Engaging children with long car journeys by capturing their imagination.


> Keep kids entertained before, during and after a long car journey.

> Do so without mere distractions that make children non-communicative.



> Imagined my inner child, and brainstormed from there.

> Sketched needs, limitations, and mockups of app screens.



> Mockups really capture the imagination of children - and even adults.

Great fun to design for a younger audience.



Project Note:  This was not paid work, but an idea I've used to demonstrate my UXD process and skills.

Imagining my inner child...

When I was a kid, I loved to dream of long car journeys as exciting adventures where the car became a ship and our odyssey crossed fantasy lands.

Today, seeing children with tablets everywhere they go makes this imagining all the more tangible.

Yet the current trend of over-taxed parents loading up the tablet with mere distractions for a car journey does a disservice to the child by disengaging them from the journey and communicating with their parents.

Is there a way to keep parents happy, children entertained, and bring my childhood dream to life?


Brainstorming needs and pain points for both children and their parents.


Thinking about how to get children interacting.


Sketching out the child's journey with the app.

From the ideas generated through brainstorming and sketching a rough journey flow, some simple mockups can be generated of screens the app might have.


First the child picks their adventure theme.

It begins by making a boring car journey a magical adventure - the child gets to pick their theme.


And gets help packing their bag.


Then making sure nothing gets left behind.

With the 'spaceship cargo' loaded, the journey begins.


Layering their theme over a live map.

A live map of the journey - overlaid with their chosen theme - shows the child their progress.  The two calls to action are the most common requests during a journey.


Serving that perennial question.


Variants of the eye-spy game to play.


After arriving, the app "re-wraps" the recorded data from the journey and can 'play it back' as an interactive book.


After arriving the journey can be retold as a story.

So the imagination of the journey can have closure through a story, told with parents, family or friends.


From loading the tablet with distractions that make the child disconnected and non-communicative, to an interaction of the journey around them that keeps them entertained, involved and even helpful.


Want to see more?  

Go back to see how I applied UXD principles to solve real-world pain points.


Or continue with my story to see how I redesigned a busy homepage in to more of a 'usable billboard'.


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