Nine Tales engaged 55 Minutes to design a mobile app that would help children build emotional intelligence and connect with their families through storytelling.
We all hold a special place in our hearts for the stories from our childhood. Stories have the power to connect us as humans. To make us feel. To help us understand more about ourselves through the imagination and experiences of others.
Our client, Nine Tales, wanted to tap on the power of stories to help children learn meaningful life lessons, inspire their creativity, and connect with their loved ones. Here’s how we helped them design a storytelling mobile app where families could discover, read and listen to, and even record stories together.
Discovering stories through emotions
One of Nine Tales’ main goals was to help children build emotional intelligence through stories. This was so important to them, that the Nine Tales name was actually inspired by Plutchik’s wheel of eight primary emotions, plus the ninth emotion of connection! (Read about how we designed the brand logo here!)
Early on, one of the core features the team wanted to introduce was to let users browse stories by the nine emotions. From our early research with parents, we learned that while they were intrigued with this approach, their primary concern was to find stories that matched their child's interest and were age appropriate.
To achieve Nine Tales’ business goals while making the app user friendly, we introduced an “Emotion of the Month” on the app’s homepage to pique users’ curiosity to explore stories related to that emotion. This gave Nine Tales an opportunity to share how stories can teach children about their emotions, while building users’ assurance in this unique method of browsing.
To ensure we still met users’ needs to find stories of a certain criteria, we designed an Explore page that would enable them to filter stories by genre, age group, and emotions, giving them the freedom to try new ways of discovery or browse using familiar methods.
Connecting families through storytelling
Nine Tales’ standout feature is that it lets users record their own voice overs for any of the stories in the app. Friends and family members can listen to Nine Tales’ professional voice over artist to draw inspiration from, or tell the story however they like.
Once a recording is complete, users are able to share their recordings for their loved ones to listen to. This is especially helpful for friends and family who live overseas and in different time zones; they can record the stories at their own pace, connect through storytelling, and create memorable moments.
Encouraging interaction through collaborative storytelling
To help families connect and interact further, we were inspired by the variety of characters in the stories, and how families are also made up of unique individuals. We created a way for users to assign different family members to record the lines for each of the characters in a story, giving each family member ownership and creative control over their part.
Once everyone records their part, they can listen to the completed work with each of the pages read out by the respective family members. This created fun moments for families to see how other family members would voice different characters, and made for a more dynamic, family-filled experience for both storytellers and listeners.