Interaction Design with Kids

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Kids are awesome and (let’s be honest) so much more creative than adults. So, whenever I have the opportunity to engage them in the interaction design process, I do. This week I’ll be presenting on some of my work designing with kids at the Evaluation 2013 conference in Washington, DC.

The annual Evaluation conference (sponsored by the American Evaluation Association) brings together more than 3,000 applied researchers and evaluators from every possible domain (education, government, healthcare, technology – you name it). It’s the kind of conference where process trumps product: more than 875 sessions will discuss the pros and cons of different research approaches for a variety of end user groups across a range of contexts. In short – exactly the kind of methods-oriented nerdfest I like.

In Participatory Design for Public Action I’ll be talking about participatory research and design methods that helped us conceptualize new web-based interactives for kids with kids. Adapting methods long-used in the University of Maryland’s HCI Lab, my team and I conducted co-design sessions with 7-12 year olds. Using giant bags of arts and crafts supplies, the design teams generated new ideas for activities and games that would encourage kids to engage in environmental conservation.

IxD Kids

In the picture above, a group of kid designers have prototyped (from left to right) a hovercraft game to protect animal habitats, an informational ‘snow globe’ to learn fun facts about cheetahs, and an online store to raise money for conservation efforts. Special thanks to Beth Bonsignore of the University of Maryland (@ebonsign) for her help facilitating these sessions and to the grant project team at Miami University.

If you want to see what else I’ll be presenting at the Evaluation 2013 conference, check out my post on social network analysis.

About the Author

Image of Jes Koepfler

Jes Koepfler

Managing Director

Jes has a love for studying humans and their tools. More