Our Next Event

Designing for the digital-first gen: How kids shape & are shaped by digital media

Monday February 9, 2015
6:30pm to 9:30pm
OANDA, 370 King Street West, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON (map)

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Today’s kids are a digital-first generation, gobbling up content through digital media more than ever. Designing for digital kids is unique – they’re not just mini adults. They have shorter attention spans, need simple, direct and interactive ways of engaging with content, are master learners and copycats, and demand maximum fun and whimsy. These pint-sized consumers are not only unique in their needs and preferences; they also have a direct influence on the purchases that their parents make for them and for their entire families, and will flourish into sophisticated adult consumers shaped by their choice of content consumption as youngins. With February’s Family Day around the corner, we’re taking you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the inspiration behind and impact of digital media for kids.

Our speakers for this event:

Jessica McLaughlin
Jessica McLaughlin has been working on a wide variety of digital projects, primarily in broadcasting, for nearly 15 years. She began her career working in children’s media at Corus Entertainment where she worked on content creation and online community at YTV.com and former online kids community Yabber.net. From Corus, Jessica moved on to what was then Alliance Atlantis where she held multiple positions, including managing the Food Network website and managing editorial efforts for social media and blogging on Food Network and HGTV Canada. In recent years, Jessica has circled back to children’s media and is currently the manager of TVOKids.com where she and her team create educational games and other digital content for kids.

Jessica will dive into what inspires the incredible content produced by the games team at TVOKids.com. She’ll break down their Instructional Design approach to creating content in order to analyze the learning needs and intention of the learning materials. In this presentation, Jessica will introduce us to the team dynamic, give us a sneak peak into their process, and dissect some intriguing takeaways from case studies.

Andrew Smyk
Andrew Smyk is a dad, educator and UX designer with a focus on Mobile Design. He is also a coffee aficionado, avid cyclist, all-round pirate and HTML5 Evangelist. His work ranges from prototyping communications systems for public transit to information visualization and knowledge building. Past client work includes Bell Canada, Bell Mobility, Alliance-Atlantic, Molson Canadian and the Royal Bank of Canada. Andrew coordinates a postgraduate program in Interactive Multimedia at Sheridan College and writes about how kids adapt and use technology on his blog.

In his talk for Girl Geeks, Andrew will tackle the impact of digital kids on branding and technology bias. He’ll address how kids’ interaction and technology preferences and biases will influence content design and development, change the notion of privacy, and influence the growing market for mobile content. Andrew will show the results of two user tests with kids and how their preferences will create a new paradigm of gesture bias and interaction preferences with technologies, media and privacy.