Saturday, February 24, 2007

Interaction Design and Children

Jabberstamp? It is for adults to understand that a work of art is not a hat, but a boa digesting an elephant! - Yasmine Abbas

I teamed with Hayes Raffle to work on his Jabberstamp invention.

This is the first time I work on a project on which I am not the inventor. This collaboration is refreshing through the distance allowed by not being the actual initiator. It brings critical insights on the interaction design. Hayes asked me to join him, because of my background in toy design for children, especially the design of toys for emergent literacy. Out of the technology available, I tried to understand what could children do with the simple mechanism of associating sounds to drawings. Hayes and I end up testing the system, improving elements of the design and discussing its contribution. A pilot evaluation with children confirmed our hypothesis about the type of narrative children explore with such technological system.

We submitted a video for Siggraph'07, educator program and Jabberstamp was elected for being demoed and exhibited during the conference, the 5-9 of August 2007, San Diego, California.

A full paper Hayes and I wrote together on Jabberstamp got accepted to the Interaction Design and Children conference. The focus of the conference is on children’s role in the design and evaluation of interactive technologies. So we hope to see you in June 6-8, 2007, Aalborg in Denmark!

Abstract We introduce Jabberstamp, the first tool that allows children to synthesize their drawings and voices. To use Jabberstamp, children create drawings, collages or paintings on normal paper. They press a special rubber stamp onto the page to record sounds into their drawings. When children touch the marks of the stamp with a small trumpet, they can hear the sounds playback, retelling the stories they have created. We describe our design process and analyze the mechanism between the act of drawing and the one of telling, defining interdependencies between the two activities. In a series of studies, children ages 4-8 use Jabberstamp to convey meaning in their drawings. The system allows collaboration among peers at different developmental levels. Jabberstamp compositions reveal children’s narrative styles and their planning strategies. In guided activities, children develop stories by situating sound recording in their drawing, which suggests future opportunities for hybrid voice–visual tools to support children’s emergent literacy.

Jabberstamp is a MIT Media Lab project developed in the Tangible Media Group with Dr Hiroshi Ishii.

News (update)
July 23 07 Digital inspiration by Amit Agarwal.
July 23 07 Article in Discovery Channel by Tracy Staedter.
June 29 07 Article in Digital experience by Jonas Petersen.

Previous post on Jabberstamp.

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