Building with Responsibility
As parents, responsible design is at the top of our minds with every design and marketing decision we make for KIDICTED. Our goal is to build a safe, inclusive digital (and real world) environment where parents feel confident their children can play.
From illustration and game mechanics to sales and marketing strategies, our decisions have been defined by our values as parents. Everyday, we view each decision we make through these lenses, test them against established criteria and ensure we are open and inclusive of parent/user feedback.
The goal for the KIDICTED avatar is to represent the children who play our game; designed in the likeness of each child that plays.
Even though our first avatar is limited to a single shape, our gender neutral figure can take on an identity based on the way the child sees themselves. We have consciously reviewed item descriptions to ensure they speak to the inspiration of the object and not to define a gender, ethnicity or privilege.
Through our user testing, we were excited to see children of all identities seek and find items they could use to represent themselves. And, we continue to add in items daily to expand their options.
The activities in the game are designed to inspire kids to put down their devices and play in the real world. Although we know each parent has a different comfort level of what a child can do without supervision and each child has different capabilities, our aim is to offer a range of accessible, safe, kid-friendly activities that they can do on their own. Each activity is designed based on the following criteria:
Can be explained in simple language and steps or demonstrated to a 7-9 year old
“Safe” activities that children should be able to do without parent interaction
Materials required should be found in most households
Many activities are designed for a single player (or more) and indoor play to ensure they are accessible to all children
KIDICTED's goal is to help kids transition between the virtual and real world with ease and develop self-directed behaviours between the two. In our initial user testing, we found that kids often left their devices to do an activity and didn't come back immediately to log their activities. WIN - for parents, LOSE - for traditional mobile game design.
"WIN - for parents, LOSE - for traditional mobile game design"
But, we are okay with it! It will always be a design challenge for us to balance "stickiness" (keeping kids coming back to KIDICTED - over less desirable digital games) and helping them off devices altogether.
The incentives and challenges we are building into the game are designed to encourage real world play and explore new real world activities and not to pressure children into constant game play. We will do our best to be transparent with you, our parents, on how the game mechanics work and why we have designed them the way we do.
Sales and Marketing - AD FREE!
On the daily, we know our digitally savvy children are exposed to a constant barrage of ads for paid games in the "Free" apps they have downloaded or offered to purchase virtual currency using real dollars to extend gameplay or unlock otherwise inaccessible rewards.
We trust that as a parent, you value quality content like we do. We hope you are as excited as we are to introduce your kids to simple, old school activities they can do on their own. That we why we have made an early decision to be upfront with our pricing with a pay per download offer. We also know that you may be interested in new content if your kids love the activities in our core offering and we will share those opportunities with you, but not your kids.
Ethics and legal
Ethical practices are at the heart of Laura and my partnership. We hold ourselves accountable to making good choices, being upfront with our partners and customers and thinking through the consequences of our actions.
We strive to follow ethical and legal guidelines around technology addiction, data privacy, children's privacy and marketing to children. Most importantly, we welcome your input and feedback as we launch and as KIDICTED grows.
We have a long list of possibilities we imagine for KIDICTED and although not all of them will be in our first version, we are very excited to see each of them come to life with your support. Please feel free to reach out at any time with your questions or ideas, we'd love to have you part of our parent design forum to provide your input.
Michelle and Laura