The Times Spelling Bee
Multi-platform spelling games for young players in training
Agency: id media
Project length: Ongoing between 2008 and 2010
End date: September 2010
Role: Designer responsible for supporting IA and UI design for web, iOS and Windows Phone
Influenced by the hugely popular ‘spelling bees’ performed in the United States, The Times decided to run their own contest for school children across the UK aged between 9 and 11 years old.
Our team created an online space where competitors could log in to their own account, play a bunch of spelling games with varying difficulty, win awards and trophies for reaching certain milestones, and also track their progress. All of this to help train them for the real competition later on in the year.
Year 1 was a huge success and garnered support and funding from Microsoft for the second year. To reflect this, I led the design and branding of a range of new mini games called ‘Brain Buzz’ created for 4 to 8 year olds. I also worked on a new feature for the core game where players could actively compete with friends and family and track wins and losses on a leader board.
Finally in year 3, I worked with a senior designer in creating the user experience and UI for iOS and Windows Phone versions of the games. These were both launched with high acclaim and even got placed under New and Noteworthy in the Education category on the App Store.