Behind the Design: How We Deliver “Whoa, Awesome!” Moments

Jul 12, 2020 / By Cailyn Bradley

We want every child who opens a KiwiCo crate to light up with excitement for the new adventures and activities ahead. That’s why each of our products undergoes a unique design journey and are tested by kid experts before they’re delivered to your door. We know we’ve created something really exciting when we hear the words, “whoa, awesome!” echo across our office. This reaction has become a litmus test for everything we do, and it’s our goal to spark the same excitement in your home. The KiwiCo community plays a huge role in the success of our products, so we want to give you an inside look at how each crate is designed to deliver “whoa, awesome!” moments.

Brainstorming: Searching for Eureka!

Eureka is not only the name of one of our crate lines (you can check it out here), but it’s also the phrase that really sums up the first goal in our design process. Before we start building, our product designers meet to come up with concepts during the brainstorming phase. They play with ideas until they have a eureka moment (aka the triumph of discovery). But not every “good idea” goes beyond the brainstorming phase. In order for it to be built, an idea has to inspire awe in a way that is uniquely KiwiCo.


When brainstorming ideas for a biology-focused product, the designers dove into the nostalgia of frog dissection. This is an educational milestone that is both incredibly enriching… and gross (and stinky! Will you ever forget the smell of formaldehyde??) In a very creative eureka moment, one of the product designers pitched the idea to reimagine this interactive learning experience by making it more approachable (i.e. “cuter”). And thus, Froggie Lab Dissection was born!

Prototyping: Trying & Trying Again

Our product designers are experts when it comes to learning from failure especially during the prototyping phase. This is when the product designers build the products. Most of the time, original concepts don’t look or work as planned. And that’s a good thing because, oftentimes, the small changes product designers make along the way lead to big innovation!


Froggie went through a lot of iterations before it evolved into a dissectible plush. The product designer originally thought to make the frog flat, but after a few attempts, she amped up the fluff! Different materials and colors were also tested for the organs to make sure they were anatomically correct but also cute!

Testing: Making “Whoa, Awesome!” Moments

Kids are at the core of our testing phase. We invite kids of all ages to test out all our products before they launch. Kids make great product testers because, as parents know all too well, they are always brutally honest. Our tiny testers tell us what they think of a product at a few different stages. They help the product designers decide what materials to use and how best to approach the building part of the crate projects. They share feedback with the KiwiCo Editorial and Graphic Design Teams which create exciting and enriching content to pair with products! Once all the crate elements are combined, we do a final kid test, and that’s when the “whoa, awesome!” moments are made!


Our kid testers helped us understand how to make Froggie more huggable by using softer materials. We also switched from velcro to buttons to unveil and close its belly. To make the crate a more enriching learning experience, the editorial team helped come up with a game to explain the anatomy of a frog!

We’d love to see your kids’ “whoa, awesome!” moments! Share photos and videos on Instagram and tag us at @kiwico_inc.
Don’t forget to include #kiwico!