My team and I work on testing the Federal Reserve’s first mobile app geared toward kids in grades K-5. With moderated, in-person usability testing we learned key insights and generated recommendations for improving the prototype.
The U.S. Currency Education launched Money Adventure, its first mobile app geared toward educating kids about U.S. currency. The app, which on iOS features augmented reality features, focuses on teaching kids about the different denominations of money. It also helps educate students about U.S. history.
The problem was it wasn’t clear how easily kids were going to be able to use the app’s features as well as understand the content about U.S. history.
Conduct usability testing and comprehension testing activities with kids.
Our goals were to:
- Discover how kids (grades 3-5) use the core features of the app including the augmented reality portion
- Uncover any major usability issues
- Learn improvements and generate recommendations for the prototype app
- Asses how well the content is written for appropriate ages
- Kids performed better than expected in regard to the augmented reality portion of the app. Only one student struggled with the feature.
- More visual cues were needed to switch between the different currency notes in the AR feature.
- The weight of the iPad and ergonomics of it affected the way students used the app. Some felt more comfortable holding the iPad in their laps, which limited how well the augmented reality feature worked. We learned kids have limits for how long they want to hold the iPad.
- U.S. history terms were often difficult for students to understand. Differing state curriculums meant some students were exposed to terms others weren’t. We recommended the app can take advantage of this and use it as a way to educate students about U.S. history terms and concepts depicted on the back of U.S. money.
- Logistics surrounding testing with children can be difficult and it’s important to follow all privacy guidelines.
- Testing with kids can be tough — they may lose attention or not fully understand the testing activities. Plan for things to go wrong and that’s OK!