Behind the Design: How We Deliver “Whoa, Awesome!” Moments

We want every child who opens a KiwiCo crate to light up with excitement for the new adventures and activities ahead. That’s why each of our products undergoes a unique design journey and are tested by kid experts before they’re delivered to your door. We know we’ve created something really exciting when we hear the words, “whoa, awesome!” echo across our office. This reaction has become a litmus test for everything we do, and it’s our goal to spark the same excitement in your home. The KiwiCo community plays a huge role in the success of our products, so we want to give you an inside look at how each crate is designed to deliver “whoa, awesome!” moments.

Brainstorming: Searching for Eureka!

Eureka is not only the name of one of our crate lines (you can check it out here), but it’s also the phrase that really sums up the first goal in our design process. Before we start building, our product designers meet to come up with concepts during the brainstorming phase. They play with ideas until they have a eureka moment (aka the triumph of discovery). But not every “good idea” goes beyond the brainstorming phase. In order for it to be built, an idea has to inspire awe in a way that is uniquely KiwiCo.

When brainstorming ideas for a biology-focused product, the designers dove into the nostalgia of frog dissection. This is an educational milestone that is both incredibly enriching… and gross (and stinky! Will you ever forget the smell of formaldehyde??) In a very creative eureka moment, one of the product designers pitched the idea to reimagine this interactive learning experience by making it more approachable (i.e. “cuter”). And thus, Froggie Lab Dissection was born!

Prototyping: Trying & Trying Again

Our product designers are experts when it comes to learning from failure especially during the prototyping phase. This is when the product designers build the products. Most of the time, original concepts don’t look or work as planned. And that’s a good thing because, oftentimes, the small changes product designers make along the way lead to big innovation!

Froggie went through a lot of iterations before it evolved into a dissectable plush. The product designer originally thought to make the frog flat, but after a few attempts, she amped up the fluff! Different materials and colors were also tested for the organs to make sure they were anatomically correct but also cute!

Testing: Making “Whoa, Awesome!” Moments

Kids are at the core of our testing phase. We invite kids of all ages to test out all our products before they launch. Kids make great product testers because, as parents know all too well, they are always brutally honest. Our tiny testers tell us what they think of a product at a few different stages. They help the product designers decide what materials to use and how best to approach the building part of the crate projects. They share feedback with the KiwiCo Editorial and Graphic Design Teams which create exciting and enriching content to pair with products! Once all the crate elements are combined, we do a final kid test, and that’s when the “whoa, awesome!” moments are made!

Our kid testers helped us understand how to make Froggie more huggable by using softer materials. We also switched from velcro to buttons to unveil and close its belly. To make the crate a more enriching learning experience, the editorial team helped come up with a game to explain the anatomy of a frog! 

We’d love to see your kids’ “whoa, awesome!” moments! Share photos and videos on Instagram and tag us at @kiwico_inc.
Don’t forget to include #kiwico!

2 Replies to “Behind the Design: How We Deliver “Whoa, Awesome!” Moments”

  1. How do we sign up to be kid testers? We have three and they would love to give constructive feedback and be part of the creation process of these kits!

  2. Hello,
    I have been impressed by your camps and online activities. I am a STEM teacher and have won some national science teacher awards for innovative science teaching based on the science standards based curriculum I wrote and teach for elementary and middle school students. I also have taught preschool through elementary art and was named the northeast art teacher of the year. I say all this give you a bit of background on me and the recognition I have been so fortunate to receive. I would love to work with you all as tester of your kits. I also have 2 kids who would be happy to test your kits. This past year I directed all the students I teach and the whole school to your site for fun online ideas and kit options to support online learning outside of our school’s teaching. I also have ordered some kits for my class and would love to discuss further options if buying kits for my students. I am interested in helping provide feedback because I ordered 3 paper airplane launchers last winter and none of them worked which was a HUGE disappointment. I would love to be able to help in the feedback to make sure your kits work as expected and happy to share science and art extension ideas if I have them. At the end of the day Some of my goaLs are for kids to be engaged with learning and Wowed by science and art – that said I think we share a lot in common!

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