Disney conducts successful beta test for new Early Learn kid’s game.
Recent studies show that the educational games market is currently growing over 20% per year, with new firms like Kahoot, Jumpstart, and Kidaptive launching a variety of successful games over the past few years.1 This is driven by the rise of new platforms, internet access across more places worldwide, and parents looking for new resources and interactive ways to teach their young children.
Disney has been a leader in this category for years, and has been able to make unique games based on their large library of intellectual property and characters that kids love. Disney launched a successful new kids app for the India market called Early Learn, and wanted to bring the app to the US market.
First, they needed to test the app with children in the US to test engagement, familiarity with different characters, and any other ethnocentric issues around the content and questions in the app – such as confusing language or country-specific changes (locations, metric system vs imperial system measurements, etc).
Disney worked with BetaTesting to recruit the exact audience of testers they were looking for – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. They also sought other specific demographic targeting criteria – based on household income, languages spoken at home, and a geographic mix of regions across the US.
BetaTesting used its existing community of over 250,000 testers, along with custom recruiting and working with our market research partners, to find over 500 parents and children who were willing to participate in the test.
Disney’s user research team worked closely with BetaTesting to design multiple test flows and collect feedback from hundreds of children. Each child was asked to complete “quests” in the app, which were educational journeys taken by their favorite characters. Each quest included videos, tutorials, and questions around age-appropriate modules, such as math, fractions, science, units of measurement, and more.
Testers completed quests for over 3 weeks, providing comprehensive feedback about the quality of the content, how age appropriate it was, and any parts of the user experience they found confusing or lacking in engagement.
Beyond the testing itself, Disney also collected in-depth feedback from parents about their opinions regarding technology, educational apps, and perceptions towards different educational approaches. The test helped Disney develop insights into how different pesona groups approach their children’s education, and how apps, screen time, and other factors impact decision-making.
In the end, the test helped Disney understand the value of the Early Learn app in the US market, and helped them identify all of the changes they needed to make to the content to make it ready for a new audience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and children seemed to love their favorite characters taking them on an educational quest. They also found dozens of bugs that needed to be fixed, and changes to the user experience and onboarding experience to make it easier to play.
The Early Learn test was one of the most unique tests BetaTesting has run to date. The recruiting needs were very specific and required a creative approach to find the right testers. It also involved surveying parents and coordinating with their children to use the product and collect feedback. And finally, it required a mix of user experience and functional testing, combined with actually testing the content of the app itself. In the end, testers provided bug reports, qualitative and quantitative data, and personal feedback focused on their approaches to parenting and education, to help Disney launch a successful game in a new market.
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