Teaching Interaction Design and Children: Understanding the Relevance of Theory for Design

Tilde Bekker, Wolmet Barendregt, Panos Markopoulos, Janet Read
pp. 9-24, download


In this paper we address the challenge of teaching interaction design for children’s products especially pertaining to bridging the gap between child development theories and interaction design issues. We describe our experiences from developing a one-week course on interaction design and children, that is part of a competency based Masters program in design. We conclude that key elements in this course, to support learning how to incorporate theoretical knowledge in design, are a) providing design tool that covers a child developmental model of four domains (cognitive, social, emotional and physical) , such as the Developmentally Situated Design cards for creating child personas and design concepts b) using a design exercise c) giving students the possibility to work on several iterations d) giving students more than one age-group to work with in the project, and e) providing the students with an evaluation protocol.

keywords: design education, child development, theoretical knowledge

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