Skip to main content

Carlea Holl-Jensen||


Hourcade, J. (April 2003)
User Interface Technologies and Guidelines to Support Children's Creativity, Collaboration, and Learning
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Dept. of Computer Science
HCIL-2003-21, CS-TR-4480, UMIACS-TR-2003-49

Computers are failing children. They are taking time away from meaningful interactions with people, and are often providing children with inappropriate experiences. In particular, they are failing to support children collaborating, being creative, using their imagination, and accessing appropriate content. To address these issues, I have created developmentally appropriate technologies that support children collaborating, creating, and learning. To support collaboration, I developed MID (Multiple Input Devices), a Java toolkit that supports advanced events, including those from multiple input devices. I used MID to develop KidPad, a collaborative storytelling tool that supports groups of children in the creation of drawings and stories. To support collaboration in a concrete, developmentally appropriate manner, KidPad uses the local tools user interface metaphor in which I implemented several improvements to make efficient use of screen space and to encourage collaboration. SearchKids is an application that also supports collaboration and gives children the ability to search and browse a multimedia animal library. The International Children's Digital Library uses a similar user interface to enable children to search and browse an international collection of digitized children's books. Both applications offer children access to curated collections, shielding them from inappropriate content while keeping them in control of what to experience. While building these technologies I observed that young children had greater difficulty using input devices. This affected their ability to collaborate, be creative and access valuable content. Motivated by such observations, I conducted a study to gain a better understanding of how young children use mice as compared to adults. The results provide guidelines for the sizing of visual targets in young children's software and insight into how children use mice.


EventFlow Screenshot

More information

Tech Reports
Video Reports
Annual Symposium

Seminars + Events
HCIL Seminar Series
Annual Symposium
HCIL Service Grants
Events Archives
HCIL Conference Travel Award
Job Openings
For the Press
HCIL Overview
Become a Member
Collaborating Groups + People
Academic Visitors
Join our Mailing List
Contact Us
Visit Us
HCIL Store
Give the HCIL a Hand
HCIL T-shirts for Sale
Our Lighter Side
HCIL Memories Page
Faculty/ Staff
Ph.D. Alumni
Past Members
Research Areas
Design Process
Digital Libraries
Physical Devices
Public Access
Research Histories
Faculty Listed by Research
Project Highlights
Project Screenshots
Publications and TRs
Studying HCI
Masters in HCI
PhD in HCI
Visiting Scholars
Class Websites
Sponsor our Research
Sponsor our Annual Symposium
Active Sponsorship
Industrial Visitors