Kids and Interaction (V): 125 Universal Principles of Design. Part 1.

After analysing a few examples of interactive children’s exhibits and looking at the results obtained from the database, they went on to read and research the 125 Universal Design Principles.

To this end, it was decided to update the progress found, as the book is very comprehensive and detailed.

After reading the first 30 principles, we found some very interesting details that we considered very important to use in exhibitions for children.

These principles and the reasons why they might be interesting are listed below.

This is a very important concept in design, but especially in design for children, as it is necessary to adapt the devices so that children can access and understand them. That is why, within the concepts of this principle, operability (everyone should be able to use the design) and simplicity (everyone should be able to understand the design) stand out.

Advance organiser
This principle is very important and is somewhat related to the simplicity seen in the previous section. This principle stresses the importance of being able to explain concepts so that everyone is able to understand them. To do this, the idea of using words that children already understand is used, from which the main concept is generated and explained.

Biophilia Effect
Spaces reminiscent of nature reduce stress and increase concentration. When planning an interactive exhibition for children, it is necessary to understand that children need to be as concentrated as possible in order to carry out the actions. That is why trying to create a natural environment can help.

This concept also relates to the way in which information is displayed. It is necessary to divide the content into units in order not to launch too much content in too little time.

Obviously colour is a very important point, which was already analysed previously. In the case of children, more saturated colours should be used to give more excitement and dynamism.

Contour Bias
In this case, we talk about the importance of using more rounded edges that make the user feel closer to the object. Still, it is true that straighter edges can be aggressive but they certainly attract the user’s attention. Still, in my opinion, I don’t think it is a necessary thing to use with children.

Constraint and control
I place both concepts together as they are related. They consider the importance of knowing how much control the user should have. The constraint relates to the limitations that should be placed on the user. In this way, both work together to limit and leave the necessary freedom to the user.

Obviously there are many more important concepts, but these listed above are, in my opinion, the most important for children. The idea is to finalise the list of principles and add some details about these principles to the databases, to continue analysing interactive exhibits in order to understand the correct and best use of resources to generate the most impactful exhibits for children.


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., Butler, J., & Elam, K. (2010). Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design. Rockport Publishers.

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