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I am currently studying Multimedia Design at Business Academy Aarhus, Denmark, and we are learning a lot about UX Design. I am working currently on a project about Usability testing with kids and I want to know your advice about that. Can you share what challenges we should consider and some tips for performing good testing? If there is anyone experienced in this field I would like to conduct a short interview. I am trying to collect information from experts in that area. You can also connect me with somebody who might be interested to help. It will be very valuable for my project.

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    Get ready for a lot of "Why?" Questions :) Have a backup plan when your participants to lose interest in your interview. Be engaging with your prototype, maybe build a story around it. That might increase engagement. Depends on what you're testing. – Ionut Apr 13 at 18:12
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    Hi Bilyana, thanks for your contribution to UXSE. Working with children is something that people are starting to recognize that they must do more of, especially in projects that involve designing for the general public (e.g. parks, libraries, etc.). If you can provide more information about your project I think you will find more useful answers from the community. Thanks. – Michael Lai Apr 13 at 20:46
  • Hello Michael, right now I have my 3-days specialization project and I chose the topic about Usability testing with kids. I will make a 6 min. video sharing some insights and tips I discovered during my research phase. So now, I am doing research on this topic and I want the opinion and advice of the experts. That's why I joined the UX community here. – Bilyana Karamfilova Apr 14 at 12:23
  • Thank you @IonutzB for the direction. I know that even if they ask WHY we should not interfere with too many answers. We should mostly observe and try to ask them telling us why. What do you think? I totally agree about building a story around the product so they can relate better and be more interested in testing it. Thanks. – Bilyana Karamfilova Apr 14 at 12:26
  • Hello Bilyana, a perspective from Mitchel Resnick might help you to work with children. – python Apr 14 at 17:02
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it is a very good idea to work with children in context of their interaction with software or digital product. I would try to answer your question even though it is bit general and very broad. If possible try to minimize the answer (for example, I would like to understand usability test for pre-school children).

Make sure you have general knowledge of usability testing for adults as well as for children before you start the project.

There is need to define which age group are you going to work with. Usability testing for different age group might provide you the different data. To study about various age groups of children and their behaviour, Jean Piaget might help you. Piaget will provide you the psychological classification but it will help you in general if your focus group is children.

  1. Review some design guidelines for current usability issues in children's digital product. (Prof. Yasmin Kafai helped me a lot during my research).

  2. please do not allow children in your test whom you already know. It is also a good practice not o include children of your relatives or from your classmates. Take completely unknown children to get unbiased usability test results.

  3. If possible use the professional usability test laboratory which is designed or focused for children. (specific age group has special habits of play).

  4. Do not include children who are already able to write programming languages or who has strong knowledge of software products. Such children might not help you to understand the software products better or your usability test results will be biased based on their expertise.

  5. Motivate children before you start usability test. Talk with children about their hobbies, about their favourite food and their favourite books. Such conversation will help you to run usability test very smoothly.

  6. Last but not the lease, have consent of children's parents or before the usability test.

Challenges

  • children are stubborn when you ask them to do something very specific.
  • avoid too much play or do not over do fun activities which might not help you to work with children.
  • many times adults think children are sweet, but be careful with such general opinion about children.

I am happy to hear from you how you find this answer. I am not an expert, but can help you to provide references from experts around the globe. wish you all the very best for your work with children.

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Find a public soft play area.

Buy a coffee.

Watch how kids interact. ( note the amount of noise they generate and the general air of chaos ).

That's what younger kids are like.

Once they get to about 13/14 they become teenagers. And teenagers behave very differently.

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