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Little People, Big Challenges: UX with Kids. Presented at Midwest UX 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.
 

Little People, Big Challenges: UX with Kids. Presented at Midwest UX 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Conducting UX activities with school-age children is fun and interesting, though it can also be frustrating at times. If you are planning a project whose user group includes children, this is the ...

Conducting UX activities with school-age children is fun and interesting, though it can also be frustrating at times. If you are planning a project whose user group includes children, this is the session for you. These aren’t just little people after all, they have a completely different range of emotional, physical and learning abilities than adults. In this brief session you’ll learn the characteristics of these kids and how they can affect your UX study.

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    Little People, Big Challenges: UX with Kids. Presented at Midwest UX 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. Little People, Big Challenges: UX with Kids. Presented at Midwest UX 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. Presentation Transcript

    • Midwest UXApril 9, 2011
      Little People, Big Challenges: UX with Kids
    • Imagination, Wonder, Fun!
    • Little People…
    • Not Short Adults
      Cognitive Skills
      Reality and make-believe
      New to computers
      Reading
      Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? By Bill Martin Jr / Eric Carle
    • Physical
      Little hands and unreliable grasp
      Computer operations (drag-and-drop)
      Short in stature
      Need for movement
    • Experience & Emotions
      Interpretation of information, icons
      Fear, shyness
      Non-talkers or Chatty
    • Recruitment
    • Gain Trust
      Legitimacy
      Approach Organizations
      Rotary Club
      Parent-Teacher Groups
      Private Schools
      Home School Co-ops
    • Mindful of Family Situations
      Caring Adults
      Religious, social
      Holidays, birthdays, politics
      Awareness of Media, Internet, TV
    • Network
      Ask for recommendations
      Finder’s fee
      Participants knowing each other
      Enjoy experience with friends
      Can carpool
      Depends on test
      Patel and Paulsen
    • Publicize
      Social networking
      Through your site
      Ethnio.com
      Advertising
      Parent e-mailing lists and bulletin boards
      Volunteer sections
      Fliers
    • Recruiting Issues
      Advanced computer users
      Making games, web pages, etc.
      Flexible testing hours
      Arrange care or space for siblings
      Younger distract
      Older want to help
      Sensitive to concerns about child’s abilities
    • Protecting Kids
    • Physical Considerations
      Child-friendly
      Child-sized chairs and tables
      Avoid distraction
      Lab equipment
      Effective yet unobtrusive
      Check for safety
    • On Location
      Classroom
      Least interaction
      Best opportunity for comparison
      Home
      Most interaction and deepest understanding
      Most time consuming per subject
      Other situations (playgrounds, museums, etc.)
      Difficult to plan
      Hard to know who you’re observing
      Use most caution in this situation
    • Guidance
      Never be alone with child
      No full names in any documentation
      No discipline unless they are in danger
      Photograph only with permission
      Casual dress
    • Welcome Caring Adults
      Child’s Choice
      Benefits of Adult in Room
      Gives child sense of security
      Can help “adjust” child when needed
      May Need Guidance
      “Lead” child or pressure child to perform
      Engage facilitator in side conversation
    • Caring Adult-Child Pairs
      Used to having support available
      Expect to be used with adult
      First time use
      Educational products
      Offline activities
      Interaction
      Relationship issues show up
      Coping skills vary – encourage to be supportive
    • Consent
      Adult must sign any agreement
      Activity for child while waiting
      Designs "top-secret"
    • Online Information Gathering
      COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule)
      Became effective on April 21, 2000.
      Operators Must:
      Post privacy policy;
      Obtain verifiable parental consent;
      Prohibit disclosure of information to third parties;
      Maintain confidentiality, security, and integrity of information.
      More at: www.ftc.gov
    • Conducting Research
    • In the Classroom
      Schedule carefully
      Levels of approval
      Make concessions
      Teacher
      Used to being observed
      Hectic - prepare for change
    • In the Home
      Can be chaotic
      Distractions abound
      Go with the flow
      Pets (consider your allergies)
      Show their room
    • Test Your Materials
      Child’s ability level
      Rotate tasks – more tired at end
      Prepare varying levels of hints
      Scary disembodied voice
      Speak softly
      Give warning before speaking
      Tiny voices, close mics
      Pressure zone microphones
      Hanna, Risden, and Alexander
    • Control & Trust
      New experience for child
      Office and equipment
      Different than home
      Answer Questions
      About gear
      Go behind one-way mirrors
      Match experience
      Adjust to preference
      Slower cursor speed
      Resolution
    • Set Expectations
      Caring adult
      Allow child to try things out and make guesses
      Help with hints if gets stuck
      To Child
      Use simple language
      We’ll have fun!
      Warm-up activity - get to know them
      Avoid suggesting
      Eager to please adults
    • During Testing
      Keep it short
      Restate tasks as needed
      Encouragement and feedback
      "You really worked at that!"
      "You did that all on your own!"
      Reminders to pay attention
      Free exploration time
      Hanna, Risden, and Alexander
    • Communicate Emotions
      Behavior
      Non-talker
      Trying to “break” product
      Less verbally capable children
      Explain what you need to know
      Memory aids
      From left to right 'boring, 'don't understand', 'fun',
      'too difficult, 'too slow', 'childish', 'stupid/strange', 'too scary'.
      Barendregt and Bekker
    • Post-Study
      Children are tired
      May be upset test is over
      Thank them!
      Comment on how helpful they were
      Hard work = see exactly what needs to be fixed
    • Incentives
      Classrooms
      Thank entire class and teacher
      Gift to class (pizza day, etc.) - optional
      Homes
      Appropriate for age and economic class
      Bring extras for siblings
      Gift certificates
    • Testing/Researching Children
      Create usable, satisfying products for children
      Be prepared for anything
      Unpredictable, challenging and fun!
    • Carol Smith
      @carologic
      carol@mw-research.com
      mw-research.com
      @iTwixie
      carol@itwixie.com
      tweentrends.itwixie.com
    • References
      Hanna, L., Risden, K., and Alexander, K. 1997. Guidelines for usability testing with children. interactions 4, 5 (Sep. 1997), 9-14. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/264044.264045
      Barendregt, W., Bekker, M.M. 2005. Extended guidelines for usability (and fun) testing with children. SIGCHI.NL Conference 2005, HCI Close to You, 13 October Den Haag. Den Haag, NL
      Patel, M. and Paulsen, C. 2002. "Strategies for Recruiting Children for Usability Tests." Usability Professionals Association, 11th Annual Conference.
      Ames, Louise Bates, Ph.D., et. all. Your __ Year-Old, Series, Gesell Institute of Human Development.