Sensical - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

[Added by the Editor:] "Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century."

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

We challenged ourselves with building our app from the ground up with kids in mind, not simply scaling an experience originally intended for adults.

That meant taking into account varying developmental stages, reading levels and even dexterity.

And because we are committed to having a human vet and review every single piece of content and believe that kids learn best when leaning into their passions - we didn’t want to rely on algorithms - this required us to create topical based UX explicitly for a kid user.

Additionally, it was critical that we be 100% COPPA compliant to deliver on our promise of being the safest streaming app for kids.

This meant being creative about how to deliver certain experiences like favoriting and recently watched.

The interviewee, Sharon Cohen, is the Chief Marketing Officer at Common Sense Networks. Setting the gold standard in children’s digital media and leveraging the work of Common Sense Media, Common Sense Networks designs engaging, age-appropriate experiences that support kids’ social, emotional, and cognitive development. By meeting children where they are with a broad, inclusive range of safe, family-facing services and curated content initiatives (including streaming options like the critically acclaimed Sensical), Common Sense Networks encourages and empowers kids to do and be more. Common Sense Networks is a for-profit affiliate of Common Sense Media and a Public Benefit Corporation, and proudly aligns with leading brands and media entities like TikTok to reimagine their existing platform approach to activate meaningful and lasting change in the kids’ media ecosystem.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

The interviewee chose not to answer this question.

How long have you been working on this app?

The team at Common Sense Networks worked on the app for just over a year before it rolled out nationally in summer of 2021.

The entire process from concept to completion occurred during the course of the pandemic with the support of an incredibly committed and engaged team of developers, executives, academics, creatives and the staff at Common Sense Media whose trusted rubric was the baseline for our platform.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

Our thesis was that “kids deserve better” when we chose to move forward with the creation of Sensical.

In looking at the kids digital ecosystem, we determined that there was nothing available to families that provided the kind of age-appropriate, entertaining content that was truly vetted and rated by a organization like Common Sense, the gold standard in that arena.

Sensical is free in every way – worry free (for parents), algorithm-free (so kids are going down a safe rabbit whole) and literally free – we are an ad-supported app and that provides a window of opportunity as free is always something that families can afford in their personal bundle as the cost of streaming continues to be on the rise.

It’s a privilege to have created something from scratch that has been so well received by parents and critics alike.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

We’ve noted some of that above in question five, but our innovation was applying Common Sense Media’s two decades of resources into a single destination so that we could meet kids where they already are.

User generated content isn’t going away so it was important for us to create a new benchmark for kids digital experiences and we’ve done that with Sensical.

In just our first year in the market, Sensical was named a 2021 KIDSCREEN nominee for best kids-only streaming service, distinguished as a Fast Company World Changing Idea and honored as a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient.

We feel incredibly humbled and proud of the work we have done to raise the industry bar when it comes to digital fare for kids 2-10.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We remain the only app for kids with age appropriate TikTok videos experienced through our scrolling short form programmed feed, a complement to our 20k+ highly curated, on demand videos and podcasts.

Our distribution is vast with multiple Sensical branded FAST channels widely available via mobile and streaming devices and smart TV manufacturers.

Also, in addition to our 60+ topic based channels, we continue to evolve our Parent tools which currently include cross-device time-limits, favoriting and content blocking so caregivers can be in charge of kids’ viewing experience.

And we continue to elevate our “Why It’s Sensical” feature which details the educational and emotional benefits kids experience when they engage with each title.

No other service provides that kind of comprehensive information about why the content can have a positive impact on their kids.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

As a new app, we would love for readers to check us out and experience the app for themselves and share it with their kids, family, friends.

Once you experience it - we think you’ll love it!


About App:
SENSICAL is the safest streaming app for kids 2-10 backed by Common Sense Media. Thousands of hand-selected, educational, and engaging videos for kids. Kids can scroll, tap, and follow along with the creators they know and characters they love from Sesame Studios, PJ Masks, Peppa Pig, Super Simple, Thomas & Friends, Mother Goose Club, Pinkfong! Kids' Songs & Stories, The Wiggles, Oddbods, Molang, Mouk, and many more.

But we didn’t stop there....

Sensical is always:

★ Free to Explore
Kids can safely and easily scroll, tap and enjoy 50+ exciting kids' channels built around topics kids love across 3 unique content experiences: Preschool (2-4), Little Kids (5-7), and Big Kids (8-10).

★ Free to Learn
Sensical’s child development experts are always on the hunt for great creators and stories, and only the best-of-the-best meet our high standards for educational value, engagement and fun. You can rest assured that each minute your child watches Sensical is time well spent.

★ Free to Watch
Sensical isn’t just free to download; Watch and enjoy free (really, free) videos for kids anytime, on any device. Each version of Sensical: Preschool, Little Kids, and Big Kids also includes a free live streaming kids' channel. With Sensical, you and your child can choose what to watch whenever, wherever.

★ Worry-Free
Sensical is inspired by Common Sense Media - guided by experts and trusted by parents. We screen and approve every frame of every video, so you can have confidence that what your kids are watching is age-appropriate, educational, and features positive role models. Because our experts carefully review every sponsor, Sensical is also free of inappropriate ads.

Plus, we’ve created free and easy tools for parents and caregivers to make the best choices when it comes to kids' streaming, including:

● Why It’s Sensical which features quick overviews of each Sensical video, explaining what it’s about and what key lessons it includes, so you can easily decide if it’s the right fit for your kid.

● Sensical ParentZone gives a closer look at what your kids are watching, what they’re learning, and how you can join in and take the lessons even further.

Download Sensical NOW

Kids can:
● Follow their passions across 15,000+ videos, from preschool shows to content for little and big kids, with characters they already know and love

● Learn more about their favorite topics in 50+ exciting kids' channels

● Check out live-streaming kids' channels made just for them: 2up, 5up, and 8up

Parents Can:
● Access Why It’s Sensical and the ParentZone dashboard

● Set up unique profiles for each of their kids

● Trust that every video -- including ads -- has been selected to meet the high standards of real child development experts.

Sensical does not collect any personally identifiable information from your child.



We're here to answer your questions and hear how we can make Sensical the very best kids' streaming app for you and your family. You can message us at [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment

Date: October 20, 2022

Developer: Common Sense Networks

About developer: The interviewee, Sharon Cohen, is the Chief Marketing Officer at Common Sens ... Read more



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