An analysis of the interaction design of the best educational apps for children Aged zero to eight

Keywords

Child computer interaction, mobile devices, interaction design, graphical user interface, adaptability, content analysis, apps, quality

Abstract

The proliferation of mobile devices and their use by children of all ages raise issues among families and educators with regard to their quality and appropriateness. Given the absence of an industry standard or an official ratings system for children’s apps, specialist websites or blogs are frequently consulted when choosing apps. This article presents the results of a content analysis of the visual and interaction design features of 100 educational applications recommended by international experts for children from six months to eight years old. In addition, the adaptability of an application’s content to children was taken into account as a qualitative measurement. Four researchers participated in the definition of variables and the design of the observation instrument. This study focuses on child-computer interaction (HCI-CCI) from a pedagogical and developmental perspective, with the aim of discovering and promoting quality in mobile applications for children. The intention is to provide information on key criteria related to the design of applications for entertainment and learning. The results of the statistical analysis indicate a generally low-quality visual and interaction design in the sample group and content that mirrors problems in the school curriculum. Even applications with both content and design that are specifically targeted at children reveal issues that may impede user comprehension and interaction.

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Technical information

Received: 11-04-2015

Revised: 11-05-2015

Accepted: 16-07-2015

Preprint: 01-11-2015

Publication date: 01-01-2016

Article revision time: 30 days | Average time revision issue 46: 93 days

Article acceptance time: 96 days | Average time of acceptance issue 46: 173 days

Preprint editing time: 220 days | Average editing time preprint issue 46: 298 days

Article editing time: 265 days | Average editing time issue 46: 343 days

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Crescenzi-Lanna, L., & Grané-Oró, M. (2016). An analysis of the interaction design of the best educational apps for children Aged zero to eight. [Análisis del diseño interactivo de las mejores apps educativas para niños de cero a ocho años]. Comunicar, 46, 77-85. https://doi.org/10.3916/C46-2016-08

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