Designing web interfaces for kids

Jul 2015 40 minutes

Kids spend a lot of time online, and their cognitive and physical limitations present many challenges to them when they do so. Pair that with poorly designed content and dark patterns, and you have a bad mix. As designers on the web, we have a responsibility to create things that empower kids and make them smarter, not the opposite.

Through my research with children, games and learning (all of which I’ve worked with over a number of years) I have found that the way kids use interfaces differ a lot from adult interaction patterns. They have different search patterns, language skills, cognitive skills and motor skills. And this has a big impact on the way we should design interfaces when the users are children.

This subject is important, because kids these days use online tools from before they can read. They are growing up in a new paradigm – they have not known the world before the Internet. This impacts the way they act on, interact with, and perceive, the web.

In this talk, I will inform you about the way kids interact with interfaces, how it differs from the interaction patterns of adults, and provide you with some guidelines on how to design (non-game) web interfaces for kids.

Recorded at Front-Trends 2015, Warsaw, Poland

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