MTAGIC Project: Co-Designing intelligent interfaces

In our previous post on this project, we discussed getting design input from children for designing intelligent interfaces such as speech, gesture, and touch. We are collaborating with Jason Yip from University of Washington on this project. Jason is the director of KidsTeam UW, where he is co-designing new technologies with children and families.

We had trouble recruiting children at University of Florida last year due to our initial study design of requiring a six week commitment. Recruitment became more difficult because UF does not have an already established co-design program. Due to the trouble recruiting at UF we decided to run four co-design sessions with KidsTeam UW in Seattle, Washington in a two-week period. Since we decided to run the study with KidsTeam UW, we did not have to run the study for six weeks because the children at KidsTeam have already had experience with the different design techniques and collaborating with one another. Thus, we did not have to plan any sessions to teach the children the different design techniques.

Therefore, I traveled to Seattle for a couple of weeks in early March to help run the sessions with Jason Yip and his KidsTeam UW project team. We had a total of seven children (ages 7 – 12) from KidsTeam UW participate in the co-design sessions. The co-design sessions went great! The kids had a lot of fun designing during the sessions with different Participatory Design techniques. The techniques we used were Bags of Stuff, Big Paper, Likes Dislikes and Design Ideas, and Scenario-Based Design [1,2]. For Likes Dislikes and Design Ideas, the kids had a blast playing with speech interfaces like the Amazon Echo, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. We even had a kid accidentally order Pokémon cards on the Amazon Echo! Now that we have completed the co-design sessions, we are going to start looking through the data and qualitatively coding the videos for themes that will help us understand how to design intelligent interfaces for kids.

This was a great experience for me; it was a lot of fun designing with the children! Spending time with KidsTeam UW also gave me more experience in running co-design studies and qualitative analysis which is a valuable experience since I am graduating this summer and going to pursue my Ph.D. in Human Centered Computing. I am looking forward to going through the data and seeing what we find.


1. Greg Walsh, Elizabeth Foss, Jason Yip, and Allison Druin. 2013. FACIT PD: a framework for analysis and creation of intergenerational techniques for participatory design. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2893-2902.

2. Greg Walsh, Alison Druin, Mona Leigh Guha, Elizabeth Foss, Evan Golub, Leshell Hatley, Elizabeth Bonsignore, and Sonia Franckel. 2010. Layered elaboration: a new technique for co-design with children. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1237-1240.