Alphabet Animals: Interactions and Games

Design Approach

– Simple interactions keeping the age of the user in mind.
– Alphabet and the associated words in sound on touch to help a child associate the two better.
– Simple game to help child relate sounds to the real world

Role: Interaction and UI Design.
Software: Photoshop


Parents’ Choice Awards

Alphabet Animals is a picture book app designed for children learning the alphabet. Each page is illustrated with a colorful image of an animal featuring an interactive tab. Pop-up text informs users that the tab is to be pulled and the page to be flipped to advance. A series of blocks in the alphabetical sequence lines the bottom of the app. The reader advances through the alphabet by either flipping the page of the book or selecting a letter from the blocks at the bottom of the page. The tab is dragged to reveal a hidden page that has the appropriate letter on it. Children hear the name of the animal and the letter on each page upon tapping. The animal also animates upon touch. The animation is very simple, enough to keep little ones engaged but not distract them.

This app is very focused on the desired skill development; specifically learning the alphabet. Children liked sliding each tab back and forth and controlling the timing of the animated animal. This seemed to provide endless entertainment. In a bonus game, children select the letters of their names from the alphabet blocks and then drag the correct matching animal image onto the letters.

Kirkus Review

Voicing, small-scale animations and a matching game suit MacDonald’s 2008 abecedary to a T.

Realistically reproducing the original’s square pages with their slide-out cards, each screen of this digital version features a simple, brightly colored, graphic-style animal portrait based on a clearly recognizable capital letter. Beneath that is a “tab” that pulls out an image of the letter unadorned and that triggers a simple animation. Young viewers can hear both the animal’s name and the letter pronounced with taps, and they may either swipe to the next letter or choose it from a strip running below. The names do not appear in print, but aside from xenops (a type of South American bird), all of the animals are common (and real, except perhaps for the unicorn). A “Game” icon on the title page opens a screen on which children are invited to spell their names and then drag animal thumbnails to match the letters.

Overall, a well-designed edition with extras that will appeal to diapered digerati.