Yoto is an interactive, screen-free audio platform that lets kids safely explore hundreds of stories, songs, radio stations and podcasts. Yoto’s aim is to feed kids’ curiosity with inspiring audio, sparking creative play and learning with products that are tactile and intuitive for all ages.
A key feature of the Yoto experience is the use of physical cards for playback of audio content. This lets children as young as two explore their favourite stories and music independently, while also promoting tactile play and helping with fine motor control development.
Pentagram developed the industrial design of Yoto Mini following up on the successful design work already completed on the original Yoto Player, brand identity, packaging and visual identity. Yoto Mini shares the same design language as the Yoto Player but in a smaller, lower-cost portable form factor that opens up the Yoto platform to a wider audience.
The development involved experimenting with a range of typologies that combined the key features (card slot, display, controls, sound) in a variety of ways. This resulted in a compact design with the key elements on the front face.
The device was designed from the ground up for children but is deliberately not too toy-like—it appeals to kids of all ages and reminds parents of their favourite Walkman.
Large controls mean that all ages can easily use the Yoto Mini. Its compact, robust design is simple to assemble (which keeps costs down) and it incorporates a USB C socket for easy charging with small hands, as well as a headphone socket for personal listening.
The device has a small form but the careful audio design means that its sound quality is good and surprisingly powerful. The LED pixel display is a key feature of the original Yoto Player—this was incorporated in Yoto Mini as a small window on the front face with TFT display behind, providing feedback and interactive content without being distracting.
Pentagram also designed the packaging, which opens like a book to reveal Yoto Mini and an introduction card. The packaging is as compact as possible and works for retail environments and direct to consumer sales. A silicone adventure jacket with lanyard was developed as an accessory pack to keep the product extra safe and portable and to add a choice of colours for personalisation.