GoNoodle’s mission was simple yet wildly ambitious: to get movement back into schools. I was with the team from the beginning and was able to shape the product from the ground up, spending time with teachers and kids to understand what features and experiences would keep them coming back day after day.
It started with a beta release based on the idea of introducing regular movements breaks to kids in schools. I started after the initial launch and was able to review initial feedback and launch into full discovery mode. The biggest initial learning revealed an interesting challenge: the idea of movement breaks was great, but there was a missing piece to make the experiences more cohesive and incentivize return visits.
Our initial workshop gave us with a direction we all felt passionate about: a metagame layer on top of the movement videos that provided a sense of progression. Ok, yes, in other words: gamification.
We had the opportunity to spend lots of time talking to teachers and students to learn what kids would find fun and what challenges teachers faced in the classroom. I believe this kind of field research was a huge reason GoNoodle was so successful.
The metagame let teachers and students choose a “champ” that would earn progress each time a movement video was watched. One early insight we learned is that most teachers needed multiple classes, as they taught different groups throughout a day. We came up with a fun concept to show the champ and location of each class as a quick visual reference.
The video content was organized into channels and categories to give teachers multiple ways to find content. I added fun animation to all the hover states, always looking for opportunities to add more personality into the experience.
Beyond the core features of GoNoodle, we started exploring new opportunities to weave education and even more fun into our experience. One example was the ability to create custom questions that would be usable by some of the movement content, allowing teachers to create custom “games” for their students.
GoNoodle is still a household name and I’m proud to have been a part of the team that brought it to life and shaped it over the years. This video showing a kid maxing out his GoNoodle characters at home shows some of the last design work I did before moving on, and stands as a perfect reminder of how special of an experience we created.