My NSF-funded MTAGIC project will appear at two workshops at the upcoming CHI 2013 conference in Paris, France! The first is the RepliCHI workshop, which is focusing on what role replication studies can play in the HCI literature. In our paper “Challenges of Replicating Empirical Studies with Children in HCI,” we are presenting a series of empirical studies that we have run with different age groups over the past 18 months, essentially replicating a similar methodology. We will specifically describe how our methodology has had to be adapted to work with very young children. This will be a two-day workshop. For more information, check out the camera-ready version of our paper; here is the abstract for a quick overview:
In this paper, we discuss the challenges of conducting a direct replication of a series of mobile device usability studies that were originally conducted with adults and older children (ages 7 to 17). The original studies were designed to investigate differences in how adults and children use mobile devices to touch targets and create surface gestures. In this paper, we report on a replication we conducted with young children (ages 5 to 7). We discuss several methodological changes that were needed to elicit the same quality of data from the replication with young children as had been obtained from the older children and adults. The insights we present are relevant to the extension of empirical studies in HCI in general to younger children.
The second workshop is the Mobile Accessibility workshop, which is focusing on how to improve the accessibility of mobile devices to users with different abilities and to users in different contexts. In our paper “Towards Designing Adaptive Touch-Based Interfaces,” we are presenting our vision of how the work we’ve been doing on MTAGIC will lead to universally accessible mobile touchscreen interaction, by highlighting some of the technical extensions we believe our work points to. Again, for more information, check out our camera-ready paper, and here is the abstract:
As the use of mobile devices by non-typical users increases, so does the need for platforms that can support the unique ways in which these special users engage with them. We posit that, by developing an understanding of patterns in input behaviors for different user groups, we can design and develop interactions that support such non-typical users. We prove this technique with children: we present findings from two empirical studies showing how interaction patterns differ among younger children, older children, and adults. These findings point to a model of how to develop touch-based interactive technologies that can adapt to users of different ages or abilities. Such adaptations will serve to better support natural interactions by user populations with distinctive needs.
If you work in the area of kids and touch + gesture interaction, or mobile device interaction in general, find a MTAGIC project member at CHI and say hi!