How do you get children to read books if they don’t like reading? By making it fun! Yoleo is a gamified reading app that helps children with reading problems (like Dyslexia). By reading on their iPad or computer Children collect ‘reading points’ which they can use to decorate their virtual room or play a game.
Yoleo is made at Shapers. I was responsible for most of the concepts, interaction design, game design, illustration & animation of Yoleo. For this project I used the following percentage of my skills (at that time).
Yoleo is a winner!
It got nominated several times and even won the following two awards:
Public Award European Language Label for innovative language education.
Silver Medal at the ‘Nationale Alfabetiseringsprijs’ (National Alphabetization Prize).
Yoleo is all about making reading fun and easy. It uses an innovative hybrid form of reading. Books are supported with audio and there is a handy bar that follows the words. This makes reading accessible for children who don’t like to read.
When children read a book in Yoleo, they are rewarded with ‘reading points’. These points can be spend to buy funny items to dress their virtual room. In the room they can also play a game. Each world of this game is unlocked by reading an increasing number of books. In this way Yoleo motivates the children to read books and to become better readers.
Yoleo has lot’s of interface elements and personalisation. That’s why testing was crucial for the success of Yoleo. After testing the look & feel, we were curious if children found it fun to personalize a room. And if so, what elements would they want to use? We tested this with a paper prototype and asked the children what they would want in their rooms. One of the funniest answers was “I want to put a pig in the bath tub!”. So of course we included this option.