In early 2015, I created an interactive companion app experience for the series premiere of Ruff Ruff Tweet and Dave. I found that kids generally watch television very passively, but in order to retain information and increase educational value, it should be more interactive — a two-way conversation.
After observing children as they watched television shows like Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues, I noted that this interaction already existed offline, with kids yelling out their answers to a television set that ignored them.
My companion app synced with the show as it aired, asking children relevant questions based on the content they were currently viewing. The app further bridged the gap so that kids were rewarded with immediate feedback.
One of the pain points I ironed out was to make sure the app would still sync with the show when rewinded or fast-forwarded. Watching my sister with her kids, I noticed that she would tell her kid that she would turn off the TV if he didn’t take a bite of his food. Observing users and discovering little nuggets like that is what makes this field so much fun.