June 6th, 2013

Designing for Special Needs
Jacob Esparza

Wednesday, November 13, 13
Hi, I’m Jacob Esparza
CEO & Co-Founder,
Making Friends Inc.
@jacobespa
@MakingFriendsSF

Wednesday, November 13, 13
Who Has Special Needs?
Individuals with physical or mental health
conditions requiring services
Autism Spectrum Disorder

...
Autism
1:88 children born in US are diagnosed
Primary characteristic are behavioral deficits
90% have sensory issues
65% of...
Special Needs UX Challenges
Motor Skills (coordination)

Interactions

Speech & Language

Visual & auditory
processing

Se...
Types Sensory Needs
Visual-Perceptual Skills

Depth perception,
memory, motion

Auditory Processing

Language, tone/pitch,...
Coping Mechanisms
“Stimming”: Repetitive behavior that helps individuals self-regulate

Physical
Tapping/Clapping

Visual
...
Imagine seeing this

Wednesday, November 13, 13

...when everyone else see that
Customer Persona
Ethan

Behaviors

make friends”
• Obsessed with Pixar films
• Loves mobile apps

Youtube, Angry Birds, etc...
Product Needs
Skills: Educators + Product Designers
Engagement: Leverage animation, interactions, interests
Education: Enh...
Market Opportunities
Assessment

Wednesday, November 13, 13

Education

Daily Living

Communication
Rules of Thumb

Always Assume Intelligence

Wednesday, November 13, 13
Avoid In-App Purchases

That’s nice

Wednesday, November 13, 13

Just looking

Must have
The YouTube Test

If you’re navigation is more complicated than YouTube, start over

Navigation

Wednesday, November 13, 1...
Avoid Rote Learning

Bee is not in app

Wednesday, November 13, 13

Button spacing!

No visuals
Give Room For Creativity
But keep options simple

Pick a Character

Wednesday, November 13, 13

Choose Clothes

Customize
...
Combine Interests + Learning

Zombies, check!

Wednesday, November 13, 13

Addition, check!

Awesome stars, check!
Provide Visual Help
But avoid creating dependency

No visual instruction

Wednesday, November 13, 13

No help option
Sequential Tutorials Are Awesome

Wednesday, November 13, 13
Overcome Color Blindness

Shapes & Patterns help
differentiate Colors

Wednesday, November 13, 13

Correct
What Levers Do We Have?
User-Interface

Copy, Layout, button size,
colors, patterns, shapes

User Interactions

Gestures, ...
Thank You!
Jacob Esparza CEO & Co-Founder,
Making Friends Inc.
@jacobespa
@MakingFriendsSF

Wednesday, November 13, 13
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Designing for special needs slide share 11.13

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Overview of the challenges in designing applications for children with autism / learning differences / sensory needs.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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Designing for special needs slide share 11.13

  1. 1. June 6th, 2013 Designing for Special Needs Jacob Esparza Wednesday, November 13, 13
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Jacob Esparza CEO & Co-Founder, Making Friends Inc. @jacobespa @MakingFriendsSF Wednesday, November 13, 13
  3. 3. Who Has Special Needs? Individuals with physical or mental health conditions requiring services Autism Spectrum Disorder 1:1 Behavioral Therapy ADD/ADHD Medication & Tangibles Cerebral Palsy Occupational Therapy Speech & Language Impairments Speech Therapy & Adaptive Tools Wednesday, November 13, 13
  4. 4. Autism 1:88 children born in US are diagnosed Primary characteristic are behavioral deficits 90% have sensory issues 65% of free time is spent on digital devices 3.5 hours/day on digital entertainment 333,000 age 4-10 Wednesday, November 13, 13
  5. 5. Special Needs UX Challenges Motor Skills (coordination) Interactions Speech & Language Visual & auditory processing Sensory Visual & sound Wednesday, November 13, 13
  6. 6. Types Sensory Needs Visual-Perceptual Skills Depth perception, memory, motion Auditory Processing Language, tone/pitch, volume Tactile (touch) Human touch, clothing, food (texture) Olfactory (taste & smell) Diet, environment Vestibular Balance, movement Wednesday, November 13, 13
  7. 7. Coping Mechanisms “Stimming”: Repetitive behavior that helps individuals self-regulate Physical Tapping/Clapping Visual Auditory Staring Yelling Spinning/Rocking Focus Chirping Jumping Turning Objects Scripting Wednesday, November 13, 13
  8. 8. Imagine seeing this Wednesday, November 13, 13 ...when everyone else see that
  9. 9. Customer Persona Ethan Behaviors make friends” • Obsessed with Pixar films • Loves mobile apps Youtube, Angry Birds, etc. • 8/10 can’t interpret conversations with others • “I don’t know how to Demographics • 7 years old, 2nd grader • Mid-Functioning autism • High sensory sensitivity • 20 hours/week therapy Wednesday, November 13, 13 • 3 hrs/day playing apps: Needs & Goals • Wants friends • Anxious with new people • Needs to avoid being socially left behind
  10. 10. Product Needs Skills: Educators + Product Designers Engagement: Leverage animation, interactions, interests Education: Enhance, not translate Scope/Price: Make it an investment, but don’t price-gouge Wednesday, November 13, 13
  11. 11. Market Opportunities Assessment Wednesday, November 13, 13 Education Daily Living Communication
  12. 12. Rules of Thumb Always Assume Intelligence Wednesday, November 13, 13
  13. 13. Avoid In-App Purchases That’s nice Wednesday, November 13, 13 Just looking Must have
  14. 14. The YouTube Test If you’re navigation is more complicated than YouTube, start over Navigation Wednesday, November 13, 13 Navigation The experience
  15. 15. Avoid Rote Learning Bee is not in app Wednesday, November 13, 13 Button spacing! No visuals
  16. 16. Give Room For Creativity But keep options simple Pick a Character Wednesday, November 13, 13 Choose Clothes Customize Finished Product
  17. 17. Combine Interests + Learning Zombies, check! Wednesday, November 13, 13 Addition, check! Awesome stars, check!
  18. 18. Provide Visual Help But avoid creating dependency No visual instruction Wednesday, November 13, 13 No help option
  19. 19. Sequential Tutorials Are Awesome Wednesday, November 13, 13
  20. 20. Overcome Color Blindness Shapes & Patterns help differentiate Colors Wednesday, November 13, 13 Correct
  21. 21. What Levers Do We Have? User-Interface Copy, Layout, button size, colors, patterns, shapes User Interactions Gestures, reaction times Animation Speed, number of objects moving, frequency, etc. Sound Language, tone/pitch, volume, frequency Wednesday, November 13, 13
  22. 22. Thank You! Jacob Esparza CEO & Co-Founder, Making Friends Inc. @jacobespa @MakingFriendsSF Wednesday, November 13, 13
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