Hello Ruby is the most whimsical way to learn about technology. In this project I got to know more about kids by designing a cultural probe kit that 130 kids filled out and sent back. The kit gave insight to the daily lives hobbies of kids, but also their relationship and feelings with technology, computers, and code.
I have been an active writer for the Hello Ruby blog as part of sharing the findings of my research. You can read about what kids think happens inside a computer here and here. About learnings from working at the intersection of kids and tech here. On how to create cultural probe kits for children here. The probe kit I designed is open source, ask me if you would like a copy.
How to conduct Design Research for Kids
When dealing with children, gaining insight is quite a challenge as they are not able yet to follow traditional surveys, questionnaires, or even interviews and to be honest, these methods seriously limit the creativity of a child. Moreover, kids’ attention spans are short, their thoughts are jumbled, and they don’t think very linearly. They are often guarded with their responses or in most cases influenced by their peers, teachers, or parents. We needed to design something that they could take home, fill out on their own, at their own pace and own comfort, then give it back in and have fun while doing it.
snapshots of the kit results
You can read a full description and analysis in two simple blogposts here and here.