Developing Children’s Media with Diversity in Mind
September 8, 2016
Across the children’s media landscape, from movies to video games, diversity and inclusion have been hot topics for discussion throughout 2016. Much of the conversation has focused on the finished product, such as an app or toy and whether it does an effective job in reflecting the diversity of the world we live in.
Looking at the finished product is without a doubt important, but at Diversity in Apps (DIA), we are also nudging the conversation towards a focus on the teams of producers and creators responsible for all the decisions that go into the finished product. It is their decisions at key milestones that ultimately determine the diversity of the product.
When we put together the draft of the Diversity and Inclusive Growth (DIG) Toolkit, we thought it was critical for producers to have a tool to help them as they worked through the product development process. We identified twelve key high-level criteria, each of which require producers and designers to reflect on how to be inclusive and to value diversity throughout their production process:
|Internet Connectivity & Device Choices||Voiceover|
|Budgeting & Timeline||Music|
|Concept Design||User Testing & Focus Groups|
|Character Design||Marketing & Social Media|
The new document Aaron Morris put together to help producers create media for Hispanic-Latino families goes hand in hand with much of the criteria we identified in our toolkit. Aaron cites the importance of budgeting time to speak and test with your identified audience as well as the importance of providing UI/UX for navigation in both English and Spanish. These are just two examples from this very valuable document.
Over the past few months, DIA has been inviting people from all over the children’s media landscape—from CEOs to researchers—to speak on our podcast and share their work on diversity. Though varied, these conversations always have a common thread: The companies and organizations doing the best job with diversity and inclusion are those that have made it an organization-wide goal. That means diversity and inclusion are valued at each step in the product development process because of their importance not only to the bottom line, but also in creating a better product.
We are excited to have Aaron on the podcast this week to dive deeper into this tip sheet and share his thoughts on how producers can continue to strive for diversity and inclusion.
Kabir Seth is a writer and creator of digital apps for children, including the Ramayana app and Storied Myth. Kabir is also a founding member of Diversity in Apps, a grassroots organization created to raise awareness and engage in research about the need for inclusive, equitable, and diverse children’s media. Follow @diversityinapps and @kdawg2332 on Twitter.