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Improving digital industry user experience for children

The Child Computer Interaction Group (ChiCI) led by Professor Janet Read influences Digital Industries across the world by pioneering interactive design development with young people.

The research into child computer user-experience (UX) involves working with children to refine software design, and to find which kinds of design work best. The ChiCI group have changed industry practice and policy, and that of software designers around the world by providing free to use tools that enable ethical and practical child computer interaction research and product development.

The User Experience Professionals Association and the British Computer Society accredit practitioners in UX and in how to evaluate technology for usability. Given that their procedures are specifically for, and about, adult facing methods, the ChiCI research group is well positioned to influence child UX by working with a number of professional and computer industry organisations. Both Information Technology consultancy organisations and Children’s hardware manufacturers, like Amberlight and Kano have adopted ChiCI methods and changed their practices and policies. In collaboration with Amberlight, the ChiCI group have improved the usability, accessibility and content of games delivered by the BBC to children on tablet computers.

The impact of their research has been seen nationally and internationally, with the group travelling around the world to deliver courses and events facilitating industry and other computer science researchers to ethically design and evaluate technology with and for children. Over 450 delegates from the USA, India, Canada and Singapore, have attended their events which also increases the capacity of universities globally to teach UX child-computer interaction research methods.

Research Team

Professor Janet Read

Dr Gavin Sim

Dr Daniel Fitton

Dr Matt Horton

Dr Lorna McKnight

Dr Brendan Cassidy