Re-writing the rules of kid’s TV

The brief

Building a new Apple TV platform that helps kids learn through the shows they love.

The abundance of entertainment devices today can be both a blessing and a curse for parents. Your rectangular buddy often helps to avert disaster, but at the same time none of us want to see our child in front of a screen all day, no matter what they’re watching.

Together with Hopster we explored the potential of Apple TV as a platform for rethinking and redesigning how kids engage with content on the TV. We provided product leadership, product design and tvOS development services.

Child looking up at the tv with remote in hand and Mum in the backgroundChild looking up at the tv with remote in hand and Mum in the background

The challenges

Make screen time a win-win

From snack time to bedtime, parenthood is a constant negotiation, one in which a tablet device can be both a best friend and worst enemy. Our challenge was to make sure screen time didn’t become a trade-off between peace and peace of mind. The challenges of working with a target audience that aren’t fully able to completely tell you what they need was apparent from the start.

We also realised early on that the main customer for the product was actually parents. They might not be the users, but they are the audience we needed to convince. By introducing to Hopster the benefits of a cross-functional team, working in an iterative manner we could turn ‘needs’ to ‘ideas’ to ‘developed features’ in short cycles.

Our approach

We decided to establish a group of 15 families to try, test and feedback on the Hopster Apple TV product on a regular basis. The production process was on a two-week cycle basis, and after every cycle we released a version of the product with our test group.

In just four months we went from sketch to launch. In that time we worked closely with Apple to ensure Hopster was seen as a flagship app which resulted in Hopster being featured on the App Store as well as being awarded Apple TV app of the year. This all led to a 6,000% increase in users compared to their first week launch.

Insights

When building products for kids it’s easy to think that your primary users are children; but actually your target audience is the parents.

Elsewhen were the perfect partner. We’re delighted with the outcome - and so are our users.

Nicholas Walters, Hopster CEO

The outcomes

Hopster picked up Apple Editors Choice, was awarded Apple TV app of the year and has appeared in WWDC three years running.

  • 4 monthsfrom sketch to global launch
  • 6,000%increase in users