Sophie and Tom, UX Designers at Squla: ‘A button is not just a button.’


At Squla, we believe that the next generation of children needs more knowledge, resourcefulness and drive to successfully deal with challenges. Our mission is to help every child develop their full potential. We do this by creating fun and educational quizzes that transfer knowledge in a playful way.

There is quite a bit to consider when developing a game. For example, the game only works if the “User Experience Design” suits the user. Read more about how our UX designers, Sophie and Tom, make Squla better and more fun every day.

What is UX design?

As UX Designers we are responsible for the total user experience of our products. This means that we are always looking at design issues from the perspective of the user. At Squla, the user can be a child, a parent or a teacher. We examine whether the games fit the target group, what the user scenarios are and, for example, how familiar the target group is with the use of tablets and mobile phones. To find out, we often invite users to think along with us. Based on this user input we make our designs for, for example, a new functionality, such as setting a goal for the child. We look at the layout and navigation and ensure the best possible “flow” (which steps a user must take to achieve his goal). For this we first design all screens in black and white. We will run these screens through a few users in the Squla-TestLab to see if they run into issues. After this we optimize the flow and our visual designers give the screens the real and unique Squla style.

Can you give examples of a good UX design and a bad UX design?

Broadly speaking, a good UX design is a website or app that a user can easily navigate through. It is clear what can be done, where to find everything and there are no surprises due to unexpected actions. The user is always number one and they need to be listened to carefully! A bad UX design is the opposite. A website where a user gets completely lost and cannot find what they are looking for. For example, first the user encounter a very long form that makes them quit before they even start, then they can no longer log into their account and finally they are redirected to reset their password.

How do we all deal with user experience in our daily lives – is it about the way we simply order something online, for example?

Certainly! In fact, we are constantly dealing with UX design in our daily life. Every website or app we view trigger a certain emotion when we interact with it; how much we like to use a certain site or app, or vice versa. An online shop can give us a great user experience by offering a smooth checkout process, or a very bad user experience by making it impossible to pay.

Does UX design work differently for children than adults?

Absolutely. UX design really revolves around the target group, and it is important to match the design with it as closely as possible. There are many differences in digital skills between younger and older users, but also differences in reaction speed, sight, reading skills and the size of the fingers. All these characteristics of the target audience play a role and need to be kept in mind during the design process.

Are there differences in UX design for younger and older children (groups 1 to 8)?

An important difference, that we must always take into account at Squla, is that our youngest target group – groups 1 to 3 – usually cannot read (properly) yet. To make sure that children know what to do, the questions are read to these groups. In addition, we ensure that the answers are always visual. From group 4 we no longer offer audio with the questions. There are therefore more subjects and questions which children have to read themselves or type in an answer. You also see that children from the youngest groups are often less experienced with the mouse and that they are less precise with clicking or dragging on a tablet or telephone. That is why we always make buttons a bit larger and more robust for younger children. As soon as they are practiced in this, those little fingers are of course extra precise and you can work with more detail!

What are you the most proud of?

Last May we launched a completely renewed play environment for children, which we are very proud of. It mainly contains the same functionalities as before, but due to the new layout and navigation it is now a lot more user-friendly. Squla can be viewed on all screen sizes and we are a lot more flexible for the future.

What is the planning of Squla in terms of development in UX design for the coming school year?

A major project that we are currently starting is the renewal of the parent account. Just like the play environment for children, we will improve the layout, navigation and design, and we will optimize the existing functionalities, such as setting a goal. The parent account will then also be optimally usable on desktop, tablet and mobile.

At Squla we are looking for new colleagues! View our vacancies here.