Designing Mobile Applications for Children




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River Publishers


Book chapter

Peer reviewed


As children become primary users of technologies, there is a need to identify good practice in designing for them. Previously, before interactive technology was so mainstream, most applications for children were educational and were designed primarily with educational goals in mind as opposed to them being designed primarily with the children in mind. Early products of this type tended to feature bright colors, animal like characters and simple writing, but that, to a significant degree, was the extent of the "design for children." As computer technology has moved from the classroom into children's homes, and more recently into children's hands, there has been an increase in interest in discovering how best to design for children. At the same time, the use of technology by children has changed with much more technology being designed for fun, for docility, and for play; education is no longer the main interest in this arena.

The UMSIC—Usability of Music for the Social Inclusion of Children project (—was a multidisciplinary EU FP7–funded project aimed for improving social inclusion and reducing isolation in groups of children, especially targeting children with attention deficiencies and children of immigrants, whose language is different from that of the host country. The goal was to provide the children with a tool they could use together to create something new in groups and by doing so including everyone in the process and thereby enhancing social inclusion in general.



wireless, Jammo, social exclusion children, immigrants, music technology, handheld, game based learning


Heikkinen, T, Kallonen, P, Paananen, J, Porras, R, Purves, R, Read, JC, Rinta, T, Welch, G. (2015) Designing Mobile Applications for Children. In: L Sørensen and KE Skouby (Eds.) User Requirements for Wireless. Aalborg, Denmark: River Publishers, pp. 7-26


Research Institute