How to write good copy and win customers
If you have kids under the age of six or so, it’s likely you count Dora among your best family friends. The sprightly, multilingual cartoon character has smoothed the rough edges off many an evening at my house.
But who knew she was a Web design genius?
Before dinner the other night, I sat on the couch with my 4-year old daughter and played the character themed games at nickjr.com, the website of Nickelodeon, the TV channel on which Dora the Explorer runs. We especially enjoyed Sticker Pictures (see image at left), which lets you adorn scenes ranging from jungles to playrooms with cartoon characters. You can also create drawing effects like you would using something like Photoshop.
It kept both of us occupied during the fragile pre-dinner hour.
What was interesting is how easily both of us figured the game out (and indeed the rest of the site) despite the kaleidoscopic array of images, intense Flash, and sponsored links. Even fairly involved actions like dragging, dropping and sizing images into a scene required little trial and error.
Later, I went back to the Sticker Pictures game (OK, I realize this is borderline strange, but seriously — bear with me) to think through how the site managed to provide such an excellent user experience for a 4-year old and her 36-year old dad.
I’m not joking: We can all learn a thing or two by studying sites built for young people that absolutely must be dead simple and don’t have the luxury of assumptions when it comes to the user. Remember too that today’s kids are growing up with this type of UI. It’s what they will expect when they get older.
Next time you’re tasked with putting together a Webpage, just ask, "What would Dora do?"
— Brian Boero
Smart industry takes and creative inspiration.