Designing websites for children is a totally different experience than designing a website for adults. In fact, you have to forget a bit about certain rules and good practices already established in the design and go against them in order to create an interface that the smallest users can use without problems.
Take into account the age
Considering your target audience is a good practice that is used in all types of design, regardless of whether you are designing an application or a website. But you must be much more careful even when it comes to children because there are abysmal differences between children of different ages. Since they are in physical and mental growth, you should be informed of all the characteristics and behaviors of children according to their age range.
Create a fun atmosphere
Chances are, if you’re designing a website for kids, it will be largely educational or contain a series of age-appropriate games. You have to convey that sense of fun in your design and it can be achieved, as you may already know, by using the right images, colors, text, icons and fonts.
Navigation and buttons should be conspicuous
The interface of a website for children should provide a good experience. The first step to achieve this is that both the navigation and the buttons and icons must be clearly visible, in such a way that there is no doubt for users that they can interact with these buttons. A common practice on these sites is to enlarge both the navigation and any call-to-action button or icon. To reinforce the actions and links in the navigation, icons are usually placed next to the word.
Use animated sounds and effects to your advantage
Incorporating explanations, music and animations is favorable in websites aimed at children as it draws their attention much more and stimulates them in a positive way. It keeps them interested and attentive, not to mention that they will find it a lot more fun. Also, a voice-over could be helpful for children who cannot yet read.
Incorporate games and activities
The main goal of children’s websites is education. Educational games are usually placed that can support children’s learning. Probably, no matter what type of site you are designing, if it is aimed at children it will have a couple of activities that they can enjoy, whether related to language or mathematics, level of association or even serve to develop their imagination.
Includes information for parents
Although your users are the children, it is ultimately the parents who decide and control which websites their children can visit. Before children can get to know your website in depth, parents will check if the website in question has the type of content that parents consider appropriate for their children. So also dedicate a section for parents in which you explain what the purpose of the website is, what are the activities that your child can do there and how they help with their learning and development.