Sesame Workshop has released a very solid set of best practices for developing apps for preschoolers. It’s worth a read, but I’ll highlight a few key items:
- Don’t make wrong answers punitive. They are learning moments.
- Don’t use pinch, tilt/shake, multi-touch, flick/fling, or double tap. These are less intuitive for preschoolers.
- Don’t use vertical scrolling.
- Don’t put buttons or other tappable items on the bottom edge. Children tend to rest their wrists there.
- Don’t put cross-sell/marketing links where kids are navigating or playing. Put them in a Parents section.
- Do use tap, draw, swipe, drag, and slide. These are more intuitive for preschoolers.
- Do create payoffs for correct answers.
- Do use text highlighting in stories.
- Do use landscape orientation if possible.
- Do make the audio interruptible. Unless it’s the story text, which shouldn’t be interruptible.