Learning from our childhood


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Presentation for UXCamplondon based on article written on Johnny Holland (http://johnnyholland.org/2010/03/31/learning-from-our-childhood/)

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Learning from our childhood

  1. Learning from our childhood
  2. Learning from our childhood Childrenʼs playings are not sports and should be deemed as their most serious actions – Montaigne
  3. Children predominantly learn about the surrounding world through many forms of play
  4. alone
  5. role play
  6. in groups
  7. but all creative
  8. It is their work, always taken extremely seriously and “is the hallmark of the paradoxically useful uselessness of extended immaturity”  From butterfly to caterpillar: How children grow up by Alison Gopnik
  9. There is much we do not recognise and there is so much we ignore from our immature days of play, learning and discovery
  10. Many examples of how children view the world. How behaviours change as babies mature and develop
  11. Many lessons interaction designers can learn from the behaviours and interactions a child has with its environment
  12. Looking
  13. How do small children look at the world around them and the things in it?
  14. Very small children have no concept of where their physicality ends and the world around them begins
  15. when the mother is gone, the mother ceases to exist
  16. Children look at things in a particular way
  17. An object appears and catches a small childʼs attention 
  18. The length of looking indicates the level of interest it has in what it is looking at 
  19. The object then disappears and then reappears. If the pattern is ʻpredictableʼ they will look for X time. If the pattern is broken, say for example it appears higher or lower than anticipated, the baby will look for X + Y time (longer) and can be said to be more interested in the object
  20. small children will only ever look at the adultʼs finger pointing, not where it is pointing
  21. (Up until the age of approximately 12-15 months) The human is the only mammal that does this. This is a fine example of not taking for granted that everyone sees what you expect them to see (or hope they will see)
  22. later they begin to look where in the direction of where it is pointing...
  23. Just because you design something and point people at it doesnʼt necessarily mean they will see it the way you anticipated. Sometimes they will only look at your pointing
  24. Hiding and finding
  25. young children learn how to look and discover where things are, go to and appear
  26. There are two places to hide a ball: either behind point A or behind point B. To begin with a ball is hidden behind point A. Then while the child is watching, take the ball and hide it behind point B. Then ask the young child: “Where is the ball?” The young child will first look behind point A and then move onto looking behind point B. As they mature, they will find the object behind point B at the first attempt.
  27. Object permanence
  28. when an infant can no longer see an object it ceases to exist
  29. “out of sight, out of mind”
  30. Adults have a propensity to look everywhere
  31. that is why they are so complicated to design for
  32. Separation and attachment
  33. Up to 4-6 months infants are undifferentiatedly attached
  34. happy to be held by anyone
  35. After 6 months it becomes attached to 1 person (usually the mother)
  36. Separation anxiety begins
  37. The self is now recognised as separate from the caregiver. For children up to the age of 6 years old, it is widely accepted that separation anxiety is their predominant concern
  38. Theory of mind
  39. It is a huge development in small children when they learn that people see things in a different way and from different angles than themselves
  40. Jean Piagetʼs A, not-B error: Person A hides an object from Person B in Place X. B then goes away. A then moves it to Place Y. When B returns, A asks B where he will look for the object. Up to a certain age, children will say X
  41. one of the great insights into human interaction and behaviour
  42. Children will stand in front of you when you are watching the television when they want to watch it too
  43. They donʼt know that what they see, the television screen, is not what you see (their presence blocking the television screen)
  44. Reading a book with a child. The child will hold it so they can see the book. After acquiring Theory of Mind they will hold the book so that you can see the book too
  45. Preoperational Thought
  46. Young children do not understand the significance of the transformation between states
  47. transforming the shape of a liquid (pouring it from one container into another) does not change the amount
  48. In front of a 5 year old child, pour the same amount of milk into one squat glass and one tall glass and then ask the child which glass has the most in it? The child will say the tall glass. Again in front of the child, pour the milk out of the squat glass into a new tall glass and the milk out of the first tall glass into a new squat glass. Again, ask the child which glass has the most in it and it will say the tall glass.
  49. Feedback
  50. At approximately 6 years old, most children can tell you what they think you want to know
  51. you can actually conduct an interview with a child and discourse analysis is possible
  52. Conclusion
  53. The closer attention we pay to the way that children interact with the world around them
  54. – whether they are our own offspring and we view them in close proximity or through relations and or friends
  55. – the stronger interaction designers we will be
  56. Matthew Solle images by Helen Stratton from Grimmʼs & Han Andersenʼs Fairy Tales published by Blackie 1903