Amazon FreeTime
Helping kids find the right content
Tablet | Streaming | Content Discovery | Visual Improvement
OVERVIEW
Role
Product Designer
Tools
Figma
Skills
Research
Wire framing
Prototyping
Timeline
6 weeks
Company
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription for kids with unlimited access to books, videos, apps and games. It includes easy-to-use parental controls to find the right balance between education and entertainment.
Challenge
Unlike other streaming apps that only display video content, the challenge with the FreeTime app is that it offers games, videos, books, and audiobooks to users. I was asked to redesign the Amazon FreeTime user interface with the goal of making it easy for 6 - 9 year olds to identify the different types of streaming content offered on the app and to discover content related to their interests.
Solution
I created a home screen with kid friendly category names, icons to differentiate content types, and a character and recommended for you section to make finding relevant content easier.
DELIVERABLE
Icons were added to the home screen to help kids identify content types
Over the course of six weeks, I redesigned a home screen for the Amazon FreeTime app where kids can easily find content that is relevant to them. As validated through usability tests, kids were able to understand the content categories, differentiate between content types, find characters, and easily find recommended content.
EMPATHIZE
Everyone recommends content and has character sections except FreeTime
I began by reading studies on kids and their preferences along with conducting competitive research on the major streaming apps. I studied these competitors in the streaming space and focused on the information organization and design patterns. The competitive streaming apps had recommended for you sections and had sections that highlighted the characters and actors in shows.
6 - 9 year old kids want content that is tailored to them
To better understand kids in this space, I conducted seven informational interviews and usability tests. In these interviews, I covered their likes and dislikes, basic tablet usage, and content streaming behaviors. I used this research to create personas to better design a kid centric streaming app. My findings revealed that kids get attached to specific characters, prefer visuals over words, and want relevant content recommended to them.
DEFINE
Kids can't find content that is relevant to them or identify content types on FreeTime
After reviewing notes from my user interviews, I made an affinity map to group the pain points that kids had with the FreeTime app. I identified and selected the primary pain points that have the most impact on users and discovered that there were three consistent pain points. Here were the main takeaways:
No Personalization
Kids were not give content recommendations tailored to their interests and previous behavior.
Unclear Categorization
Content within the app was organized into categories that the kids did not understand and found confusing.
No Character Pages
Pages with content related to specific characters did not exist and made it difficult for kids to find content by characters.
IDEATE
A home screen designed to help kids identify different types of content offered on the app
I began sketching wireframes to solve for the main pain points that I decided to focus on solving. These sketches show potential design ideas that could be implemented on the Amazon FreeTime app. Some of the components were approved by the Product Manager from Amazon FreeTime and are shown below in green.
Concept 1
Concept 2
Concept 3
Making it easy for kids to identify content types, find recommendations, and search by characters
Once the Client and I agreed on the components from our initial sketches to include in the final design, I created a low fidelity wireframe in Figma that laid out these components before starting on high fidelity mockups.
Wireframe
PROTOTYPE
Kids prefer icons over words
After verifying my wireframe with the client, I created a high fidelity design and prototype to validate with kids ages 6 - 9. I received valuable feedback regarding icons, information hierarchy, and copy. Based on the feedback I made changes to the prototype design that helps kids find content by categories through more prominent placement on the home screen and icons for visual cues.
OUTCOME
A home screen that makes it easy for kids to find content
I learned that although design is important, content is king for 6 - 9 year olds. A steaming app that is focused on kids needs to have a large and up to date library of content that is relevant to them. FreeTime takes in interesting approach on content by offering more than just videos and letting kids streams games, videos, books, and audiobooks. Designing an interface that highlights the different types of content and makes it easy for kids to discovery new content is for both he business and user goals. I improved content discovery for kids by using icons for easy navigation, creating character pages for quick access to character focused content, and adding a recommended for you section with content that is tailored towards a users interests.
Category icons
The redesigned home screen included category icons that grouped content into more understandable categories for kids of play, watch, read, or listen. Icons were also added to each content item to help users differentiate the types of content.
Character pages
Links to pages that displayed content related to a specific character were added above the fold on the home screen to help kids find content based on the characters they love.
Recommended content
A recommended content section was added above the fold on the home screen to help kids find new content that is more closely related to their likes.
Final deliverable
I presented my process and final iterations to the Amazon FreeTime team and received positive feedback on my ability to grasp the users needs while maintaining alignment with the FreeTime mission. The image below is the final design that was sent to the client: