Working my way through Mark Schlichting’s ‘Kids, Play, and Interactive Design.’

So, I’m back developing kids’ digital interactive content after a bit of a hiatus. And it’s a bit like putting on a pair of roller skates after long, long time. I remember the general gist of it, but I need to refresh my skills a bit. No doubt about it. (On the other hand, it definitely helps that my leave of absence from the world of work involved having a child, so I now have a three-year-old in my life. Between her and my seven-year-old son, I now have daily, direct, and ongoing exposure to my target audience. Nice.)

As an initial exercise to help get me back in the game, I started each day reading a section from Susan Winschenk’s excellent book 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People. (Which is bloody brilliant, and I highly recommend it for every designer, developer, and PM involved in developing front-end solutions.)  However, soon after I started with Touch Press, Mark Schlichting came to visit and give us a talk about developing interactive solutions for kids, which really inspired me and fired me up. So I am now digesting small sections of his book at the start of every morning, to help develop (and redevelop) my ability to develop really great kids products. (Or rather, to become a really good contributor to the process of creating such products. For, of course, doing this is rarely–if ever–the work of one.)

My children inspired me to create programs that combined the attention-grabbing play aspects of great games with meaningful content.

Mark Schlichting, Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design, Introduction, p. xvii. 

So, initially, at least, this blog is going to consist of my musings in relation to Mark’s book Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design. But, undoubtedly, other aspects that I’m encountering in work will crop up–especially in relation to Learning Design. I hope that some good insights come out of this that cause lightbulb flickers for other people working or studying in the field… That’s the hope anyway!