HEBE Outline What: Novel interfaces for playing, interacting and reading e-books for children How: By building a collaborative/participatory design environment Why: There are lot of generic e-readers no one specific for children. Native digital? Where: Libraries, nurseries, schools, homes (?) Who: Children of three different age groups: 3-5, 6-9, 10-12. Other stakeholders like parents, teachers and book experts.
Background Findings of a series of users studies (e.g. Wilson et al, 2003; Landoni et al, 2001; Malama et al, 2005; Landoni and Hanlon, 2004)on how adults interact with e-books in different scenarios of use (including education and entertainment) HEBE will explore how children can be involved into the design and evaluation of novel, engaging, intuitive interfaces.
Aim and Purpose Make the reading experience more attractive to younger audience Involve children in exploring different type of technology, hardware and software, in order to produce more engaging, usable and fun e-book interfaces for them.
Hypothesis … in order to make e-reading a fun experience for children, new innovative interfaces are needed and children have to take an active role in their design.
Research Questions Can e-books for children add extra value to the reading experience? Are e-book models developed for adults still valid for children books or should these be expanded or even completely reconsidered to take into consideration specific children needs? Are new design approaches needed in order to make children e-books fun and usable? How children of different ages interact with e-books? Do different ages need different e-book models? What are the main activities related to reading, children would perform on e-books and how can these be better supported? How can children be effectively involved in the design of children e-books? How can children be effectively involved in the evaluation of children e-books?
Children Books Attractive and let children explore them in different ways. Engaging pop-ups, opening flaps, scanimations, etc… Reading as part of the experience of interacting with a book, unique and personal to each child. As young children are supervised in their experience by adults it turns into a social moment.
Books Beyond the Content Objects (containers) as well as content. Appearance and presentation as important as content. Ways into an imaginary world where children, even before being able to read, freely interact with them in all sort of creative way. Building block! Pages can turn into puzzles, maps and circuits, covers into crowns, frames and cut-out dolls Boundaries between children books and games are very fuzzy.
Paper vs Electronic Books Paper has often been accused of being passive, static and a real limitation to authors’ and readers’ creativity. Paper books for children are great examples of the contrary. Designing interactive e-books for children in competition with paper is a big challenge.
Technology and Reading Tangible, ubiquitous, wearable devices that together with an environment supporting multimedia can make interacting with a book a really multi-sensory immersive experience. We will explore a number of platforms and devices and exploit their potential as book support.
Local and international initiatives to engage children in reading.
Libraries, teachers, parents: all stakeholders.
In Ticino and Italy: Born to read (Nati per leggere).
And Now? We are organizing a series of user studies involving children in different relevant settings Different e-readers A bookshelf of titles of real interest to children In paper and electronic format Building a Bookshelf for children is a little project per se, partially sponsored by Microsoft Research, Cambridge.