In order to create a successful and strong product, I must look at other products involving the periodic table and similar applications made for kids to see how they create and implement their products for kids. This can ultimately benefit me as it allows me to review their work in both a negative and positive light which then can reflect and allow room for inspiration for my own project. I need to look/dissect apps or media that are specific to kids finding out how they created it and the motives behind it.
For these competitor analyses, however, I want to look at how the periodic table is presented in various platforms/devices. Although, I am moving towards basing my app on a tablet. I want to make sure I have covered as many possible platforms as needed before I start to further pursue my project.
I will break my competitor analysis up into three parts, researching each application on each platform as follows:
First Analysis (Animation)
- Videos – Youtube, Vimeo, etc.
Second Analysis (Narration)
Third Analysis (Artistic Direction & Digital Bonuses)
- Mobile Applications
Kids Learning Tube – The Periodic Table
Established in 2015 Kids learning tube is a popular youtube channel that specializes in educating children on a wide range of topics through animations and sing-alongs. Looking at this channel, and more appropriately the video consisting of the periodic table we can see a rhythmic sing-along video that constructs the periodic table for children to understand. Starting with the construction of the atom all the way to the categories of each element this video covers all the relative information children should know.
How does Kids Learning Tube engage with kids in this video?
Buddy – The video personifies the atom into a little character that sings and gazes at the audience. It also says words such as, “Sing along with me” which in turn makes the children feel engaged.
Sing-Along – Similar to the point above, this video uses a rhymic and catchy sing-along to get the children more excited and happy when learning from the video. This sing-along is catchy which gives a higher chance of the information sticking to the child.
Animations – This video uses animations such as arrows to guide the children to the information. This is similar to a teacher pointing in a class.
What did I like about this video?
Animations – It’s hard to go wrong with animations, as seen on my other blog about motion people and more appropriately children learn a lot more when there is motion involved as it captures the child’s gaze and attention.
Catchy song – Unique & catchy = enough said.
Colour palate – The use of a saturated colour palette to captivate children, these colours go really well with outlining vital information against a harsh dark background.
What did I dislike about this video?
Buddy – Maybe just a personal preference but I found the buddy to be awfully creepy, almost as if there is a gun pointed at his head while singing the song – if that wasn’t enough the chaotic nature of the children’s song doesn’t help.
Information – While in some instances the information is short and simple, most of the time they include more than 14 words per sentence. This combined with the fast pace of the video can distract and frustrate the reader.
Animated Science – The Periodic Table
Animated Science is a children’s animated video found both on the creator’s website at thekidsshouldseethis.com and The University of Barcelona’s youtube channel. The video itself has been nominated by the united nations at the International Year of the Periodic Table 2019 while also celebrating the 150th university of the creation of the periodic table. It is funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology to educate kids on the periodic table. It shows a story of a square character who goes to school and struggles with understanding the periodic table and its elements. He manages to find a solution by looking at everyday options in the surrounding world ultimately furthering his understanding of the periodic table.
How does Animated Science engage with kids in this video?
Characters – The characters in the video are genderless characters, although the touch of pink on each might assume some that they are females, other than that the characters show no traits of gender. This can create a diverse and catering-to-all learning experience.
Narrative – The video uses a protagonist who is easy to identify with as it shows it going to school and being bombarded with many difficult situations that they find hard to undertake. This can be a common occurrence in both kids and even adults when learning about the periodic table.
Artistic Direction – The illustrations that this video provides are widely sporadic and abstract potentially mimicking a child’s mind.
Sound Design – Although, this video has no catchy songs it does exceed in providing a fun, immersive and interactive experience through the art of sound effects. This can potentially capture a child’s innovation and attention.
What did I like about this video?
Colour Scheme – The primary colour scheme throughout this video contains an abundance of mute colours. The thing I really enjoyed, however, was when they were explaining a sequence e.g. solving a problem they used profound vibrant colours that draws the intention of the viewer to the subject being presented at hand.
Narrative – As said above, I really enjoyed how they showed “a day in the life” perspective of the protagonist which shows many problems and similarities that school children can face untimely allowing a child to identify with the character.
What did I dislike about this video?
Narration – I really enjoyed the sound effects that were prescribed constantly throughout this video, however, I felt like the lack of a narrator or distinctly audible ques (voice-overs) can confuse children on what is happening. However, perhaps this is a way to tackle the multi-lingual problem that persists, especially in Europe.
The pace of video – Similarly to above, I found the video to be very fast-paced which didn’t help with the quick and chaotic animations/illustrations. This can easily be confusing and frustrate a child while watching.
What Have I learned?
As this is my first competitor analysis for my elemental project I found it to be both crucial and interesting in understanding how some companies/establishments interact and engage with children for this topic. This is especially relevant to me as I am looking to put animations/motion in my project to further capture kids’ attention and present my app as being unique.
Things I have taken away from this analysis:
- Kids love catchy songs/noises – creates a more immersive setting.
- Short and simple messages/information.
- Buddy’s can help engage with the kids.
- Funny animations can capture the kid’s attention more.
- Kids love a story, especially if it relates to them.
- Colours can be used interchangeably, in fact having dull backgrounds with vibrant foreground only makes the subjects stand out more.
- Kids prefer smoother motion rather than rougher motion, although any kind of motion is a plus.