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Building tools for parents & teachers to get children offline.

Crayola is widely known as one of the most recognizable and trusted brands for both parents and children around the world. The brand evolved from a back-to-school staple to the primary tools for creative learning and fun activities within the last 20 years. In order to demonstrate their latest vision, Crayola needed a corresponding digital presence. Our challenge was in presenting their extensive content in a way that was intuitive, easily navigable and radiated Crayola’s unique voice, but—most importantly—helped parents get their kids exploring creativity away from the screen.

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Use every page to get kids offline

Unlike many websites, the purpose of Crayola.com is not to keep visitors on the site for as long as possible. The site is a tool for driving product usage so we made it very simple for users to get inspired and start creating. Activities and tools for offline behavior receive priority in the navigation: “Coloring Pages” and “Things to Do” are first, while “Browse Products” is last. Additionally, we placed our “Ideas in an Instant” tool front and center on the home page. With this module, it’s dead simple for people to find content tailored for the specific needs we identified (from “I’m a parent hosting a sleepover” to “I’m a teacher who needs ice breaker activities”).

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Arm parents and teachers with seasonal creativity resources

For the Crayola kid, seasons and holidays are a huge source of creative inspiration. We crafted a content strategy that supports and encourages this behavior by presenting seasonal games, coloring pages and other activities right on the home page. Furthermore, the module-based design allows the site to take on a relevant style for each season. Every significant component—from the hero image to the touts below the fold to related products on detail pages—is easily replaceable thanks to the season-based tagging structure we used to categorize each element. That means when Crayola wants to swap out spring content for summer content, they can do it with the flick of a virtual switch.

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Make it easy for teachers to go analog

We made the decision to explicitly call out the two primary audiences for Crayola.com—moms and teachers—in the header above the primary navigation. By including these buttons, we orient new visitors to the site and make it easy to find content specific to their needs. In this way, we can surface a multitude of content while ensuring the most relevant audience sees it.

Let moms see age-specific content

In physical stores, it’s easy to see what age a certain product is designed for, because it’s printed right on the box. Moms are familiar with this system, so we adapted it for the web. On Crayola.com, moms can filter creative activities by age, as well as topic category and even the primary colors used in the activity (every mom knows the importance of her child’s favorite color).

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Visualize the world of crayola color online

Crayola has always been an authority on color, and we emphasize that expertise on the new site. In the prominently featured Explore Color section, moms and kids can find everything they ever wanted to know about color, from experiments like “How to create a rainbow” to an easy-to navigate collection of 248 Crayola colors.

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Add analog elements to complement the pixels

We wanted every visitor to the site to be reminded of the limitless possibility in a box of crayons or pack of markers. So, we used drawings from real kids and friendly, handwritten typography to create the look and feel of the site. As a result, the site strikes a rare balance: it conforms to the most cutting-edge digital standards yet feels like it sprang from the imagination of a creative kid next door.

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As Sir Ken Robinson said in his famous TED talk, in order for children to succeed, creativity must be reinforced as much as literacy. There’s no denying that contemporary moms and kids are spending more time online, but, thanks to its abundance of relevant, inspirational content, visitors to Crayola.com are inspired to step away from the screen and start creating.

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