Kidspace is an interactive children's museum with a mission to inspire future leaders to seek knowledge through an educational space that nourishes curiosity.
Kidspace prides itself in their interactive, play-driven approach to education. However, the museum's display of information is not presented in an engaging way that is receptive to their targeted audience, children. In addition, the the way information is displayed isn't always accessible to children who are neurodiverse and can act as a barrier.
An interactive kiosk and app system that allows information to be presented in an engaging, digestible, and accessible way was created. In addition to that, a brand refresh was given to create a more cohesive identity.
The brand mark is made up of an abstracted representation of a child raising their hand, symbolizing an active and curious learner, and a globe. The globe represents curiosity and exploration.
Typography and Color
Urbane Rounded is used for printed materials for its soft and friendly characteristics. Sofia Pro Soft is used for headlines on web and is paired with Sofia Pro Regular for body copy.
Kiosk and App System
To push the concept of interactive learning further, information will be presented to children through a digital kiosk system that they can interact with. Users can gain points by using the Kidspace app to scan the QR code that can be found at the end of an exhibit's informational video. The points earned can be exchanged for a prize in the gift shop at the end of their visit. This point system was created to enforce the idea that learning and remaining curious is rewarding.
Meet "Robbi", the educational robot. In order to make children respond more positively to the information at the exhibits, a character who would explain the exhibit's content was designed. Robbi would be incorporated into every kiosk throughout the museum to create a feeling of familiarity and trust.
The first kiosk visitors would come in contact with would be the welcome kiosks located at the entrance of the museum. Users would be able to scan e-tickets that have been purchased ahead of time using the Kidspace app.
Exhibit Kiosk: Light Lab
The next kiosk users would interact with would be one of the exhibit kiosks. Making sure that the information was accessible to every type of learner, accessibility features were added to each informational kiosk that children would interact with. Through research, I found that most children's museums have special accessibility hours that are designed for children who are neurodiverse or have visual/audio impairments. Although those efforts are greatly appreciated, these special hours can create a sense of otherness and segregation for some families
I came up with a few design solutions that would allow information to be given in ways that are accessible to all children and learners. One of those solutions is through the use of a clean, easy to navigate interface that doesn't rely heavily on color or decoration, to reduce the risk of over stimulation while interacting with the kiosk.
Exhibit Kiosk: Reading Nook
The Reading Nook is an area designated for quiet, literary based learning. The concept of this kiosk stems from interactive storytelling. Children would be able to pick a story topic and create their own stories by filling in the blanks provided using the word bank provided.
Once the child watches the exhibit video, a QR code will appear that parents can scan using the Kidspace app on their smartphones. This handoff reinforces parent-child interaction in the exhibit. Through observation at a children's museum, it was noticed that parents often let their child interact with the exhibits alone, without being near them to guide them through the process of learning the content.
Once the QR code is scanned, users would earn a point and be given a quick breakdown of the information in the video. By having the information at hand, parents can easily relay information to their child if there's any confusion. Children would also be able to take a quiz on the subject that they just learned in order to earn extra points. To reiterate the idea that remaining curious is just as rewarding, children will still receive a point even if they answer the question incorrectly.
Taking parent-child learning outside of the museum, the Kidspace app would send push notifications of activities and lessons that parents can complete with their children.
I really enjoyed the research process for this project. Reading and learning about psychology and the importance of how information is presented was very interesting. Everyone deserves access to education and tools of learning, so being able to think of solutions that would create a more engaging, inclusive method of presentation of information was the most fun aspects of this project. I would like to spend some more time trying to create a more playful UI that wouldn't be overstimulating.