In order to approach the problem from the initial topic, which aims to study interaction for children in educational exhibitions, it is necessary to divide the problem into parts.
Therefore and starting from the beginning, it is time to study and analyse the differences in UX for adults and children. Creating an interface for kids is not simply a matter of using something made for adults and then changing the language for “dummies”. Designing interfaces for children goes much further than that.
One of the most important and most frequently mentioned issues throughout the different articles reviewed is the importance of focusing the design on the right age group. The age steps in children are much stronger than in adults. When we create a prototype aimed at older people, we can determine a target with an age range of 20 years difference. In contrast, in children the difference of 4 years of age already implies big changes related to skills and abilities. That is why in the next analyses we will try to focus the search on a target age range of 6 to 8 years, ages at which children are able to read, but still have a limited vocabulary.
After reading a large number of articles related to the subject, we have extracted the most important points (even though they may sometimes seem obvious) that have been most frequently repeated among authors. Some of the things to keep in mind are:
- Children need instant feedback with every action. This means not only informing the user that something has been clicked, but also keeping in mind that problems need to be broken down into small pieces.
- Multiple navigation is complicated to understand, so it is easier for them to receive information in the form of a story. This means that storytelling is key in children’s interfaces.
- Reading ability varies with age, but it is true that children usually avoid reading. So, if texts are added, they should be very concise, adapted and direct.
- The adaptability of the interface takes into account several concepts such as font size and colour. In case of interfaces for children, font sizes should always be between 12pt and 14pt and colours should be saturated and vivid. This is a concept that normally in interfaces for adults can be distracting, but it is something that keeps children interested and connected with the content. A similar idea includes the use of sounds and animations.
- Children tend to have an explorative attitude towards interfaces, “mine-sweeping” the screen.
- Finally, it is important to bear in mind that children tend to take everything they see literally, so it is necessary to think deeply about the use of icons and images.
With this little research, it is time to look at existing children’s displays that may or may not meet these points.
Kosa, M. ‘Children-first design: why UX for kids is a responsible matter’, UX Collective, 6 January 2018, <https://uxdesign.cc/ux-for-kids-responsible-matter-802bd12fe28c>
Molnár, D. ‘Product Design For Kids: A UX Guide To The Child’s Mind’, uxstudio, 31 July 2018 <https://uxstudioteam.com/ux-blog/design-for-kids/>.
Nielsen, J. & Scherwin, K. ‘Children’s UX: Usability Issues in Designing for Young People’, Nielsen Norman Group, 13 January 2019 <https://www.nngroup.com/articles/childrens-websites-usability-issues/>.
Osborne, P. ‘UX Design for Kids: Key Design Considerations’, UX Matters, 6 January 2020 <https://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2020/01/ux-design-for-kids-key-design-considerations.php>
GameDaily Connect. (018, June 28). UI/UX Design Principles for Kids Apps | Ashley Samay [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud0CJ-27QQU&ab_channel=GameDailyConnect