Highlights Every Day

Kids magazine reimagined as an app

Highlights Every Day

Highlights Every Day is a mobile app that offers a variety of challenging puzzles, captivating stories, fascinating videos, and amusing quizzes in a safe, digital environment for kids..


Highlights makes printed magazine for kids ages 6-12 that contain a myriad of well-known and well-loved activities designed to develop a child’s cognitive abilities as they’re growing. They have been in the business for over 70 years and were interested in transforming their product into something kids in the digital age could relate to. We were tasked with translating this experience into a mobile app.

My Team

I worked at Fingeprint Play at the time and built this with one other designer, our VP of design, engineers, content sourcers, and marketers, as well as input from the client, Highlights.


In order to understand what directions to explore, we needed to understand what our goals were for this product. This can be split into user goals and business goals.

User goals

  • The target audience was kids ages 6-8. In this age range, kids have trouble with reading, complex gestures, and understanding certain UI standards like gestures
  • Parents are also the target audience, and they want an education, safe, ad-free environment for their kids
  • Content is why kids and parents enjoy Highlights, so we needed to design an experience where the content stood out

Business Goals

  • Highlights wanted a branded digital experience that represented their slogan “Branded with a Purpose”

Highlights also had print and digital competition in this space, so I spent some time taking a look at competitor’s solutions for digital. Some magazines had opted for a simple interactive e-book style, while others spent a little more time creating custom interfaces.

Screenshots from competitive research

Ideation and Refinement

We had initially explored some ideas on how to deliver content in an interesting way to kids. The ideas revolved around the main concept of a calendar or daily content pack, which mimicked the Highlights subscription where kids would receive a new magazine every month.

Highlights ideation screenshots

We were surprised to find through user testing that kids didn’t understand the concept of a calender. Back to the drawing board. In our second brainstorm, the idea of a content “river” was born, which would give kids a way to quickly look for content they’re interested in. The advent calendar was changed to a present, something more familiar to kids.

Highlights Every Day content river Highlights Every Day river with gift

Launched Product

Highlights Every Day home

New Activities Every Day

Every day a kid returns to play Highlights Every Day, they receive 5 new activities in the form of a colorful mystery gift.

Five gifts

The "River"

The home screen has activity filters on top and a horizontal scrolling area with activities that we interally dubbed the River. The River is the area where kids can launch activities they receive from gifts.

Content river with locked content Content river filtered by puzzles Empty favorites area Content river with four gifts


Highlights Every Day offers hundreds of educational and entertainment activities, which we’ve divided into four categories: puzzles, reading, videos, and quizzes.

Activity iconography
Puzzle content Book content Video content Quiz content