We have lift off! SpaceRacers.org has launched.
SpaceRacers.org is a website devoted to Space Racers – the popular new children's educational television show helping preschool children get excited about science and space. The website features interactive games, family activities, and lesson plans that engage learners in science inquiry, space and teamwork, and encourage children to explore the world around them in fun and engaging ways.
At Lightning Jar our challenge was to design a great website for kids, one that is tailored for the current generation of preschool children that use tablets and smartphones more than PC computers. During the design process, we conducted an exhaustive feature and functionality review of 33 leading educational children’s television websites from the US and 16 countries around the world. Among all of those precedents we didn’t find a single great website for kids targeted at preschoolers, that was truly mobile-first instead of just mobile-friendly.
Mobile-First and Kid-Friendly
SpaceRacers.org was designed using an audience-appropriate mobile-first design approach, meaning the website was optimized for smartphone and tablet users before work began on the desktop layout. Instead of Flash, we relied on HTML 5 animation features to create an engaging, easy-to-use website that catered to preschool non-readers. We worked closely with child development experts and published research to design a unique navigational solution where key content links are distinct in shape and color as well as label and icon.
Packed With Educational Content
It was important to us to design an experience that parents knew at first glance was not only a great website for kids, but also educational. At the same time, we didn't want to lose our focus on building a fun website that was easy and intuitive for preschool children to access from a smartphone, a tablet, or a desktop computer. The solution was to create two distinct content areas of the website, one targeted at kids, and designed to be easy for little fingers to access videos and games, and another section packed with content for parents and educators.
Helping Kids Learn About Space
Our main goal was to build a great website that kids, their parents, and educators could use to explore space together. SpaceRacers.org extends the mission of the television show with activities, games, and videos designed to teach young children scientific concepts and facts about space and space-exploration. In fact, NASA was a partner on the project and serves in a science advisory capacity to the production of the program.
Designed and Built Using Top Technology
SpaceRacers.org was built on a cutting-edge Pimcore 2.0 CMS infrastructure for maximum flexibility and the best possible user experience. With Pimcore, the content managers and designers at Space Racers can preview image, text, and media updates at any screen size on any device before publishing.
Discovering the Web for the First Time
"We imagine that SpaceRacers.org could be a first experience with the web for many kids, and we want that experience to be as awesome and exciting for them as it was for us to work on," says Kevin Peckham, Director of Digital Strategy at Lightning Jar.