Giving Ideas an Equal Chance: Inclusion and Representation in Participatory Design with Children

Read, Janet C orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7138-1643, Fitton, Daniel Bowen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2300-5432 and Horton, Matthew Paul Leslie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2932-2233 (2014) Giving Ideas an Equal Chance: Inclusion and Representation in Participatory Design with Children. In: IDC '14: Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Interaction design and children. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), pp. 105-114.

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Participatory Design (PD) in various guises is a popular approach with the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) community. In studying it as a method very little work has considered the fundamentals of participation, namely how children choose to participate and how their ideas are included and represented. This paper highlights ethical concerns about PD with children within the context of information needed to consent. In helping children understand participation in PD, a central aspect is the necessity to help children understand how their design ideas are used which itself challenges researchers to seek a fair and equitable process that is describable and defensible. The TRAck (tracking, representing and acknowledging) Method, is described as an initial process that could meet this need. This is evaluated, in two forms, in a PD study with 84 children. The TRAck Method encouraged careful scrutiny of designs and allowed the researchers to distil useful design ideas although these were maybe not the most imaginative. There is a trade off between the limitations of applying such a process to PD against the benefits of ensuring fullinformed involvement of children.

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