6 Steps for Building a Kid-Friendly Website
If you have a shop or product designed especially for children, then you’ll want to make a website that appeals to kids and is easy to use... and complies with federal regulations on marketing to an underage crowd. Here are some of the considerations you should be thinking about when you build your site if you have children in mind as your customers.
2) Focus on bright colors and fun graphics. Children are stimulated by vivid colors like bright reds and yellows, so be bold with your design: If children are your market, don’t be afraid to fill the site with splashes of color. Animated figures are always a hit, too, but make sure that you have the rights to any stock images you use: Take a look through a stock image site like Fotosearch or iStockphoto to find royalty-free, kid-friendly images.
3) Include large, clear navigation icons. Make your website easy for even the youngest children to use by including simple, picture-based buttons to go back, forward, home, and to navigate to different category areas.
4) Provide information for parents. Most parents keep a close eye on their young children’s internet habits, so create a more detailed “parents” section filled with information about your company, store, and products, so they can make an informed decision for their children.
5) Be careful where you link. You never want to include links to sites with even remotely obscene content or potential malware, but it’s even more important to make sure that you’re linking only to reputable sites when you expect children to visit your website. Verify that all outgoing links are to safe, educational sites for kids, and double-check the links frequently to make sure the sites haven’t changed. If in doubt, leave it out.
6) Take the site for a test-drive. There’s no better way to see how well your site appeals to kids than to watch them use it. Hold a “focus group” among your own children’s friends, and give them all a chance to test out the new site before it goes live. Take account of their feedback, and pay attention to how easily they are able to move from one page to another, keeping notes if they find themselves confused by certain words or symbols. Use the lessons you learn in the focus group to tweak your design before it goes live.