Building the power of play into every digital experience

LEGO Digital Design Principles for Kids


LEGO’s designers and strategists produce world-class experiences and products that continue to be firmly driven by the LEGO Group’s motto:  “Det bedste er ikke for got  / Only the best is good enough”.

LEGO products and experiences bring joy to both kids and grown ups alike all over the world, but the sheer scale and pace of the digital landscape presents continuous challenges for LEGO creative teams to maintain consistency across the many projects their teams work on. Put simply, designing great experiences for kids the LEGO way takes something extra.

And it’s not a mystery ingredient or company secret. A simple question they use internally perfectly sums this up: ”So what creative play experience are you creating?”. LEGO know that play is the key element in creating better experiences for kids. Many across the LEGO Group have been using a suite of internally developed design principles to challenge how play can improve experiences but no official, tangible guidance existed to ensure a more widespread application across the LEGO digital creative landscape. That’s where Tall got involved.

To bring these principles to life we first needed to both understand their importance and experience how they were used. Tall’s design team were lucky enough to visit the world famous LEGO Campus and LEGO House based in the original founder’s hometown of Billund, Denmark. Following some intense workshops, we certainly left Billund inspired & energetic (and with an extra case full of LEGO to play with).

Considering play in an experience for kids isn’t just as simple as thinking about playfulness. Specifically, learning through play is one of the cornerstones of the toolkit – which is a core focus of one of the contributing organisations: The LEGO Foundation, who have been instrumental in the conception as well as RITEC (Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children) who’s expertise around child well-being with technology have assisted the LEGO Design Teams produce the principles.

The project team defined early on that the combination of principles, exercises and information needed to be part of some kind of physical toolkit – with a deck of cards (inspired by the famous IDEO Method cards) being a cornerstone of the toolkit experience. Also, it all needed to pack up easily and fit in a backpack!

The Digital Design Principles for Kids toolkit is a wonderful hybrid booklet / card deck / board game / poster set with clear sections and sets of instructions (because LEGO!). The toolkit houses the five core principles and consists of three defined lenses – each with activities and information for different stages of the creative process: strategy, design and observation. The toolkit is being introduced across the entire LEGO Group so that digital products and services for kids continue to offer the best experiences by using the power of play.