Mapping children’s experiences: Adapting contextmapping tools to child participants

Mathieu Gielen


Within the area of user-centered design, Contextmapping is an approach to participatory user experience research that provides designers and user researchers with a clear workflow and hands-on toolkit. It acknowledges the user as the expert of his or her own experiences and aims to deliver rich insights to designers: deep, authentic and inspiring views into the personal lives and experiences of prospective users.

This approach is originally developed for use with adult participants. As it gets applied with child participants, some adaptations are necessary to meet children’s skills (both cognitively and socialemotionally) and motivations. We conducted a series of research projects on aspects of Contextmapping and design cases where Contextmapping has been applied in child-centered formats. Some barriers and enablers were identified with which the role of children as informants in a design process can be further enhanced.

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