UXkids – big experiences for small people

By April 7, 2013June 19th, 2020Child centered design, kids & media, UX

This is it. This is the beginning of UXkids. UXkids is a research and consulting initiative that I believe will bring tremendous value to the UX world. Why I believe that? Let me explain:

From the beginning of my professional career — and even long before that — I was fascinated by the idea of user-centered design. I studied Information Design at the Media University in Stuttgart, Germany, where I learned about human factors and how we interact with computers. Key concept of my studies was the user — everything we learned eventually linked back to the people we design for.

This user-centered approach to design is not a new idea. There are plenty of resources, guidelines, and best practices out there that help us design digital products for adults. Sure, we are not all the same, because we have different ideas, values, and expectations. But then again, we are very much the same, because we are all grown people with similar physical, psychological, and social skills.

For a long time, adults were the only relevant target group for digital products, such as websites and apps. This is not the case anymore. Now, children grow up using computers and smart phones and tablets and really anything we didn’t even know would ever exist when we were their age. There are digital aids for everything — entertainment, physical and social development, education, and much more — bringing forth a new, quickly growing target group for digital products: kids.

While we can rely on proven assumptions for designing adult products, we must consider that children are a very unique and at the same time diverse target group. Between 0 and 12 years of age, children develop their personality, physical, cognitive, and social skills on multiple levels. For every age group, we face different design challenges. Challenges that require us to pause and really get to know our target age group in order to design the right kind of product for the right kids.

During my Master studies Youth & Media at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, I learned about child development and how this development is affected by media. After working together with children on multiple projects, I was fascinated by how these little people develop their own ideas and truths about the world. I realized that it is our responsibility as adults and as professionals to support their development with products that have a positive impact.

On this blog, I want to share with you interesting insights and resources on a better user experience for children. Are you interested in UX for kids? Do you have resources that you want to share with the community? Or do you just want to say hi? Great, I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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