CBC Digital Labs
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CBC Digital Labs

What does the Kids team do at CBC?

This post is part of a series on “What teams do at CBC” in 2021. In each blog post we are celebrating one of our amazing teams in Digital Strategy and Products at CBC and shed light on the fantastic work they do. Teams will be sharing how their work fulfills CBC’s mission and serves our Canadian audience. Team members will also talk about what it is like to be on their team and what they do for fun.

Team: Kids

Sean Bennett, Sr Developer, 7 Years at CBC
Kevin Kimmett, Product Designer, 15 Years at CBC
Megan McChesney, Product Manager, 7.5 Years at CBC (Megan is also the author of this post for the team)
Jonathan McCloy, Agile Team Lead, 3 Years at CBC
Brooke Stephens, Sr Developer, 4 Years at CBC

Welcome to the funnest little team at CBC! We’re responsible for the digital products for CBC Kids, which currently includes cbckids.ca, cbckidsnews.ca and cbcparents.ca. Our audience within CBC Kids spans ages 2 to 12 and their caregivers.

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We deliver directly against the CBC-wide objective to reach young audiences. And doing so is one of the most unique challenges present within digital media. Not only are we dealing with a constantly evolving landscape of offerings, competitors and audience preferences (think: YouTube, Netflix, Minecraft, Roblox, Among Us, etc., etc., etc.), you’re also dealing with a HUGE range of developmental needs within one audience group. What a six-year-old can do on a website is not nearly the same as what a 10-year-old can do.

As a result, we spend a lot of time talking to and interacting with our audience during remote user testing sessions. We test as much as we can with the intended audience; everything from how they would like search to function (hint: they really need help with spelling!) through to their overall impressions of our sites.

Given none of us are kids anymore (some might debate this), we need to stay connected to our intended audience on a regular basis to make sure we’re building things they love. Without that regular connection, we run the risk of being just another group of adults building stuff that we *think* kids should like based on our own ideas about what it means to be a kid. But being a kid in 2021 is much different than it was when we were young — today’s kids are beyond being digital native; they’re digitally inherent.

We also want to build safe experiences; it’s important to everyone on the team that the things we build respect the privacy of our users and their caregivers, while also making sure we are creating positive, age-appropriate experiences that will contribute to a new generation of responsible digital citizens.

So what are some of the things we’ve recently done? We’ve been building a brand new cbckids.ca — modernizing our biggest website to meet the needs of our ever-evolving audience.

We do our best to leverage modern, mature, and reliable technologies to provide the best experiences to all Canadian kids. We work primarily with ExpressionEngine as our CMS and are constantly innovating by exploring how we can better use front-end technologies like React, using compiling/delivery methods like webpack, and contemporary standards like SCSS.

While we’re not hiring at the moment, we hope to be able to add more people to our team before too long — we have a ton of really exciting ideas, and would love more support to build them! In the meantime, to join our other teams at CBC, check out our current openings here.

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