Thursday, February 14

4 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. — Snack

All session participants — both children and adults — will sit at the table and have a snack. At the same time, we’ll make name tags and get to know each other. The snack time also serves as a time to transition into being design partners.

4:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. — Circle time

Introductions (name, age, how long they’ve been with Kidsteam, answer to question of the day)

Today’s question of the day

Why did you choose the last book that you read?

Design Task Description and Design Prompt

Brenna will introduce the day’s topic: “Today, Jenny is visiting us again for help with her master’s degree project. Last time, we gave her ideas for making an interactive storybook. Now, she’s back with paper screens for us to explore so she can learn what we like and dislike. This will help her build the storybook. Remember, the goal of this session is to make reading interesting to kids — not getting kids to tell stories.”

4:35 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. — Design activity

The team will break into smaller groups and view paper wireframes for three actions:

  • Selecting a book
  • Using the navigation bar
  • Accessing additional character information

Each person will share their likes, dislikes and ideas for the designs. The kids will then rotate groups, and adults will stay at the station to take notes for the next group.

5:10 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. — Presentations and themes

One adult from each group presents the findings to the rest of the team, and everyone looks at the themes discovered during the session.

5:15 p.m. to 5:25 p.m. — Line judging

Brenna will ask the kids three design preference questions, and kids will go to opposite sides of the room to explain their preferences.

  • Q1: When tapping on a character’s name, do you prefer to access information about just the one character at a time or to be able to see a complete list of characters?
  • Q2: Would you prefer to use an icon or to create an avatar that looks like you for your profile picture?
  • Q3: Would you prefer to be able to share your reading lists with friends or keep it private?

5:30 p.m. — Debrief

Adults debrief on their impressions and observations from the session, analyzing the ideas produced and creating an initial set of recommendations based on these ideas.

Session Notes

Findings and Themes

Selecting a book

  • Likes: Pictures, natural scroll, Netflix-for-books feel, search bar
  • Dislikes: Progress bar (mixed opinions on this)
  • Design ideas: Searching by author, reading levels, book recommendations by reading level, book recommendations, rating feature ,clicking a book also shows you related books, other genres (funny, drama, gross), favorites should appear at the top of your list, ability to test your reading level, gamify the experience — get points or coins for finishing a book (“Nice job! You earned 10 points for finishing this chapter!”)

Story/in-text elements

  • Likes: Elements should appear on the side of the text, not on top (Ex: the Alice character info box pops up on the side of the screen; it doesn’t cover the text), pictures of characters
  • Dislikes: Tapping to get from one page to the next (preferred swiping or scrolling), “character list” — sounds boring, pictures that are too small, long descriptions
  • Design Ideas: Make background color more colorful, scroll from one page to the next, short character bio with option to click “more info” to get to a separate page with a longer description

Nav bar

  • Likes: Seeing all options at once (as opposed to hiding them or tapping to access them)
  • Dislikes: Table of contents hidden in the settings bar, unclear icons
  • Design ideas: include instructions overlay for first-time users of the app, add more colors/fonts/sizes to reading settings, slide to access reading options, hide nav bar until you scroll up, allow user to add bookmark, “settings” should only be for options that are rarely changed

Recommendations

  • Age personalization: Both in the responses to the question of the day and the design ideas from the story selection mockups, we saw that children emphasized personal recommendations as a method of selecting books to read. Similarly, they wanted recommendations that were personally relevant— moving beyond genre or “age” appropriateness, also emphasizing “reading level” (which was not seen to correspond with age).
  • Page Turning: Of the variety of interactions available on a mobile device (tap, swipe, etc.), children most often expressed an expectation that they should be able to “turn” pages by using natural scroll. Swipe was an “okay” option, but tapping a button to turn a page was not well received.
  • Reading Experience: In the last session, there was a strong focus on including “magical moments” during the reading experience. This session did not focus on the actual experience of reading, but on the actions surrounding reading, so it will be important to return to the previous sessions’ outcomes to determine what that should look like.

Line judging results

Q1: When tapping on a character’s name, do you prefer to access information about just the one character at a time or to be able to see a complete list of characters?

  • One character: 5
  • Complete list: 2
  • Comments: “Seeing others is a waste.” “I want to see all the powers.”

Q2: Would you prefer to use an icon or to create an avatar that looks like you for your profile picture?

  • Icon: 5
  • Personal avatar: 2 (note: 4 strongly thought you should be able to choose)
  • Comments: “Choose a person from the book.” “Icon for privacy.” “Look similar but not actually you.”

Q3: Would you prefer to be able to share your reading lists with friends or keep it private?

  • Option to share: 6
  • Private: 1
  • Comments: “Not share with strangers.” “You may have the same interests as friends.” “Can keep some lists private.” “What if you have mean, judgy friends?”

Next Steps

I will hold one more session with Kidsteam on March 30 to evaluate a high-fidelity prototype of my Storytime app. By this point, I will have finished the Framer.js prototype, and we will use this for the session. This prototype will include elements that will help create the “magic” of the digital experience.