Making phonics learning accessible for parents and teachers

Time For Phonics

The brief

Mrs Mactivity is a leader in early years learning resources with thousands of custom made resources covering an array of topics. All their resources are easy to navigate and 'stand out' from the crowd due to their bright, colourful appearance coupled with genuine high-quality learning intentions.

We were approached by Heather McAvan, director of Mrs Mactivity to develop a series of phonics-based learning games targeted at teachers and early years children. At madeby.studio, we like a good challenge, so we were delighted to form a partnership to develop the website and games for their sister brand Time For Phonics.

Scoping the project

Mrs Mactivity and talented illustrator Hayley Price approached us with many exciting ideas for games. Our role as the technical exports was to understand the game concepts. We decided to develop the games on Phaser 3, a lightweight, fast HTML5 desktop and mobile game framework. Through collaboration, we gained an understanding of the functionality enabling us to visualise any potential opportunities to include animations to maximise engagement for children and teachers.

Making learning fun!

Following the design mockups by Hayley Price, we began developing the series of phonics-based learning games. Our focus on development was to ensure the games were engaging and exciting. Throughout the development phase, we included interactive and animated elements to keep the attention where it's needed. This engagement helps teachers keep a class focused as well as improving the children's learning development. As well as animated elements, audio was added to match the characters personalities further improving the user engagement. Although, I'm not sure the team at madeby.studio could handle any more unicorn noises! 🦄

I used your Time For Phonics games Space Farm and a child in my class with ASD who usually engages in pretty much nothing, actually sat on the carpet and waited for his turn to have a go!

- Time For Phonics, Teacher Feedback

Maximising accessibility

With many schools across the UK now embracing the use of handheld devices, we ensured a strong consideration for accessibility. Every game is as fun to play no matter the device from mobile up to an interactive whiteboard. This makes it easy for teachers to get a classroom engaged or parents teaching their child at home!

Bespoke membership platform

Alongside the series of phonics-based learning games, we developed an engaging website allowing membership access. This enabled users to access games and resources via a free trial or through two paid membership levels. Making use of dynamic content, we could change the content displayed to the end-user to maximise conversions. We also integrated an internal linking strategy to increase user retention and promote journey's around the website.

madeby.studio have been amazing - they are super bright and switched on, and just have this way of making things happen that you thought were impossible. They have been really easy to work with, patient and kind and have made the whole process so much easier than I thought it would be. I highly recommend them to any business be it a start-up or more established organisation. They can literally turn their hands to anything and have built me a fantastic website and online learning platform completely from scratch. They are trustworthy, reliable (and really nice people) and I will definitely be working with them again!

- Heather McAvan, Director of Time For Phonics

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