An Analysis of the Interaction Design of the Best Educational Apps for Children Aged Zero to Eight = Análisis del diseño interactivo de las mejores apps educativas para niños de cero a ocho años

Crescenzi-Lanna, Lucrezia and Grané-Oró, Mariona An Analysis of the Interaction Design of the Best Educational Apps for Children Aged Zero to Eight = Análisis del diseño interactivo de las mejores apps educativas para niños de cero a ocho años. Comunicar, 2016, vol. 24, n. 46, pp. 77-85. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

The proliferation of mobile devices and their use by children of all ages raise issues among families and educators with regard to their quality and appropriateness. Given the absence of an industry standard or an official ratings system for children’s apps, specialist websites or blogs are frequently consulted when choosing apps. This article presents the results of a content analysis of the visual and interaction design features of 100 educational applications recommended by international experts for children from six months to eight years old. In addition, the adaptability of an application’s content to children was taken into account as a qualitative measurement. Four researchers participated in the definition of variables and the design of the observation instrument. This study focuses on child-computer interaction (HCI-CCI) from a pedagogical and developmental perspective, with the aim of discovering and promoting quality in mobile applications for children. The intention is to provide information on key criteria related to the design of applications for entertainment and learning. The results of the statistical analysis indicate a generally low-quality visual and interaction design in the sample group and content that mirrors problems in the school curriculum. Even applications with both content and design that are specifically targeted at children reveal issues that may impede user comprehension and interaction.

Spanish abstract

La proliferación de dispositivos móviles y su uso por parte de niños de todas las edades crea dudas acerca de su calidad y adecuación entre familias y educadores. Ante la falta de un sistema acordado u oficial de clasificación de aplicaciones infantiles, se suelen consultar webs especializadas o blogs de expertos para escoger las apps. Este artículo presenta los resultados de un análisis de contenido de las características del diseño visual e interactivo de 100 aplicaciones educativas recomendadas por expertos internacionales dirigidas a niños entre seis meses y ocho años. Se analiza además la adaptabilidad al target infantil, a partir de una ficha de análisis diseñada por cuatro investigadores. Con la finalidad de buscar y promover la calidad en las aplicaciones móviles para niños, esta investigación se enmarca en los estudios de la interacción niño-ordenador (HCI-CCI) desde una perspectiva pedagógica y de la psicología del desarrollo. Quiere ser una aportación sobre los criterios clave en el diseño de aplicaciones infantiles para el entretenimiento y el aprendizaje. Los resultados del análisis estadístico indican una escasa calidad del diseño visual e interactivo de la muestra y unos contenidos que reproducen los problemas del currículum escolar. Incluso algunas aplicaciones que se caracterizan por adaptar su contenido y diseño al target infantil, presentan también errores que pueden obstaculizar la comprensión y las interacciones del usuario.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: child computer interaction, mobile devices, interaction design, graphical user interface, adaptability, content analysis, apps, quality, interacción niño-ordenador, dispositivos móviles, diseño interactivo, diseño, adaptabilidad, análisis de contenido, apps, calidad
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 01 Aug 2016 12:47
Last modified: 02 Aug 2016 07:28


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