Interfaces for Getting Attention of Infants

23 Jun 2009 - 2:54pm
5 years ago
7 replies
521 reads
Rob Tannen
2006

Does anyone have recommendations or references for how to design an
interface so that it draws the attention of infants and young
children (they just need to look at it, not interact).

Comments

23 Jun 2009 - 3:20pm
aschechterman
2004

Rob, For assumed developmentally normal infants and young children, in our
neuropsychology research, we started with a human face (adult female,
smiling) . . . of course, this was some time ago and before Hello Kitty,
Dragon Tales and Dora, which may be more effective 21st Century (LOL).
Sample citation, among many:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1950440). -
Andrew
On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 6:54 AM, rob tannen <rtannen at bresslergroup.com>wrote:

> Does anyone have recommendations or references for how to design an
> interface so that it draws the attention of infants and young
> children (they just need to look at it, not interact).
> ________________________________________________________________
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23 Jun 2009 - 3:54pm
Katie Albers
2005

First off, there is a huge variation between what will capture and
keep the attention of infants and young children (I'm defining these
as under 3) but to make a first pass:

Large brightly colored shapes - with a preference for rounded shapes
and simple shapes (circles, ovals, rounded off rectangles, etc) and
slow movement (not glacially slow, but "lift your arm as slowly as
you can" slow) in long arcs.

Depending on how close they'll be to it, faces are desirable -- more
desirable close up. Infants also tend to like soft noises that
accompany certain motions.

As infants get older, they like things to get smaller and faster and
more identified to actual (well, stylized actual) objects (faces,
trees, balls, stars, rainbows, etc.). The paths get shorter and
straighter and the movement should get faster. Be careful at this
stage that your movements are too angular or short or you're likely
to wind up with the design equivalent of a birthday party: candy,
cake and soda and have wired 3 year olds. This is fun for nearby
adults for a much shorter period than it is fun for the kids.

Remember, newborns don't know what century it is. Three-year olds do.

It's a place to start...

Katie

On Jun 23, 2009, at 3:20 PM, Andrew Schechterman wrote:

> Rob, For assumed developmentally normal infants and young children,
> in our
> neuropsychology research, we started with a human face (adult female,
> smiling) . . . of course, this was some time ago and before Hello
> Kitty,
> Dragon Tales and Dora, which may be more effective 21st Century (LOL).
> Sample citation, among many:
> http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?
> artid=1950440). -
> Andrew
> On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 6:54 AM, rob tannen
> <rtannen at bresslergroup.com>wrote:
>
>> Does anyone have recommendations or references for how to design an
>> interface so that it draws the attention of infants and young
>> children (they just need to look at it, not interact).
>>

23 Jun 2009 - 11:04pm
Said Wafiq
2009

Look this website interface for young children:
http://www.papilloo.com.br

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24 Jun 2009 - 3:34pm
Carl Ververs
2009

See this article from the Dec 2008 issue of The Economist:
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12847128

Infants have a penchant for paying attention to changing numbers, it
seems.

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25 Jun 2009 - 12:41pm
dani malik
2005

Just to toss in a bit of anecdotal info from my experience as a
mother...

First off, there is a difference between what infants and toddlers
will zero in on.

Infants respond to very high contrast and don't have the ability to
perceive color. There are a variety of toys and mobiles on the market
in red, black and white. I'm sure they've done the research to
validate this. Toddlers like bright colors and can process a little
more complex shapes.

Ditto to Andrew on the faces, but I would also offer that older
babies and toddlers are fascinated with other kids, especially of a
similar age.

Generally, Baby Einstein videos would be a great source of
inspiration and material for your project. Moms I know joke about the
"baby crack" videos, because it is definitely attention-getting
(moreso than, say, a football game or anything with a storyline).

Hope this is helpful.

dani

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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25 Jun 2009 - 1:36pm
Sharon Greenfield5
2008

I would suggest instead of going just off of your one baby personal
experience, reading research of many babies.

http://www.ski.org/Vision/babyvision.html

On Jun 25, 2009, at 10:41 AM, dani malik wrote:

> Just to toss in a bit of anecdotal info from my experience as a
> mother...
>
> First off, there is a difference between what infants and toddlers
> will zero in on.
>
> Infants respond to very high contrast and don't have the ability to
> perceive color. There are a variety of toys and mobiles on the market
> in red, black and white. I'm sure they've done the research to
> validate this. Toddlers like bright colors and can process a little
> more complex shapes.
>
> Ditto to Andrew on the faces, but I would also offer that older
> babies and toddlers are fascinated with other kids, especially of a
> similar age.
>
> Generally, Baby Einstein videos would be a great source of
> inspiration and material for your project. Moms I know joke about the
> "baby crack" videos, because it is definitely attention-getting
> (moreso than, say, a football game or anything with a storyline).
>
> Hope this is helpful.
>
> dani
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43119
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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25 Jun 2009 - 1:52pm
Katie Albers
2005

Dani's point is a good one. The only reminder I'd add is that it isn't
as though those brightly colored objects are invisible in an infant's
sight. It's just that they perceive them as black and white. Having
worked with a couple of toy companies, I feel safe in assuring you
that while the physiological statement that infants can't yet perceive
color the other research consists almost entirely of focus groups on
the subject of "Given that babies can't perceive color, can we get you
to buy a second set of toys that are black and white?"

Incidentally, by the time infants are 2 months old, they've begun to
identify colors, insofar as that is determinable. Also, most infants
are asleep much of the time from birth until about 2 months. Do you
want to expend a lot of energy appealing to an unconscious being?

Oh, infants also have really lousy vision (which, as I recall is cited
as approximately 20/400 - but it's been a long time since I checked),
which is one of the reasons why rounded, large objects are good. It
gives them with something to focus on without stressing them out
trying to figure out the details of objects that are too small and
tightly designed for their ability to perceive it.

One of the ways to figure out what babies like best is simply to watch
them interact with adults who are "good with children". These adults
will put their faces close to the baby's, open their eyes as wide as
possible, round their mouths and generally make themselves circle-like
and composed of large shapes. It's kind of cool to see.

kt

Katie Albers
User Experience Consultant & Project Manager
katie at firstthought.com
310 356 7550

On Jun 25, 2009, at 10:41 AM, dani malik wrote:

> Just to toss in a bit of anecdotal info from my experience as a
> mother...
>
> First off, there is a difference between what infants and toddlers
> will zero in on.
>
> Infants respond to very high contrast and don't have the ability to
> perceive color. There are a variety of toys and mobiles on the market
> in red, black and white. I'm sure they've done the research to
> validate this. Toddlers like bright colors and can process a little
> more complex shapes.
>
> Ditto to Andrew on the faces, but I would also offer that older
> babies and toddlers are fascinated with other kids, especially of a
> similar age.
>
> Generally, Baby Einstein videos would be a great source of
> inspiration and material for your project. Moms I know joke about the
> "baby crack" videos, because it is definitely attention-getting
> (moreso than, say, a football game or anything with a storyline).
>
> Hope this is helpful.
>
> dani
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43119
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

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