Why this talk?
The goal of this talk is to raise awareness for child-centered design and give a hands on guide on how to include children (0-12 years of age) in the design and development process of digital products that are designed for this very age group.
When designing for adults, you can target them directly and sell them the advantages of user-centered design. When designing for kids things are slightly different. To be more precise, the users are slightly different. They are kids, and they deserve to be recognized as an autonomous target group. A target group that requires a different approach to design: Child-Centered Design (CCD). Now the thing is, children benefit from CCD, but neither do they care, nor do they have the decision-making power to buy stuff based on the quality of the design. Parents, teachers, and product managers on the other hand do. Are you in any way involved in the design or development process of digital products for kids? Then CCD offers you the perfect argument to sell your products to the right stakeholders.
Have you never thought about why and how designing for kids might be different than for adults? No worries, you are certainly not alone on this. But expanding ones horizont every now and then doesn’t hurt, does it? And after all, child-centered design is not rocket science.
What is the talk about?
First, the talk will briefly cover the popular concept of user-centered design and the question “Why is it that user centered design has ignored children for so long?” It will be discussed how the concept has evolved and why it is now time to reconsider the definition of the user. We can no longer ignore children as an autonomous target group for digital media.
Next, children will be introduced as new target group for interactive media. The target group will be discussed regarding their age, media habits and the key differences from adult users.
Then, the concept of child-centered design will be introduced and discussed step by step. This includes the common phases of user-centered design process, enriched by those aspects that differ for young target groups. Different age groups will be discussed by their physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities. Based on the question answer process, it will be illustrated which research methods are suitable for which age groups - and which are not.
Last but not least, the benefits of child-centered design will be discussed. Besides children, other stakeholders like parents, teachers, and product managers will also be considered. Here it is especially interesting to point out their role and discuss how they can benefit from a child-centered design approach.
Interested in Child-Centered Design? Then follow me on Twitter @SabinaIdler or visit our website at uxkids.com.