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Far Far Away

Far Far Away is a book subscription service for children. It provides digital books which can be downloaded and read within the app and physical books sent to the user's house.

It produces book recommendations based on the child's reading ability rather than the expected level of reading for their age. By providing books they are comfortable reading and allowing them to track their improvement, their confidence in reading will grow. It will challenge them and slowly increase difficulty at a pace which is right for them. It also aims to spark a passion for reading through gamification and recommending books they are interested in.

UI kit User personas

Process & Challenges

Illustrations were a big challenge and something I knew I had to tackle at some point. I wanted to create my own but I knew it would be a challenge as I didn’t have much experience or confidence in it. Creating my own had many pros: I would have complete control over how they looked, I could develop a new skill, it would enhance the user experience and it would be a more rewarding result. Therefore, I dedicated some time to developing my illustration skills and finding a style of illustration that was manageable with my skill set. The style I found worked best for me is geometric as these illustrations are made up of basic shapes.

After a lot of practice and looking at inspiration, I began creating my own unique illustration set. I am very happy with how they turned out and I believe they have enhanced my app massively. When I have to illustrate again in the future, I will be much more confident with it.

Another challenge was designing an interface that appealed to children of all ages. Through research, I found that children are very aware of age differences. For example, an older child may find an interface designed for a child even a couple of years younger than them too childish. Children also have massively different preferences and needs at different ages.

My solution to this is that, during onboarding, the user will be asked what age category they fall into (4 & under, 5-8 or 9+). The interface will then adapt to suit this age group. For example, younger children will have larger clickable areas and simpler language and older children will have access to more complex features.

Illustrations Children's reading habits survey

The Outcome

This project exceeded my expectations in many ways, from a self-made illustration set to the many diverse features this app has. I believe I have achieved the aims I set out to do. This app aims to develop a passion for reading in children by offering books which they find interesting and are approachable for their reading ability. Gamification elements such as unlocking badges and completing quests will encourage them to form a daily habit.

By allowing the child to track their reading progress, they can see how far they have come, giving them a sense of achievement. For children who have struggled with reading for a long time, this will be very uplifting and give them the confidence they need to keep going.

This project reminded me of how much work goes into the design process. Working on this independently allowed me to enhance my skills in many areas of UX and UI design. Designing something for children aimed to build their confidence and passion around reading has been extremely rewarding and the knowledge I have acquired will undoubtedly aid me in future projects.

Prototype image