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July 24, 2014


Complex, Clumsy Design.

It's Happening. A lot.

One of the fastest growing segments in the iOS app ecosystem is Kids apps.  In the past 12 months, Kids apps accounted for 31% of all play products purchased by families with children between the ages of 2 and 12.  Additionally, apps were the most requested play product with 27% of all toy requests for kids between those ages.

As a father of 3 kids, two of which fall into the above age bracket, I can personally attest to these figures. It's not all great, however there's no doubt that amongst the banal pure entertainment (read: time-wasting) apps out there, there's a growing range of apps that are both entertaining and educational. Having seen and experienced these apps through my kids eyes, it's amazing how this new technology has presented an entirely new learning medium - what we've recently begun calling 'Edutainment'. The net result of this new paradigm is that kids are using iPad, in large and fast increasing numbers.

The End User Mismatch

With the above in mind, there's an interesting product/end user mismatch that arises.  You've got a device that has been designed primarily for use by 'adults'.  It's hard edges, highly breakable screen and high price point are all clear intentions to appeal to that end user demographic.

These very 'adult' and breakable products are being used by kids, for whom the products' design is entirely inappropriate. Of course, it's impossible to create a product that appeals and is appropriate for all age groups. So, we are presented with a challenge. Immense learning opportunities for kids are increasingly available via edutainment apps, and a highly breakable, expensive product upon which to engage with said apps.

Good Design is Improving Experiences.

In the world of product design, and particularly at Studio Proper, problems don't exist.  Rather, opportunities to improve the experience had by a subset of users.  This is the inspiration behind our latest product launch - Clumsy Case.  By taking the two aforementioned realities into account, we've been able to create a product that resolves the inherent 'problems', and in doing so vastly improves the experience for  kids, whilst addressing the major concern of the parent - the risk of their child breaking a $600 - $800 device.

Design, prototype, test, repeat.

The Clumsy Case achieves this by turning a hard edged, unrelatable, 'cold' technology product, immediately transforming it into a product that looks and feels friendly, relatable and engaging.  The exaggerated form is more than mere characterisation. It is designed to make the iPad is easy for  little hands to grab and hold confidently.  The 'foot' allows the iPad to stand on its own. It's pliable skin is instantly fun and pleasing to kids.

Best of all, it's virtually bomb proof, allowing for a collective parental sigh of relief.
Great design often needs to satisfy the needs and desires of differing, opposing ages and demographics.  Clumsy delivers parental piece of mind, and turns the iPad into a product that feels custom designed for kids, from the ground up.

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