Although user-centered design is a well-supported concept in the literature on adult computer products, not until recently have publications begun to appear addressing the need to include the user in the design process of children’s computer products. Good examples are a recent panel discussion in interactions on the importance of understanding the perspectives and needs of children, and the energizing work of Allison Druin and Cynthia Solomon [1, 2]. Growth has also occurred in evaluation research in both the industrial and academic communities, assessing the effectiveness or appeal of various types of comchildren’s software and hardware products [5, 8]. As the body of literature on children’s use of computer products grows, a necessary step is to flesh out the details of exactly how to include children in computer product design. The goal of this column is to provide examples and guidelines from one research group working to incorporate user data from children in the design process.
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