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5 Tips for Designing Kids Websites that Appeal to Parents and Children
Kid’s websites are becoming more and more popular with children and their parents as online entertainment options. Children are learning to use computers and the internet at much younger ages, and families are on the lookout for restaurants, shopping and services that are sensitive to the needs of their children. Kid’s website designers must be equally as sensitive to the unique entertainment, learning and safety concerns surrounding web development for children's websites. Consider these 5 tips when completing a web development project for a kid’s website.
1. Build in safety features from the beginning of the kid’s website development process. With the prevalence of internet predators, website designers cannot afford to ignore internet safety concerns when it comes to kid’s website design. If your kid’s website encourages online interaction for children, set strict policies about posting child photos and follow up with strong back-end programming security features. If users are allowed to register or login to your kid’s website design, put security methods in place to ensure information posted is not shared. Consider establishing a confirmation process that will require a parent's awareness of their child's website registration.
2. Win over parents of kid’s website users with information targeted for their concerns. Create a parents section as a part of your website content structure. Use this part of the kid’s website design to assure parents of your intentions and kid’s website goals. Make parents aware of security policies and web development efforts to protect young visitors. Include tips for how parents can use the kid’s website design to entertain or teach their children. Maintain a sense of transparency and parental involvement in all your website content development.
3. Fill your kid’s website design with family friendly content. Be sensitive to the impressionable nature of your kid’s website audience as well as the concerns of parents. This kid’s website design tip is especially important if your web development project involves adding kid’s website content to a site not specifically targeting children. Avoid any questionable or controversial content in your website for children. Make sure your content is presented as informational and not persuasive in nature. Develop website content that is politically, socially and economically sensitive. Be sure to ask feedback from parents or teachers to gauge the appropriateness of the content written for your kid’s website.
4. Use the kid’s website design to provide learning opportunities for young visitors. Kid-centered illustrations and cartoons, fun facts, easy craft ideas and online games are great ways to get children interested in the educational content in your kid’s website design. Simplify information about your chosen topics and provide ways children can communicate their learning experience off-line. Downloads, printable puzzles and coloring sheets will likely end up on the refrigerator or as conversation topics at the dinner table which may draw more interest to your kid’s website design.
5. Include various media in your kid’s website design. Music and video are important elements of a kid website, especially for early readers who may have a hard time with wordy content. Media that can be shared on cell phones and iPods will increase the appeal of your kid’s website design and encourage children to visit the website again and again.