Last week POSCON Network Members from fragFINN and My Child Online got to meet and interview key team members of the BBC who planned and produced the very successful “CBeebies Playtime” App. We met with Lizzie Leadbeater (Senior Content Producer), Leanne Dougan (Senior Designer) and Jon Howard (Executive Product Manager) at their office at the BBC headquarters at Media City UK, to look behind the scenes and talk about how their app developed from the first ideas and dreams, through research, prototypes and testing until its launch in August 2013.
The whole app planning, production, designing and marketing process focused on delivering the best product possible to engage children under 6 years of age to be inspired by creativity and imagination and encourage learning through play – the motivating philosophy of BBC’s CBeebies media content and services. Another important aim, being a public service in the UK, was to meet the needs of as many families and people as possible: That is why the app is available for free on the most popular and common devices in the country.
A crucial thing we learned was that even within big public services such as the BBC, the project team felt like a little family: The whole team of CBeebies colleagues, researchers, advisers, even the external agency are dreaming, discussing, struggling, improving and succeeding together. Witnessing this positive, collaborative and family-like atmosphere we probably saw a key factor to the huge success of their Playtime app, which is destined to inspire others.
To round off its two-year mission of stimulating positive online content for children, POSCON is currently working with Mijn Kind Online on the publication of a book aimed at both professional and amateur producers of content and services for kids. With the help of this specially designed book, creative producers can inspire others to make appropriate online products for children. You will be able to read the detailed interview of the “CBeebies Playtime” App team and learn why this app has become such an inspiring best-practice example of digital media for children. It will also include practical tips and advice on how to start if you aim at producing great app for kids.
More information: BBC introducing CBeebies Playtime app games for kids (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/article/cbeebies-playtime-app)