I get nostalgic looking at kid learning experiences.
I think it's because learning platforms were such a big part of my life growing up. They created unique experiences that motivated me to become a better student. And on top of that, I enjoyed logging on to these platforms.
Kiddie branding and gamification impacted the type of student I became. These elements continue to influence my life today, by exciting my marketing work and interest in the industry at large.
Here's how learning experience design has impacted me over time.
Kiddie branding signals the type of edtech I'm interested in
Kiddie fonts and mascots are commonly used by edtech platforms to catch the eye of young learners and keep them engaged.
When I was a young learner, kid-friendly font styles like Gil Sans Infant and Futura (what you're reading right now) signaled to me that what I was reading was written with people my size in mind.
Brand mascots gave me a similar feeling. They were placed in my edtech world to become partners and motivators as I completed quests or leveled up.
Today, I'm still drawn to these branding elements. When I was looking to break into edtech last year, I targeted companies that serve elementary school-age users. Seeing a youthful font or friendly mascot's face helped me realize that I was targeting the right platform.
Gamification motivated my learning and now my work
My favorite way to learn growing up? With games.
If there were points to earn or badges to be had, I wanted to earn them. Leveling up and becoming a better student was just the cherry on top.
Gamification in edtech works differently for adults working in the industry. You won't feel the same rush of playing elementary-age games as young learners will.
But gamification is more than games.
It's also about storytelling and empathizing with a mission. Usually, it's the mission taking place inside a game. What if it's the one described on product sites?
Like quizzes. Sites that offer data-driven or personality-type quizzes can effectively engage respondents to take a certain action, from filling out their email to speaking to a company rep.
Good learning design encourages me to take risks
For my kid self, taking risks fell in line with answering a tricky math question before time ran out or my avatar fell off the log it's been balancing on.
The elusive biscuit in the virtual world: a new ribbon, virtual currency, unlocked level, you name it.
Risks that edtech adults take happen in the real world, from creating an outside-the-box campaign or sending out a new product feature, hoping there aren't glitches.
The elusive rewards are endless:
company/ industry impact
I'm drawn to edtech brands that embrace kids with their branding—if that best reflects the age of their end users. The alignment signals that I have the transparency to embrace the vibes at work!
What types of feelings or attachments does learning experience design create in you? To learn more about how to connect to your unique journey in edtech, check out the FREE monthly newsletter, Channel Your Tech Kid.