Creating a fun, but serious space for children

Børnetelefonen (Children’s phone) is a hotline for children that helps with everything from bullying in school to divorced parents or questions about puberty. The children can either call the hotline or seek help at the website through videos, quizzes, online letters, chats, and much more. 

Too ‘girly’, bad content structure and a rigid CMS

Børnetelefonen had three major issues when we met them. First, the UI design and brand in general was to ‘girly’. Secondly, the website was hard to navigate and didn’t empower the cildren to participate in discussions. Lastly, the design and CMS was too rigid and static, so it was difficult for the team to change the content and implement new ideas.

A fun place, where you can be serious

The design process started with a workshop with the team at Børnetelefonen. In this workshop, we analyzed the target group which is children aged 9 to 13, with a special focus on getting boys more engaged. 

We then started working on the concept for the new website. It was important to create a place where children felt like they were taken seriously and listened to. At the same time, the website should be funny and have a look and feel that appeals to the users, like the platforms and channels they are used to, for example on YouTube.

Testing with children

We developed a mobile prototype that held all the content types of the website. We added a fair amount of real content to the prototype, which enabled us to test it on children in the target group. We did a series of short user tests, as the children had trouble focusing more than 20 minutes at a time. Meeting and talking to the children gave us an amazing amount of insight into their thinking, problems, and how they use digital media, and proved to be highly valuable for the project. 

After the user tests, we finished the interaction design and the graphic design. The design were to have a gender-neutral look, but with an ambition of making it a bit more appealing to the boys than the girls.

We ended up balancing the need for usability with a wish for a slightly chaotic and crazy design.

Flexibility is key

Børnetelefonen’s website has many changing campaigns and a huge amount of content. Therefor we needed to design a very flexible website that supported their needs for adding new content and formats quite frequently.

The final result was a beautiful and fresh design that feels both young and alive, created from a number of flexible building blocks that all can be combined in various ways.


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