Designing Mobile Phones for Children - Is there a Difference?

Read, Janet C. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7138-1643 (2009) Designing Mobile Phones for Children - Is there a Difference? International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction, 1 (3). pp. 61-74. ISSN 1942-390X

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The mobile phone is one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the developed world. In a market dominated by adults and older teenagers, one group of users that is relatively new to the mobile phone market is children. When children use mobile phones their needs are sometimes complicated by, or conflict with, the needs of their parents or primary care givers. As the laptop is being redesigned to make it accessible to children, it is worthwhile to ask the question ‘Do children need a different sort of mobile phone than their parents?’ By considering data about the use and usage of mobile phones, research on designing special children’s technologies, and research on the needs of children as mobile phone users, this paper presents the argument that the mobile phone needs a design re-think if it is to meet the needs of children.

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