is designing for children different?

Recently, I listened to Radio Johnny: Debra Gelman on Designing Digital Experiences for Children to hear her point of view on designing for children. The interesting outcome is that many of the concepts discussed could apply to designing for adults as well.

  • Kids are not great readers, which encourages designers to use other means to communicate—images, icons, information graphics. Adults often do not have time to read everything when visiting sites or browsing information.
  • Storytelling is important in design for the children’s market. Here is a book about using storytelling in interactive pieces Storytelling for the User Experience.
  • Other ideas were discussed as well such as creating a safe environment and opportunities for the kids to “create” something of their own. This idea of the individual having an opportunity to do more than simply participate brings me back to the idea of building frameworks and opportunities for users. Does it help the user become more involved with the material?

Could some of the ideas being used to design interactive for kids be applied to adults? Would it change the way adults interact with information?


Kristine, this is a great question and gives some food for thought. I have been thinking about designing for rural markets for sometime where literacy is one barrier. I think this post gives a different perspective to think about the problem! :)

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