Human-Computer Interaction and Beyond: Advances Towards Smart and Interconnected Environments (Part I)

Conducting Digital Product Usability Tests with Children who have Atypical Development

Author(s): Helena Bukovac and Andrej Bodrušić *

Pp: 9-21 (13)

DOI: 10.2174/9789814998819121010004

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


When creating digital products, it is essential to validate design decisions through user testing. Ensuring a digital product meets targeted user groups and personas' needs, all sorts of design decisions need to be carefully evaluated and adjusted, including informational architecture, navigation, selections, control patterns, feedback, colors, typography, iconography, and many more. Every testing session is unique and needs to be personalized according to the testing persona. When working with special needs persons, atypical development, or visual impairments, special care and preparation are required. These circumstances of user testing are even more challenging when the targeted audience is children with said disabilities. In preparation for testing, it is essential to understand the type of disability a child has and inform their legal guardian or medical caretaker. Considering all these things, conducting user testing can still prove challenging because of a child's unpredictable behavior. They might seem interested; they might lose focus or generally not be in the mood. With research skills, clear set goals, and preparation, a healthy dose of empathy and human understanding must gather valuable testing session’s insights. Insights that will help inform further design decisions.

Keywords: ASD, Atypical development, Atypical users, Autism, Cognitive bias, Developmental disabilities, Digital design, Digital products, Human-computer interaction, Product design, Sensory integration, Specialized design, UI design, Usability testing, User experience, User interface, User research, User testing, UX research, UX/UI.

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