lego
Create your own pack-
neopets
aging.
Vtech
Create fashions, do
Create your Nick.
hair & makeup, or
com homepage design:
decorate dolls to e-
icons, themes, &
mail, or save in your
shows
online scrapbook.
radio disney
Create your Kiddonet.
Create & print: car-
com homepage design:
toons
themes, links, & music
Sesame Street
SI Kids
ToonTown
yahooligans
Purchase a personal-
Create & print: party
ized phone call from
invites, ‘biz’ cards,
Barbie for your child.
door hangers, stickers, etc.
Time for Kids
General Interest
Online Communities
Create your Trollz
Create, buy, & sell
Design, customize, &
Create your own 3D
Create your own pen-
Reading Circle
your own products:
buy your own custom
avatar for an online
guin avatar for an
homepage design:
t-shirts, mugs, cards,
boots
community.
online community.
images, backgrounds,
& postage stamps
& links
Amazon.com
ClubPenguin
AOL Learning
Google
APlusMath
iTunes
de.li.cious.
Doppelganger
Brainpop
Create & print: cal-
Kodak Gallery
Nike id
Cosmeo
Create your imvu.com
homepage design: im-
endar
Flavorpill
ages, posts, & links
Earn virtual coins to
buy clothing, accessories, & furniture
flickr
for your igloo.
Pogo
scovery Kids
imvu
RealArcade
Headsprout
LiveJournal
Nat. Geo. Kids
Reebok
Scholastic
Shockwave
MySpace
Create, ‘buy’ &
Create & print: flash
ime for Kids
cards
Timberland
Zazzle
Tabblo
‘sell’: avatar clothing & accessories as
well as imvu mods.
Xanga
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page Detail Index : Kid’s Toys & Products
site
American Girl
www.americangirl.com
Barbie
www.baribe.com
Crayola
www.crayola.com
Gigapets
www.gigapets.com
Hasbro
Monkeybar TV
Monkeybar TV Jr
age
3–5,
8–10
5–10
log-in
no
yes
parents
no
no
revenue
yes
sometimes
LeapFrog
Lego
www.lego.com
Neopets
www.neopets.com
VTEch
www.vtech.com
number of choices
notes
• physical doll
25 dolls (in the Just Like You category)
Main Hasbro site is for
parents. Monkeybar TV is
found under the ‘Play’
tab on Hasbro’s site—it’s
aimed at kids.
• choose Barbie home page design
• ‘Create Your Own _____’ (print/send):
fashions, horse, poster, wish list, MP3
player, Barbie makeover
• online diary—save writings, track moods,
save favorite secrets/wishes, get e-mails
from Barbie & friends
online scrapbook­—save created images
• • personal phone call from Barbie for your
child­ $—party invites, bday messages,
etc.—in the ‘Parents’ section of site
• e
xample ‘Create Your Own Makeover Barbie’5 categories, 4 skin/hair tones, 10
hair styles, 4 hats, 6 eye colors/shadows,
4 eyelashes, 6 lip colors, 6 shirts, 8 hair
clips, 4 sunglasses
• Barbie phone calls: 6 themes example: Party invitation theme 7 intros, 9 ‘what to
bring’ options
Mostly built around current Barbie doll lines. A
lot is aimed toward getting the child to want
specific dolls, clothing,
or accessories.
Phone calls: $1.99 per
call
E-cards are crayon drawings already done by
others. Interestingly,
there’s no place on the
site to submit drawings.
3–7
yes
no
no
• e-cards
• print & color cards
• e
-cards: 33 categories, 3-58 choices per
• print & color: BW designs for the child to
print, fold, & color. 33 categories, 0-6 per
7+
yes
no
no
• e-cards
• 6 designs
N/A
• e
xample: Create Your Own Gingerbread Man 5
clothes in 8 colors, 13 c&ies, 7 frosting
colors, 8 icing colors (in pen form),
5 eyes, 4 mouths
Main Hasbro site is for
parents. Monkeybar TV is
found under the ‘Play’
tab on Hasbro’s site—it’s
aimed at kids.
• 3 (platform, age, skill)
5+
3-5
no
no
no
• download Monkeybar TV to desktop
• ‘Create Your Own _____’ (print, some
send):gingerbread man, Lite Brite designs, cake decoration, tiara, dancing
pony movie, snow globe, lightsaber
5–adult
yes
no
no
• recommendation for a LeapFrog book
www.hasbro.com
www.leapfrog.com
deliverables
• d
esign, share, & buy custom Lego models,
including packaging.
• create your own Lego Club home page
• create your won Lego digital mini figure
• models: unlimited
• model packaging:
• home page: change header, stickers, & add
modules like hit counter, links, creations.
66 themes, 60 colors, 7 backgrounds
• mini figure: 236 heads, 35 torsos, 30 legs
N/A
5–adult
yes
no
sometimes
7
yes
no
no
• a virtual pet
• 6 at a time, over 50 choices in total
over 70 million subscribers
5–adult
yes
no
no
• g
ame launcher with slightly themed art
element
• 8 small characters
this is barely customization
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
Detail Index : Kid’s Entertainment
site
Cartoon Network
www.cartoonnetwork.com
Character Gallery
www.cartoonnetwork.com
Disney
Disney Shopping
www.disney.com
Girlsense
www.girlsense.com
Kiddonet
www.kiddonet.com
Kiddonet Jr
www.kiddnet.com
Mamamedia
www.macromedia.com
age
6–12
3–adult
teen–
adult
7–14
7–14
3+
7+
log-in
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
parents
no
no
NA
yes
yes
yes
no
revenue
no
sometimes
yes
yes
deliverables
number of choices
notes
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’ (print/send):
alien, card, music, imaginary friend,
• e
xample: ‘Create Your Own Music’7 instruments, 11-24 samples per, 4 tracks, 3 speeds
NA
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’ (print/send):
fairy, house, calendars, ‘photos’ of Minnie
• books with personalized name (print)
• cell phone ringtones, games, wallpapers $
• e
xample: ‘Create Your Own House’ 5 house
shapes, 5 roof items, 9 yard items, 10
doors/windows, change all colors
Personalized books: 2 pre-written stories.
• Enter child’s name, hometown, & favorite ice
cream, & who the book is from.
• Cell phone items: 13 games, 343 graphics,
229 ringtones (all properties)
• e
-cards $ (sponsored by American Greetings)
online scrapbook—upload photos, store ad• dresses
• ‘Create Your Own _____’ (purchase) Tshirts, wrist watch
• e
-cards: access to American Greetings entire
e-card collection—$13.99 per year.
• T-shirts graphics—5 catergories (examples):
Stories category—52 designs Holiday—8 Characters (all Disney properties)——Mickey—297
(poses, logos, badges), Tinkerbelle—96, Tigger—100, Nemo—16 Name on shirt (pre-typed):
31 fonts, 224 colors, can adjust size/location. Sizes: 6 adult, 2 infant. 3-5 colors
per style
• Wrist Watches: Pixie Dust or Classic Mickey
•
•
•
•
•
create fashions
creat & ‘run’ a fashion boutique
create GirlSense home page
keep a journal with personalized stickers
‘Create Your Own _____’ (post, print/
send): banner ads, e-cards, cartoon
dolls, virtual makeovers
• have own e-mail account
Character Gallery properties visited: Mickey &
Friends, Disney Fairies,
Winnie the Pooh, That’s So
Raven
Ringtones: $1.99 per
E-cards are sponsored by
American Greetings. You go
to their site to purchase.
$19.99 per year. Site has
a direct link from Kiddonet—½ of Kiddonet content leads to this site.
Home page has a “Personal
& Personalized” tab.
• unknown—registration fee
• h
ome page: 50 themes, 5 text fonts in 12
colors, 8 music choices, hit counter,
links (from Kiddonet site), & ‘About Me’
(85 images plus a ‘decorater your room’
page with 5 categories, 5 images per)
ome page: 50 themes, 5 text fonts in 12
• h
colors, 8 music choices, hit counter, links
(from Kiddonet site), & ‘About Me’ (85 images plus a ‘decorater your room’ page with
5 categories, 5 images per)
Most of this site wasn’t
accessible to Mac users.
no
• create Kiddonet home page design
• create e-cards
ome page: 5 themes, 11 backgrounds, 5 text
• h
fonts in 12 colors, 6 borders, 39 ‘friends’
images, links (from Kiddonet site)
Site is geared toward early learners yet the Home
page Design is decidedly
older. Not the same design
or nav as Kiddonet either.
no
• choose Mamamedia home page UI
• create a ‘DigSig’ creature—use for home
page. Can also order a t-shirt with your
creature on it*.
• have own e-mail account
‘Create Your Own _____’: (print, send,
• save) animated cartoons, stamps, artwork
• Bot Blox game—design your own game play,
create & control your own world
• B
ot Blox: 2 games styles (maze & city), 5
blox, 6 colors, 10 bots. Program controls
for bots: 7 actions, 4 ‘tracks’
*T-shirts are purchased
through a different site:
99dogs.com
no
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
Detail Index : Kid’s Entertainment
site
Nick
www.nick.com
Nick Jr
www.nickjr.com
PBS Kids
www.pbskids.com
Playhouse Disney
www.playhouse.com
Radio Disney
www.radiodisney.com
Sesame Street
www.sesamestreet.com
SI Kids
www.sikids.com
Yahooligans
www.yahooligans.com
age
log-in
parents
revenue
deliverables
number of choices
notes
• h
ome page: 48 themes, 6–12 characters, 6-7
props, 6-9 borders, & 8 ‘favorites’ sections
to complete (pull down menus)
e-cards: text, pictures, & sounds 16 text
• themes, 10-14 pre-typed phrases per, 16 picture themes, 8-10 per (some animated), 6
sound themes, 10 sounds per
Home page & e-card themes
are a mix of Nick properties & generic designs.
6–12
sometimes
no
no
• create Nick home page design
• create animated e-cards & send within
NickMail network
• ‘Create Your Own _____’ (print/send):
calendar, iron-on t-shirt, poster, ID
card
download Nick ‘LaunchPad’ to your desktop
• • Nicktropolis: (under construction) build
your Nickself & help populate Nicktropolis.
3–5
no
yes
no
• e-cards
no
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’: music, comic
strip, painting, tree house
no
3+
3–5
7–12
no
no
no
no
no
no
• e-cards: 4 themes, 4-18 designs per theme
Site design & language
aimed at parents.
• e
xample: ‘Create Your Own Music’ 6 instruments, 4 beats, 4 sounds, 3 tracks
No ‘Create Your Own____’
items are printable. All
Printables are blackline
masters already created.
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’ (print/send):
toy, hero, stickers, painting. If emailed, the ‘Hero’ creation will go into
a Hall of Fame where a child can look it
up & see their creation & name.
• e
xample: ‘Create Your Own Hero’ 18 faces, 18
torsos, 18 legs, 49 accessories
Playhouse Disney properties visited: H&Y Manny,
Mickey’s Clubhouse, Higglytown Heroes, Little
Einsteins
no
• Create your own CD cover (print)
• ‘Make’ a video (send)
• C
D covers (front & back): 20 backgrounds,
30 graphics, 3 fonts, 4 point sizes, 7 colors, area for 14 song titles. Able to flip,
rotate, size, & place graphics in front or
behind others. Also shows preview & has a
language filter.
• Video: mix a video for an existing song 3
songs, 3 pictures, 3 clips, 4 transitions
NA
• e
xample: ‘Create Your Own Monster’ 4 bodies,
8 heads, 12 facial features, 6 accessories
2–6
sometimes
no
no
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’: (send, play)
animated e-card, monster, personalized
printable
• e-cards
8+
no
no
no
• create your own sneaker (print)
• sneakers: 7 sections: height, sole, fasteners, pattens, logos, extras, & colors.
7+
no
no
no
• e-cards
• e-cards: 5 categories, 24-76 cards per
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
Detail Index : Kid’s Educational
site
AOL Learning
www.aollearning.com
A Plus Math
www.aplusmath.com
BrainPOP
www.brainpop.com
Cosmeo
www.cameo.com
Discovery Kids
www.discoverykids.com
Headsprout
www.headsprout.com
Nat Geo Kids
www.natgeokids.com
Scholastic Kids
www.scholastickids.com
Time for Kids
www.timeforkids.com
age
log-in
parents
revenue
deliverables
number of choices
notes
• no major customization offered
• NA
A surprisingly well designed site, for AOL
• NA
Single-license CDRom
available for $14.99
Some movies/games are
free. Most are for subscribers only. Subscription: $99–$175 a year.
13+
no
no
no
7–14
no
no
sometimes
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’: (print) flash
cards, worksheets
• ‘Create Your Own _____’: (print)
skeleton, etc
• send questions to main characters
• unknown
• Both kid’s content and parent controls
• NA
3–8
no
no
sometimes
5–12
yes
no
yes
5–12
no
no
no
• no major customization offered
• NA
5–7
yes
no
yes
• no major customization offered
• NA
7+
no
no
no
• create animated e-cards
• create a bookmark (print)
• e
-cards: 4 backgrounds, 1 main character, 65 items, 4 word balloon, 13 colors. All images can scale, size, move, & rotate.
• c
omics: 7 character poses, 4 backgrounds,
18 props, 47 pre-typed story sentences, 32
title combinations, 36 character lines
4+
no
no
no
• ‘
Create Your Own _____’: (print/send)
calendar, flash cards, comics
• e-cards
• create Trollz ‘Reading Circle’ home page
5–13
yes
no
no
• no major customization offered
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
Detail Index : General Interest
site
age
Amazon.com
www.amazon.com
adults
yes
NA
Google
www.google.com
adults
yes
NA
iTunes
www.itunes.com
all
yes
NA
adults
yes
NA
Nike ID
www.nikeid.com
all
yes
NA
Pogo
www.pogo.com
all
yes
NA
RealArcade
www.realarcade.com
all
yes
NA
Shockwave
www.shockwave.com
adults
yes
NA
Timberl&
www.timberland.com
adults
yes
NA
Kodak Gallery
www.kodakgallery.
com
Zazzle
www.zazzle.com
adults
log-in
yes
parents
NA
revenue
deliverables
number of choices
no
• Lists, and recommendations from other
userse
NA
no
• Customized Search front door
24
• Recommendations on music
NA
• B
ooks, posters, postcards, photo albums
calendars and other printed materials
from photographs
NA
• Sneakers
7, 5, 4
yes
• c
asual games with a community / social
networking aspect
NA
no
• Casual games
NA
• Casual games
NA
• create your own boots (purchase)
• boots: 7 styles, 24 sizes, 9 stitch colors,
5 fonts, 16 leather colors,
6 detail sections—average 8 choices per
Boot price—$155
• ‘Create Your Own _____’: (purchase)
t-shirts, mugs, cards, postage stamps
• example: ‘Create Your Own T-shirt’
Looney Tunes: 26 character categories:
Bugs Bunny—32 (poses, logos, badges)
Tweety—80, Acme—31, Sylvester—16
Phrases (pre-typed): 21
Name on shirt (pre-typed):, 255 fonts, 216
colors, can adjust size/location.
Sizes: 5, 4-6 colors per style
T-shirt price—$20.95. Art
comes from 38 collections—
including Marvel, Star
Wars, Library of Congress,
Disney, & Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Looney Tunes
art used are from previous
Warner Bros. style guides.
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
notes
very sexy design and functionality, clean and easy
to use
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
Detail Index : Online Communities
site
age
log-in
parents
revenue
deliverables
number of choices
Club Penguin
8–14
yes
yes
yes
• c
reate & use a Penguin avatar to chat &
play games
de.li.cious
13+
yes
no
no
• A
social bookmarking site where users can
share their bookmarks and tags that describe their bookmarks with others
www.clubpenguin.com
www.de.li.cious.com
notes
While the site is geared
toward 8-14 it’s for all
ages. Design is much
younger—closer to 6-10.
Subscription: $5.95 a
month
• unknown - registration fee
NA
Part of a movement called
folksonomy.
Doppelganger
13+
yes
no
no
• create & use a 3-D avatar to IM
• unknown—wasn’t able to get program working
Site centered around music. Live DJs are in the
‘Lounge’ where avatars
meet up.
Flickr
13+
yes
no
no
• show and share photographs on line
NA - the user posts his / her own images and
tags them
A site for storing,
searching, storing and
sharing photos on line
• c
reate & use a 3-D avatar to chat, IM
• create your own imvu home page
• create & use or sell imvu mods—stickers,
avatar clothing. All available in an online catalog.
• a
vatars: 24 body styles, 4 racial characteristics, 9 skin tones/make-up styles, 9 eye
colors, 9 hair styles/colors, 9 shirts, 9
bottoms, 9 shoes, 9 accessories
Technically, imvu is free.
However, to register avatar name: $7.95
Also can purchase items
for your avatar in the online catalog.
NA - the user creates an online journal
“Easily modify the look of
your journal, using either
a template-based style
system or a higher-level
customization wizard.”
NA - the user creates an online page
MySpace is an online community that lets you meet
your friends’ friends.
www.doppelganger.com
www.flickr.com
imvu
www.imvu.com
13+
yes
yes
sometimes
• a
customized journal that is kept and
shared online
LiveJournal
13+
yes
no
no
MySpace
13+
yes
no
no
• a customized
shared online
Tabblo
13+
yes
no
yes
• p
ersonalized books, posters, post cards
and other printed material, created from
users’ photographs
NA
Xanga
13+
yes
no
no
• A personalized site
NA
www.livejournal.com
www.myspace.com
www.tabblo.com
www.xanga.com
page that is kept and
This site is a MySpace
wannabe.
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
physical world
Part 2
leapfrog
Observations : Ikea
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
Observations : Ikea
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
10
Observations : Terra Mia
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
11
Analysis
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
12
Synthesis
User Interface
Personal Touch
The use of short sentences
Use of a wall to showcase products
Printed black and white instructions
At a glace instructions
Clear choices and difference, right in front of the user
Price tags at eye level
Use of photography to communicate a product feature
Clarity of information
Instructions that do not require reading
Warm and inviting qualities
Elements that are designed to fit the space
Use of color for visual cues
No more than 8-10 options
Information that is clearly organized
Up sell information to purchases; individual pieces are good,
an entire collection is better
Shopping carts designed specifically for the product
Options sorted by color
The smell of food
Use of the word ‘guide’, instead of ‘map’
Use of mapping and categorization to guide user
Two views of the same product
A display of a product above, the item to purchase below
Use of the floor to house information
Buying into a lifestyle
The notion that everyone is participating / group think
A reason to bring family together
Personification, not just products but a lifestyle
Use of the word “your” / empowerment
Creating a vision of what you can do
Friendly competition / if someone else can, I can too
Kids are welcome, a space for everyone
The quality of curiosity, something that makes you want to know more
A feedback loop to empower the user
The notion of happiness
Use of bright colors
Creating guidance for ideas
Things that are kid sized
The use of music / ambiance
A space that is warm and inviting
The notion that there is no right way, only your way
The quality of playfulness
A way to celebrate the solution
The same product, but individualized (not the same)
Allowing design to mold to your personality
Your choice, plain or color
Do it yourself (DIY) as a way to be empowered
Providing a suggested flow or self guided, users choice
Motivation
Aesthetics
Blank Page Syndrome
The promise of utility and functionality
The integration of design and function
Show off the solution, not the components
Something that is personalized to customer
The personality type that wants something customized
Having something unique, one of a kind
A way for art to be attainable
The promise that each is different
Creating something anew
Ordering chaos
Being able to choose it, and get it
Buying into a full picture, not just pieces
The promise of speed and convenience
The promise of choice
Being able to have it before you really have it
Having a take away item / experience
Obtaining something tangible
Having samples available
Convenience
Being able to carry something around, and think about it
Having what you want, when you want it; have a new sofa tonight
The promise of comfort
Having choices, being able to pick which ones you like
Saving space, not using excess room
Seeing multiple uses of the same product
Creating a home-like warm environment
Communicating the qualities of something handmade
Providing a visual example and text description
Giving the user many choices
Consciousness example of choices
Consistent design
Using fun names for colors
Using a grid to visually organize information
Showing a product in use, not just a product but part of daily life
Allowing the process to become the product
Allowing for messy work
Allowing for simply solutions, not fancy / high end
Providing a work surface
Providing visual examples of possible solutions
Having all choices treated equally
The use of bright colors
The use of a grid
The use of colorful designs
Showing the finished solution
Communicating mood and tone
Using color to show off a simple product
Using color to display a product
The appearance of something being hand painted
Showing the product in a location
Inviting
Making it go fast - immediacy
Showing an alternative use to common object
A “use me” quality to products
A festive display, fun to fill up with work
Providing idea starters
Showcasing already completed work
Showing a portfolio of work
Allowing for idea generators
Providing helper tips
Giving the user a place to start
Showing examples of possible solution
Elimination of black page by giving starters
Selling a vision of the result, not the process (and vice versa)
Providing a limited number of choices
Support
A sequential number of steps
Clean and clear instruction
A clear navigation
“How To” guidance
Clear directions
Clear large customer / account info
Large type on tags and signage
Repeating important information
Use of video and text to deliver instructions
Helpful people / resources
Helpers in person or on computer
Soliciting ideas and feedback from users
Ease of use
Workspaces for designing, available at key stages
Feedback forums, online and offline
Not having to wait for help
Tools, accessible when you need them
Computers on site, in order to help users
Friendly people
Readily available phone support
Collaboration
A joint project
A family working together
Activities for all ages
Selling the user “togetherness”
Segregating adult and child
Providing free consultation
Allowing the user to engage by having a seat and getting comfortable
Providing a reminder of details you might have forgot
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
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Design Principals
Providing Support
Creating a Clear User Interface
Creating a “Personal Touch”
Enable live help / chat
Offer clear instruction
List out steps within a sequence
Create dynamic steps, based on user input
Offer ‘how to’ videos and DVDs
Enable a network of support (power users)
Offer a starting point, a way to begin
Clearly layout the screen and choices
Design to the target age, employ a dynamic design
that scales with age (few choices for younger kids)
Use short sentences in copy and instructions
Provide instructions that do not require reading
Show the ‘goal’ of what is to be created before the process starts
Use clear and inviting colors, use color for visual cues
Offer an approrpiate number of option to the user at a given time
Employ shopping carts, designed specifically for the product
Layout the screen carefully, building on the foundational principals of
graphic design
Design the elements to be customized around the space that they will
be used in, not the other way around
Personalize versus customize
Creating a way to celebrate the solution
Creating a reason to bring family together
Delivering on the notion that there is no right way, only your way
Creating a quality of playfulness
Motivating the User
Creating Strong Aesthetics
Addressing the Blank Page Syndrome
Communicate the promise of utility and functionality
Show off the solution, not the components
Cater to the personality type that wants something customized
Cater to the ideal of having something unique, one of a kind
Enable bragging rights
Allow for the child to have it before you really have it (receive an
advance email or picture of a physical object)
Cater to the promise that each is different
Cater to the promise that a set or collection is different
Access to a ‘private club’, exclusivity, a larger reward
Being able to have a glimpse of the final product and think about it
Cater to the idea of art as something attainable
Allow for multiple uses of the same product
Creating a home-like warm environment
Communicating the qualities of something handmade
Providing a visual example and text description
Providing a visual example only for people who cannot read
Giving the user many choices
Creating consistent design
Using fun names for colors
Using a grid to visually organize information
Showing a product in use, not just a product but part of daily life
Allowing the process to become the product
Allowing for messy work
Allowing for simply solutions, not fancy / high end
Communicating mood and tone
Provide idea starters / idea generators
Provide multiple filtering sytems, more than one way to make choices
Showcase already completed work
Providing help and tips for getting started
Seeing how other people have started
Selling a vision of the result, not the process (and vice versa)
Providing a limited number of choices
Fostering Collaboration
Allowing for more than one user to customize at a time
Allowing for a family to work as a single unit
Creating activities for all ages, such that different ages can use
Segregating between adult and child
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
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Applications & Uses
a few ideas for Things we can Customize (and how):
Character / Avatar
Printables / Swag
Viral E-Cards
Create a customized character based on a variety of criteria , such
as hair, eyes, height, weight. Criteria can be delivered by menu,
slider, or kit. Customized characters are commonly found in MMOGs,
single player games, chat programs, and virtual worlds.
Integrating the computer’s peripheral devices, such as the printer,
and the promise of customization will enable a wide range of possibilities and uses. Cafe Press is a strong example of how the
virtual world of customization and the physical world of objects can
converge successfully. The LeapFrog equivalent of this approach
would be branded printables such as books, flashcards, homework
helpers, bookmarks, and anything for the refrigerator door!
Electronic post cards remain popular for the very reason that they
lend themselves to customizing. The LeapFrog equivalent of this
category would be a series of e-cards that contained a learning
moment. This is another product genre that would lend itself to be
mashed up with other items in this list. For example, a child would
send a friend their customized avatar in an e-card.
Game
A game-building engine provides the player the opportunity to create their own application, based on a series of inputs , such as age,
curriculum, and character license. The game engine can address a
range of ages by dynamically allowing for more / fewer criteria.
Story / Adventure
A Web equivalent of the ‘create your own adventure’ books provides
the player the opportunity to chose from a series of possible characters, plot points, settings and outcomes. Qualities including ‘tone’
‘vocabulary level’ and ‘length of story’ could also be added in order
to given more controls to the user (or parent).
Room / Environment / World
This feature can range in scale from the simple ‘Build a Room’
feature found on Barbie.com, where users select colors and furniture
from a list, to the massively complex premise of Spore, where users
build an entire world, starting from a single cell.
Curriculum / Lesson Plan
The LeapTrack system is a strong example of what a customization
engine that focuses on curriculum and lesson plans could be.
This would be akin to a LeapTrack Light product that allowed the
average parent to download a high level map of what their child was
learning, and when.
Uploadables
The rapid ascent of YouTube illuminates the desire for people to not
only create content on the Web using prescribed choices, but to also
upload and share their own. Flickr is another example of user creating customized photo albums and sharing them with others.
Product
E-Newsletter
Disney’s ToonTown is a good example of a child-friendly e-newsletter, yet it falls short on the customization. This genre of product
could deliver not only on the superficial details of having a child’s
name, age and favorite picture, but could also go the next level of
containing customized content. A good current example of what this
could be is one’s personalized Google Home page.
Quick tools (high density plastic and ceramic molds) and low cost /
low run printers, are giving way to a new generation of customized
physical products, allowing this to move beyond the mere accessorizing of products by faceplates, skins, etc. Apple made a big
splash back in 2002 by allowing users to personalize their iPods
through low-cost laser engraving.
Sounds
In looking beyond the physical and visual, audio is an area that can
be easily customized and really add to the immersion of a child’s
online experience. One can currently personalize audio in a variety
of products, ranging from cell phone ring tones to start up sounds.
This can also be applied to a narrator’s voice (male / female) and
musical personality of a game’s sound track.
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Design Application
Build a game:
Andrew’s game gallery: Game Machine
Andrew’s game gallery: Game Machine
1 - START
Start New
Andrew’s game gallery: Game Machine
2 - Design
Build on existing design
Viewing Screen
3 - Personalize
Build on existing design
Pick Character Set
Finding Nemo
Age Range
6 years old
Curriculum Area
Reading
Speacial Powers
Invisible
Number of Levels
5
Number of Players
2
Viewing Screen
Viewing Screen
Type in the title of your
game here.
This will show up in the
first screen.
NEXT
1
Build a Title Screen
NEXT
2
NEXT
3
Andrew’s game gallery: Game Machine
Andrew’s game gallery: Game Machine
1- Start
4 - Review
5 - Purchase and Share
Build on existing design
2- Design
3- personalize
4- review
5- purchase and share
Viewing Screen
Download Game
Pick Character Set
Finding Nemo
Age Range
6 years old
Play On Web
Curriculum Area
Reading
Add to Wish List
Speacial Powers
Invisible
Share Game Specs
Number of Levels
5
Number of Players
2
More
4
Viewing Screen
NEXT
NEXT
5
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
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Design Application
Build a character:
1 - Select a grade
1st Grade
2nd Grade
2 - Select a gender
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
3 - How do you want to get started?
6th Grade
Starting from Pieces
7 th Grade
8th Grade
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade
male
Starting from Kit
female
2nd Grade
NEXT
1
NEXT
2
4 - Select character features
NEXT
3
4 - Select character features
$
5 - Apply character
$
Create e-card
Print on t-shirt
Place in game
YOUR AVATAR
RESET
4a
NEXT
RESET
4b
NEXT
NEXT
5
1- SELECT A GRADE
2- SELECT A GENDER
3- Select A method of customization
4- select character features
5- apply character
LeapFrog > Customization Research > Page
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