McMullen, Kyla A and Wakefield, Gregory H
In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 2009
Publication year: 2009

Interface designers have been studying how to construct graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for a number of years, however adults are often the main focus of these studies. Children constitute a unique user group, making it necessary to design software specifically for them. For this study, several interface design frameworks were combined to synthesize a framework for designing educational software for children. Two types of learning, relationships and categories, are the focus of the present study because of their importance in early-child learning as well as standardized testing. For this study the educational game Melo’s World was created as an experimental platform. The experiments assessed the performance differences found when including or excluding subsets of interface design features, specifically aesthetic and behavioral features. Software that contains aesthetic, but lack behavioral features, was found to have the greatest positive impact on a child’s learning of thematic relationships.