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Accepted Full Papers | IDC2014
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Accepted Full Papers


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“It helped me do my science.”
- A Case of Designing Social Media Technologies for Children in Science Learning

Yip, J. C. Ahn, J., Clegg, T., Bonsignore, E., Pauw, D. & Gubbels, M.
In this paper, we present the design evolution of two social media (SM) tools: Scientific INQuiry (SINQ), which transformed into ScienceKit. We detail our motivations for using SM tools in science learning and the design decisions we made over a 2-year, design-based research project. Our designs grew from our experiences using SM tools in the field and co-designing these systems with children. Our longitudinal case study and design narrative contribute to our understanding of the design and use of SM tools to support children’s scientific inquiry. Specifically, we detail (1) the affordances and constraints we gleaned from the design evolution of SINQ to ScienceKit, (2) the potential of SM to guide learning behaviors, and (3) the role of SM for children and the community of adults and peers who support them.

 

Waiting for Learning
- Designing Interactive Education Materials for Patient Waiting Areas

Leong, Z. A. & Horn, M.
We describe the research and design of educational media for children in doctor’s office waiting areas. Even though technology use for medical purposes has become increasingly prominent for doctors, administration, and patients, research on the use of interactive technology for health education is limited. In this project, we focus on clinics for Sickle Cell Disease treatment. These clinics treat patients of various ages and disease severity, but all patients make frequent, recurring visits for treatments and checkups. We describe our current research to better understand the behaviors and activities of patients as they wait in the clinic, their expectations and understandings of Sickle Cell Disease and its treatment, the educational material currently available, and our preliminary methods for developing interactive technologies for these environments. This reseach includes observations in pediatric clinic waiting areas, interviews with clinic staff, and preliminary user testing with our interactive designs.

 

Emergent Dialogue: Eliciting Values during Children’s Collaboration with a Tabletop Game for Change

Antle, A. N., Warren, J.L., May, A., Fan, M., & Alyssa, W.F.
Games for Change (G4C) is a movement and community of practice dedicated to using digital games for social change . However, a common model of persuasion built into most G4C, called Information Deficit, assumes that supporting children to learn facts will result in behavior change around social issues. There is little evidence that this approach works. We propose a model of game play, called Emergent Dialogue, which encourages children to discuss their values during interaction with factual information in a G4C.  We summarize a set of guidelines based on our Emergent Dialogue model and apply them to the design of Youtopia, a tangible, tabletop learning game about sustainability. Our goal was to create a game that provided opportunities for children to express and discuss their values around sustainable development trade-offs during game play. We evaluate our design using video, survey and questionnaire data. Our results provide evidence that our model and design guidelines are effective for supporting value-based dialogue during collaborative game play.

 

Designing Digital Peer Support for Children: Design Patterns for Social Interaction

Lindberg, S., Wärnestål, P., Nygren, J. & Svedberg, P.
Children who have survived a life-threatening disease like cancer benefit from social support from other children with a similar background. However, these children are often geographically dispersed and have little opportunity to meet. We investigate the design and development of Digital Peer Support Services (DPS), which may overcome this problem. Peer support is a kind of social support that brings together peers with similar experiences to help their adjustment to a disease. The aim of this paper is to develop design patterns for social interaction that can be implemented in a DPS for children surviving cancer. We conducted four sets of design workshops with children, from which emerged clusters relating to peer support and friendship that were broken down into triads. From these, six design patterns for social interaction were developed. The patterns delineate different aspects of social interaction for children and are illustrated with examples from DPS prototypes and concepts. The patterns are organized into a hierarchy, comprising the beginning of a design pattern language for social interaction for children. An essential aspect of the patterns is providing users with transparency and control of the extent to which their social interaction is public or private.

 

Play It Our Way: Customization of Game Rules in Children’s Interactive Outdoor Games

Avontuur, T., de Jong, R., Brink, E., Florack, Y., Soute, I. & Markopoulos, P.
In traditional outdoor games, such as tag and hide-and-seek, children play in groups, and typically changes to the rules are negotiated fluidly, without disrupting the game flow. In contrast, games that are supported by interactive technology are usually rather static, not allowing for easy adaption towards the children’s narrative and desired rules. We present an iterative design process in which 65 children aged 5-12 participated in different iterations, concluding with the design of GameBaker. GameBaker is an application that allows children to modify game rules for Head Up Games, outdoor collocated games supported by interactive handheld devices. We show how children: understand how setting different game rules allows them to modify the game, are able to relate these to how the game is played, and enjoy doing so. This research paves the way towards allowing children to take control of outdoor game technology, to create their own variation of games as they have done for centuries in traditional games.

 

Interpreting Data from Within: Supporting Human-Data Interaction in Museum Exhibits Through Perspective Taking

Roberts, J., Lyons, L., Cafaro, F. & Eydt, R.
As data rather than physical artifacts become more commonly the product of modern scientific endeavor, we must attend to human-data interactions as people reason about and with representations of data increasingly being presented in museum settings. Complex data sets can be impenetrable for novices, so the exhibit presented here was designed to give visitors control over a personalized “slice” of the data set as an entry point for exploration. Personalized control and collaboration can often be at odds in exhibits, however. This paper presents a study of two alternate approaches to designing an embodied interaction control for the exhibit that serves both needs. The results demonstrate that interaction design can affect children’s perspective taking as they interact with a Census data map museum display, and that the perspective taken by individuals is correlated with their operation of the interactive exhibit and the kinds of reasoning they employ while investigating data.

 

Investigating Interaction with Tabletops in Kindergarten Environments

Kammer, D., Dang, R., Steinhauf, J. & Groh, R.
In this paper, we investigate interaction of children with interactive tabletops in kindergarten environments. In our understanding, such environments feature a certain degree of supervision, group play, as well as sole activities. In contrast to the traditional desktop PC workplace, interactive tabletops encourage communication and social interaction between children. In order to observe interaction and collaboration, we developed a suite of playful applications called VisMo, which we tailored to the needs and expectations of the target group. Our observational study with twelve Kindergarten children highlights pedagogical and usability aspects. We observed motivation and collaboration of the children and used a formal notation to transcribe their performed multi-touch gestures.

 

Designing and Evaluating Touchless Playful Interaction for ASD Children

Bartoli, L., Garzotto, F., Gelsomini, M., Oliveto, L. & Valoriani, M.
Limited studies exist that explore motion-based touchless applications for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and investigate their design issues and the benefits they can bring to this target group. The paper reports a structured set of design guidelines that distill our experience gained from empirical studies and collaborations with therapeutic centers. These heuristics informed the design of three touchless games that were evaluated in a controlled study involving medium functioning ASD children at a therapeutic center. Our findings confirm the potential of motion-based touchless applications games for technology-enhanced interventions for this target group.

 

Sparkles of Brilliance: Incorporating Cultural and Social Context in Co-design of Digital Artworks

Hamidi, F., Saenz, K. & Baljko, M.
Digital media have great potential as tools for self-expression and artistic exploration. We seek to enrich the discussion of challenges and benefits associated with using digital design methods and materials with children in developing countries through a case study. Our contributions to this discussion are based on our involvement in facilitating a two-day co-design workshop with 25 marginalized children in Oaxaca, Mexico. Together, we explored, designed and implemented digitally augmented paper artifacts based on traditional folk art from the children’s native region. We analyzed the artworks and observed the children during the workshop to inform our research. Lessons learned include the importance of establishing trust though local contacts, incorporating relevant cultural and social elements, planning concrete outcomes and using technology appropriately. We hope that this detailed case study may serve as an exemplar, by providing insights and inspiration for other designers, researchers, and developers when planning, carrying out, and studying workshops.

 

A Diary Study of Children’s User Experience with EBooks Using Flow Theory as Framework

Colombo, L. & Landoni, M.
This paper describes a diary study aimed at evaluating the User Experience (UX) of 7 to 12 years old children when interacting with eBooks. The goal was to understand whether, in a context of leisure reading, enhanced eBooks provide a better reading experience than basic eBooks. We took inspiration from Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow theory to define a benchmark for evaluating the reading experience, and then – by means of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) and an adapted version of the Flow Short Scale (FKS) – we investigated and collected data on the reading experience of two groups of children: one group read an enhanced eBook while the other read a basic version of the same eBook. Following a mixed-method approach, with quantitative analysis we verified whether participants who read the enhanced eBook had a better reading experience, while with qualitative analysis we tried to understand why. The results showed that interactive and multimedia enrichments (read-aloud narration in particular) had a positive effect on children’s experience with the enhanced eBook.

 

Fiabot! Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Storytelling Application for Schools

Rubegni, E. & Landoni, M.
This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about how digital technology can be integrated into the formal education system. Within a longitudinal research study, which lasted four years, we conducted an investigation on how mobile technology can support educational activities as defined by a school curriculum. Among the topics included in the school curriculum, we focused on the literary field and developed a Digital StoryTelling (DST) application, Fiabot!, to support this activity. Here, we describe the design of the application and how we evaluated its impact on educational activities. The application was designed and evaluated in two primary schools. The study had the objectives of exploring whether Fiabot! supports children in achieving educational objectives defined by the curriculum, how this effectively supports teachers, and to what extent children like using it for the creation and sharing of their stories. Our findings show that the application has a positive impact on curriculum enactment and effectively supports the related educational activities. Overall, Fiabot! wasdemonstrated to be very effective in stimulating children’s discussion of a story’s plot and characters. Thus, Fiabot! supported children not only in being creative but also in organizing their work and exploring a digital media opportunity. This resulted in the development of new skills and the better grounding of previously acquired knowledge, while teachers also had the opportunity to expand their teaching skills and get a taste of ICT’s potential in education.

 

Shake up the Schoolyard: Iterative Design Research for Public Playful Installations

Tieben, R., de Valk, L., Rijnbout, P., Bekker, T. & Schouten, B.
Three different design research topics are presented in this article: how to design social and active play for teenagers, how to design for open-ended and emergent play, and how to evaluate interactive playful installations in situ. The Wiggle the Eye installation, five interactive wiggle benches and a central lamp, was iteratively developed and evaluated with more than 1000 users, at two high schools, one university and a design festival. The installation succeeded in inviting teenagers to play in a social way, yet the interaction design proved challenging: uncoordinated mass usage and a variety of external factors influenced the exploration and discovery process for the users. The presented insights serve as advice for everyone designing for teenagers, public spaces or playful interactions.

 

Participatory Design Strategies to Enhance the Creative Contribution of Children with Special Needs

Malinverni, L., Mora-Guiard, J., Padillo, V., Mairena, M.-A., Hervás, A. & Pares, N.
In recent years there has been an increasing awareness about the importance of involving children with special needs in the process of designing technology. Starting from this perspective, the paper presents the participatory design process carried out with children with autistic spectrum disorder for the design of a Kinect motion-based game aimed at fostering social initiation skills. By describing the strategies used for the design of the activities, we will suggest possible approaches aimed toward widening the space for contributions of children and including them at a more creative level. Within that, major emphasis will be dedicated to discussing the “empowering dimension” of participatory design activities as an instrument to enhance benefits both for design results and for the children themselves. Finally, the balance between structure and freedom in the design of the activities will be discussed.

 

Incorporating Peephole Interactions into Children’s Second Language Learning Activities on Mobile Devices

McNally, B., Guha, M., L., Norooz, L., Rhodes, E. & Findlater L.
Physical movement has the potential to enhance learning activities. To investigate how movement can be incorporated into children’s mobile language learning, we designed and evaluated two versions of a German vocabulary game called Scenic Words. The first version used movement-based dynamic peephole navigation, which requires physical movement of the arms, while the second version used touch-based static peephole navigation, which only requires standard touchscreen interactions; static peepholes are the status quo interaction technique for navigation, commonly found, for example, in map applications and games. To compare the two types of navigation and to assess children’s reactions to dynamic peepholes, we conducted an in-home study with 16 children (ages 8–9). The children participated in pairs but individually played each version of the game on a mobile device. While results showed that the more familiar static peepholes were the preferred interaction style overall, participants became accustomed to the movement-based dynamic peepholes during the study. Participants noted that the dynamic peephole interaction became easier over time, and that it had some advantages such as for dragging-and-dropping elements in the game.

 

Search Result Visualization with Characters for Children

Gossen, T., Müller, R., Stober, S. & Nürnberger, A.
In this paper, we explore alternative ways to visualize search results for children. We propose a novel search result visualization using characters. The main idea is to represent each web document as a character where a character visually provides clues about the webpage’s content. We focused on children between six and twelve as a target user group. Following the user-centered development approach, we conducted a preliminary user study to determine how children would represent a webpage as a sketch based on a given template of a character. Using the study results the first prototype of a search engine was developed. We evaluated the search interface on a touchpad and a touch table in a second user study and analyzed user’s satisfaction and preferences.

 

Exploring Physical and Digital Identity with a Teenage Cohort

Emanuel, L. & Stanton Fraser, D.
The way we develop, use and visualize identity is rapidly evolving as research moves towards the capability to accurately link our digital and physical identities. With teenagers at the forefront of this hyper-connected world, this paper uses a systematic approach to contribute an in-depth understanding of teenagers’ attitudes, values and concerns on privacy and identity information when considering both online and offline spaces. Using participatory design methods, we present three interactive workshops examining participant’s perception of how their own online identities translated to the physical world, and the values and social considerations they hold around new or near-future identification techniques. We discuss how our deeper understanding of this age group’s attitudes, values and concerns can be applied to designing socially acceptable identification technology and effective education on privacy and identity management among teens.

 

“Child as the Measure of all Things”: The Body as a Referent in Designing a Museum Exhibit to Understand the Nanoscale

Mora-Guiard, J & Pares, N.
The nanoscale, despite being something “present” in our everyday life, is actually an abstract concept given the impossibility of having a direct perception of it. This article presents the design process and analysis of an interactive exhibit called “NanoZoom” for a temporary exhibition for the science museum of Barcelona. The goal of the exhibit was to help users understand how small objects are in the nanoscale by designing a full-body interactive experience. The hypothesis behind the design of the system was based on the idea that our body is our constant referent to allow us to understand issues of scale, proportions, distances, etc. Hence, taking the body of the user as a referent should help users better understand how small objects in the nanoscale are. The approach was based on a contemporary view on the Vitruvian Man in full-body interaction; i.e. based on modern theories that claim that embodied interaction can foster a better learning of our environment. Experimental assessment was carried out with 64 children, comparing the full-body interactive experience with a desktop adaptation of it. Results showed better performance on children’s memorability and classification of objects (ranging from the size of centimeters to the nanoscale) for those who used the full-body experience with respect to those in the desktop system.

 

Giving Ideas an Equal Chance: Inclusion and Representation in Participatory Design with Children

Read, J., Fitton, D. & Hortton, M.
Participatory Design (PD) in various guises is a popular approach with the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) community. In studying it as a method very little work has considered the fundamentals of participation, namely how children choose to participate and how their ideas are included and represented. This paper highlights ethical concerns about PD with children within the context of information needed to consent. In helping children understand participation in PD, a central aspect is the necessity to help children understand how their design ideas are used which itself challenges researchers to seek a fair and equitable process that is describable and defensible. The TRAck (tracking, representing and acknowledging) Method, is described as an initial process that could meet this need. This is evaluated, in two forms, in a PD study with 84 children. The TRAck Method encouraged careful scrutiny of designs and allowed the researchers to distil useful design ideas although these were maybe not the most imaginative. There is a trade off between the limitations of applying such a process to PD against the benefits of ensuring full-informed involvement of children.

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