UXPA article on children’s touchscreen interactions now live!

And now for something a little different! The INIT Lab has long been conducting research on how children’s physical capabilities (e.g., motor skills development) affects their interactions with touchscreen devices like iPads and smartphones. Other researchers, like Alexis Hiniker and her former advisor Julie A. Kientz, both at the University of Washington in the DUB group, have been examining how children’s cognitive development impacts those interactions. We teamed up to write a magazine article for the UXPA Magazine (User Experience Professionals Association) to help get our research findings in the hands of practitioners! We are excited to announce that the article is now live on the UXPA site.

The abstract (first paragraph) is here:

Practicing designers can tell you that designing mobile touchscreen apps for children is different than for adult users. But what does science tell us about what interface differences are critical to remember? We are engaged in the science of child-computer interaction. Our empirical research has focused on capturing how the cognitive and physical traits of young children under age 10 affect the success of their interactions with touchscreen interfaces. We, and others, have produced research-driven design recommendations to consider. We share here our top seven guidelines for designing for children under age 10 and the evidence that led to them.

The article link can be found here. We are also releasing a two-page supplemental bibliography with this article as a separate download. The UXPA article format is more magazine-style and does not allow references, but we wanted to make sure that people could find the exciting research that we synthesized for this article if they were interested. Check it out here. If you’re a practitioner and you’ve found this article useful in your work to design technology for kids, we’d love to hear from you! Contact me.