Describe your nominated project—give us your elevator pitch.
To make a mobile-friendly National Geographic Kids website that engages visitors and inspires a generation of curious kids to learn… that could rival the fun of Angry Birds, unboxing videos and endless Minecraft digging! It had to match the overall look & feel of our brand, surface robust daily content dynamically and be smart enough that educators and parents would support screen time with us and most importantly, that kids would want to EXPLORE and play.
What inspired you most to follow your dreams/vision while working on this project?
At National Geographic, we believe in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. And we believe that today’s youth are tomorrow’s explorers, so it’s important for us to create hands-on experiences—both in the real world, and the digital one—to feed curious minds. There’s no one else out there that can bring the work of our awesome explorers in the field to a broader audience. While we love some of the cool content offering that our colleagues in the children’s media space create, we know that we can bring something truly different and valuable to the party. And like one 8-year-old told us in a research session, if we were a kid at a party, we’d be “a happy boy who would bring over a cool animal, like a snake or a reptile, and he would tell you about his trips across the world, like to Russia or the beach. He’d be someone I’d want to be friends with.” National Geographic Kids wants to be that friend to that kid—and kids everywhere.
When did you first know that this work was going to be something special?
We knew this project had a special energy during our first kick-off workshop week. Our core technology team from Globant in Argentina came up to NatGeo HQ in D.C. for 5 days of intense product requirements definition and ideation. First icebreaker question. ‘What were you like as a 10-year-old?’ We discovered we were soccer-playing, light saber waving, hop-scotching, artists and adventurers! Taking the time to collectively step back from the end product (a cool website) and put our stressed-out, grownup selves into our kid selves helped spark imagination and a commitment from day 1 for thinking about everything from our users’ point of view. We dubbed ourselves Team Anaconda – fierce, fearless and overall badass—bonded over cocktails (minus any kid bosses, obviously!) and got busy. For the next 6 months, work felt like a great week at camp that you never wanted to end.
Sites for those under 18: kids, youth, adolescents, teens and young adults.