IXD301 Elements Project : User Research

Designing for kids

The first part of my user research journey was learning about all the things to consider when designing for kids. Here’s some. of the sources I found which helped me do so…

I found it really interesting seeing how different the way you would go about designing a product for kids is based on the age range. The way you’d design an app for toddlers is completely different from how you would design for a 10 year old who has a decent understanding of Ui. Even kids relatively close in age will have different  levels of cognitive ability and understanding that needed to be catered to.

Cognitive Considerations

That brings me to considering the cognitive abilities of my target users (8 to 12 year olds). For this I got talking to my aunt who has phd in child phycology since she knows all about this stuff. I asked her what kind of things I should to take note of and here is what she said…

I also found a couple articles online about the topic of cognitive considerations…

Questionnaires

Something I must do as part of my user research journey for this project is put together a couple user personas a scenarios but before I can do that I have to collect some quantitative and qualitative data on my actual user base. This is why I decided to put together some questionnaires.

Research

At first I no idea how to go about putting user questionnaires / surveys together so I had to consult the internet. I looked at some how to… articles as well as a great deal of templates (most of which didn’t really relate at all to what I was trying to do here but any way.)

Here are some places I looked…

My Questionnaires

I decided to put together two questionnaires, one for the parents and on for girls aged in and around 8-12.

For kids one my main goal was trying to understand their relationship with science and what would draw them to this app. I also asked them questions about the type of game play they enjoy and some more general questions about their interests that will help me build personas. As well as all this I asked for opinions on different things I’d designed making sure to ask as many open ended questions as possible. I learned from research that you have to keep questions simple and clear so I sure do do that. Also it had been said that sometimes with kids to get them to understand the question you have to ask leading questions even though that’s taboo for other groups. I used “what do you like or dislike” instead of “what do you think” in a lot of places because that makes it clearer for them to know how to answer without getting a biased result from asking simply “what do you like” or “what do you dislike”. They can say anything they want.

The parents questionnaire was more focused on understanding their kids cognitive ability and what would potentially draw them to an app like this for their child.

Here are my questionnaires if you want to have a look…

My mum has helped me out by asking around at work and so some of her colleagues with daughters have offered to help out and answer them for me.

Consulting my cousin (12yo Boy)

Even tough my primary target audience is girls, I don’t want my app to be exclusionary towards boys of the same age range. This is why I’ve be regularly consulting with my little cousin who is a 12 year old boy to make sure that nothing in my design would be particularly off putting to him or his peers. I was thankfully surprised by how little he had problems with. I think that just goes to show that when I was younger things were incredibly genderised for kids but nowadays theres more of a middle ground and it seems like a lot of cute games aren’t perceived as too girly anymore. I’m not sure if that tangent makes sense but basically when I was little if a game had pink in it boys more likely than not go near it so yeah, times do be changing and I love that.

What’s next

  • Once I get enough responses from my questionnaires, I’ll be able to put together a couple user personas and scenarios
  • I’m going to try to conduct usability testing with some of my younger cousins.

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