Kijk en lees mee met nijntje


Hema initiated a campaign that should make (prospective) parents and caregivers aware of the importance of communicating with their child from birth. Parents and caregivers can communicate in many ways, for example by talking about what you see, reading books and singing songs.

The book 'watch and read along with Miffy' was specially created for this campaign. It encourages children to listen, look, point and ask, based on nine recognizable themes. The proceeds from the book will be used to give copies to children who are not used to growing up with books. The book could be purchased for only €5.00 and there would be an app made available to complement the book.


How do we create an app that is complementary to a book and encourages parents to read more and talk to their children instead of just looking at their phone or other screen? As an added complication, we were only allowed to use Miffy's existing drawings, without modifying them in any way.


We designed and developed an app that's very simple, and by adding audio to all interaction in the app, it helps parents for whom reading aloud and talking to their children about what they see is not so obvious. This way they can have fun together and work on the Miffy book, without the app demanding all their attention. In the app design, I followed the pages of the book in designing te main story line in the app, so all scenes are instantly recognizable. Designing the controls and navigation without adding elements to Miffy's world proved to be a challenge, but I managed to do so by creatively reusing parts of the original artwork like arrows and circles as were drawn by Dick Bruna.

I started the design exploration by sketching on paper

I decided to use simple games that promote playful interaction between reader and child. There are "talking pictures" with questions that you can answer together as parent with your child. And a "what doesn't belong?" game. Children associate very differently than adults, so a nice game to chat about together. The games match the experience of children up to 4 years old.

A selection of app screens like the startup screen, the main story scroll, the various game screens and the parental gate that is obligatory in apps for small children. All interactions with objects in the app are supported by Miffy's real voice speaking the words.


Research and concept, UX/UI design, production, app submission process.


Michiel Stam, Dean Janssen and Eric Broersma


Hema Foundation and Mercis