Interview with the Designer behind Sketchpad Safari

by Beth Gladstone

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Tongneung Sermsujarit (Tong) and I'm an illustrator at Codegent in Bangkok, where I've been working for almost a year since graduating from the faculty of Visual Communications at the Pohchang Academy Of Arts.

What is Sketchpad Safari?

In short, SketchPad Safari is a drawing app for iPad which encourages artistic creativity in children, to help them learn fundamental drawing techniques such as lining and sketching. After completing the drawing outlines, children can paint the image and background and parents have the option to share it on Facebook or Twitter for the whole family to enjoy.

What was the inspiration around the app and its Safari theme?

My passion for all things design and illustration inspired me to get involved with teaching art to young children in my spare time. It was during one of these sessions, that I saw how much children enjoy learning how to structure a drawing as well as being creative. It seemed like a logical direction to teach children to draw on an iPad and that's how the idea for SketchPad came about.

We then did some research on what children might be interested in drawing and the Safari concept was one that kept coming up. We decided to start with this theme, to give an adventurous feel to the application.

An image of our designer working on the Sketchpad Safari app

What is the process behind designing an app like “Sketchpad Safari?”

Our design process starts when we begin sketching on paper to figure out what would make a nice parallax scene, similar to our other applications “Dive and Play” and “Hide and Seek” . Next, we list out the names of animals children love to draw and create the step-by-step sketching and drawing techniques for them to learn.

For this app, I was working alongside another illustrator who focused primarily on the colour scheme. We were also joined by a UI/UX designer who works on the interface of the game and tests that the app is easy to navigate, prior to launch. The team of developers then work their magic and make this into the actual application that you see.

What do you want kids to take away from the app?

We want children to be able to learn the fundamentals of drawing and learn that everything comes from simple shapes. Nothing is too hard to draw if you know the basics. While we focus more on essential drawing and sketching skills, most other applications on the market just want children to draw what they see. When an app or toy is created in this way, all they will learn is tracing.

Using the iPad touchscreen to draw will also enhance children's skills, imagination and fine motor skills. We provide many brushes and an extensive colour palette so that they can paint and make the pictures come to life after they have finished drawing.

An image of our designer working on the Sketchpad Safari app

Were there any challenges on the project?

The main challenge of this project was the technical build and working out the most suitable interface for young children. We started with a more complex interface and user experience design, which was then simplified through user testing.

Children use and navigate their way around applications very differently to adults so we have to provide a journey that is simple, understandable and beautiful. It’s something that children can enjoy on their own with a little help from the voice over and animation tips within the application.

What's next?

We're running a SketchPad competition for children to participate in, where they can share their drawings and potentially win a Kizzu drawing goodie bag. We would love to see how great and creative they are after trying Sketchpad out.

The next application for the series will be ‘SketchPad Space’. We know how much children love learning about space, so we want to create a beautiful parallax space scene and characters that they would want to draw.

Sketchpad Safari is now available on the Appstore. Download it today!


Categories: App Launches

0-2

Early ones

Educational toy boxes for little ones to play with.

3-5

Toddlers

Teaching words and numbers whilst keeping it fun!

6-9

Grown up

We are working on some apps for older kids as well :)