UX and working with kids

“Never work with kids & animals…”

…unless of course you want them to enjoy using your product/service!

Kids and teens are not just small adults! They differ across a range of factors, not just age, (including cognitive and developmental) and have different needs and expectations, therefore Bunnyfoot recommend that they are included at all stages of the design process.

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How to include kids in UCD:

  • Adult testers/designers won’t expose kids’ problems… use kids!
  • Avoid the cringe factor: Don’t assume you know what kids want, or think is cool, without consulting them first!
  • It’s not just the content that needs to be different, it’s the design and the design process…
  • UCD should be iterative, involving kids in all stages of the process, including research, design and testing.
  • Understand and target the right audience – if your end users are kids or teens, why would you design for adults?
  • If it isn’t usable, it won’t be used! Remove barriers – if kids can’t use something, they won’t.
  • Harness their creativity- ask them for ideas

What UX methods are relevant to kids?

Standard usability measures

Measures such as task completion times, error rates etc are not accurate predictors of how kids use a system.  For example, kids often repeat errors because they like the error message/outcome/sound!

Observation

Designing for kids and teens requires a more holistic approach, looking at the whole environment and focussing on context and observed behaviours, even watching play.  As with adults, there is often a difference between what kids say they do and what they actually do.  Kids often exaggerate and Mums may tell you what they think is expected of a parent. The truth is often somewhere in-between.

Involving influencers

Kids are often not alone with technology and get help from others. Parents and teachers often influence kids’ use of technology by imposing rules, limiting access and authorising purchases.  Getting both sides of the story can paint the whole picture.

Longitudinal

Test over time to examine novelty factor, re-playability and long term engagement.

Geographical

Just as with adults, kids will also have different geographical influences. With offices in Oxford, London and Sheffield, multilingual consultants and contacts within overseas agencies, Bunnyfoot can help you examine different geographical influences.

Bunnyfoot’s experienced consultants offer a range of kid-centric methods, remote and in the lab, including collaborative design workshops, co-discovery, eye tracking, friendship groups, ‘kids eye views,’ ‘show and tells,’ ride-alongs (joining kids on shopping trips/days out) and more!

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Contact Caroline Bentley to discuss your needs:
0207 608 1670 more@bunnyfoot.com

Or come visit us, we have offices in Oxford, Sheffield and London.