The days when kids used to flick through the Argos catalogue for Christmas inspiration might be over.

Now, there's a handy little app for that.

Argos’s ‘My Christmas Wishlist’ has been around for the past couple of years, but having been recently been updated to include more gift ideas, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Here are my thoughts.

Traditional turns digital

It’s a bit sad to think that children don’t write Christmas lists anymore, however, that’s the basis of the Argos wishlist app.

Designed for kids between the ages of three to seven, it allows them to pick the items they’d like from Santa whilst having fun with technology.

Featuring the animated characters of Mo, Squidge, Gil, Fly, and Stik to help - it’s colourfully designed to engage little ones.

Setting it up

When you open the app, you are met with a fun synopsis of its various features, such as adding stickers and taking selfies.

 

Having been designed for kids, it’s obviously quite easy to use, however it’s nice to have this guide to get you started.

From here, you’re immediately prompted to edit the settings – the most important element for adults.

This allows you to limit the amount of products kids can select, set a maximum price, as well as enter in your email address to receive the final wishlist or send it to family and friends.

 

The ability to stop kids from wanting everything they see is one feature that the old fashioned Argos catalogue does not have.  

Another cool feature is the ‘grown-up calculator’, which prevents kids from tampering with the settings by asking a tricky maths question.

Lastly, there’s the option to turn off music and sound effects, which is the biggest blessing of all.

If you don’t, look forward to the pleasure of listening to the same neverending tune.

Creating the wish list

As I continued exploring the app, I was met with some nice touches of personalisation, such as the option to enter a name and choose an animated 'helper'.

And now the adults have done their bit, it can be handed over to kids worry-free.

 

With thousands of toys to choose from, everything is separated into brand categories such as ‘Barbie’ or ‘Lego’.

Children can then browse the various items and add them to their wishlist.

One thing that struck me was that there’s no real information about the toys themselves, other than a few images to swipe through.

 

But then again, this is more of a negative for adult users, and certainly isn't something children are going to worry about.

Creative elements

Once the kids have selected the items they want from Santa, they can then choose to decorate the final wishlist.

This is the most interactive part of the app and a feature that elevates it from a standard gift guide or brochure.

Including stickers and a doodle function, kids can make it as personal (and messy) as they like.

This feature also distracts from the ‘I want it now’ element and encourages children to get creative.

Despite being digital, it also means the app is at least a little reminiscent of the traditional experience of writing to Santa.

In conclusion…

In terms of actual design or UX, the Argos wishlist isn't overly innovative. There are tonnes of apps out there that are far more slick.

However, the difference is that there's normally a distinction between kids apps (for games or learning) and retail apps (for grown-ups).

It's quite unusual to see a combination of the two.

While the premise is quite basic, it is very easy to use, with plenty of fun and enjoyable interactive elements.

Even the most simple features - such as the fart noise you hear while pressing the ‘back’ button - is likely to make kids want to use it.

Sadly for parents, this might even continue once the gift selection part is over with.

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Nikki Gilliland

Published 9 December, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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