HCIL-2008-12

Druin, A.
April 2008
Interactions Magazine, May/June 2008.
HCIL-2008-12
This article discusses what kids want, and what designers know about online interactions. This article compares the capabilities of Webkinz with the lessons learned from my own team experiences. Over the last three years, our team at the University of Maryland has developed an online community for children that supports their use of books and sharing stories. In addition, we have spent time in our lab with children and Webkinz, watching the interaction patterns between children and between technology and children. Given these research experiences, I suggest children want: control, to collect (stuff), a relationship with characters in many forms, to be creators not just consumers, and stories. I also suggest that designers know: how much time kids can be in a specific activity; limits to what children can say online; and the need for "green design."
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