I'm currently in the process of developing a counting application for preschool-age children. My client wants the child to log in by tapping his/her name on the screen. I have a great voice actor on my staff who has already helped with the other parts of the app.

  • Can you have your voice actor say "Tell me your name ..." (or something similar) and list out the list of names in nice big letters for the child to tap on? – Igorek Nov 5 '15 at 22:11
  • @Igorek: That assumes the child knows how to tell the app their name. – moonman239 Nov 6 '15 at 1:07
  • Correct, that is only applicable if a child cannot read. However in a comment below, I mentioned that you could have your voice actor read names on the screen one by one and make those names animate. Perhaps that could close that gap? (assuming the child knows what "tap" is :) – Igorek Nov 6 '15 at 1:12

This may be different now, but when I was researching elementary-level behavior a few years ago, it was standard to assume children would start reading in the 1st grade.

Pre-school is typically 2 to 4 years old, right? That may a bit early to require being able to read their name and know to tap it. I might do some recon with some 3 years old just to verify.

If I'm wrong, then having a voice prompt, such as "Press your name" or "what's your name?", might be sufficient.

Is this a web or mobile app?

If they aren't yet reading age, then perhaps a voice recognition element could be added. After a "What's your name?" or "Say your name" voice prompt, the child could say their name (which should possible for the majority of children at that age) and the system could recognize it and continue on - possibly even spelling it out loud for them.

  • Good write up. I was thinking the same. If you are worried about a child not being able to read, you can have a voice actor read out loud all names and use animation to visually highlight the name being read – Igorek Nov 5 '15 at 23:57

Why does it have to be a name? If you can get a photo of each of them, which seems like a pretty simple thing today, just have them tap on their own photo. If you need to prevent error, when the child taps their image, the app could say "Are you Ellen?" and the child could tap on a thumbs-up or thumbs-down image or say "Yes!"

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    I feel that this should be a comment, rather than an answer. Nevertheless, I've upvoted your answer (you won't see it because of my reps) – moonman239 Nov 6 '15 at 1:09

Good way to attract child attention is by loud color contrast, sounds, and animated elements. If the input box shaked or did something similar, a kid would be more attracted to click it.

  • Do you have an article to support this? – BDD Nov 6 '15 at 1:18
  • Unfortunately no, I remember reading about this topic about a year ago but I haven't been able to find the article supporting it. But if you have any experience with children it makes sense. – Ivan Škoro Nov 6 '15 at 9:43
  • lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1179 This one is a pretty good read. – Ivan Škoro Nov 6 '15 at 10:11

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