Designing technology for and with developmentally diverse children: a systematic literature review
Paper in proceeding, 2015

This paper presents the results of a systematic literature review of research papers on the involvement of developmentally diverse children in design. The review shows that there is a growing tendency to include developmentally diverse children in the design process. Compared to other groups of developmentally diverse children, children with high-functioning autism between 8 and 12 years old are the ones that are most often actively involved in the design process. Other groups of children often have a more passive role, being observed, both in the requirements, design and evaluation phase. Working with mixed groups of children, either children with different disabilities, or typically developing children together with developmentally diverse children, also occurs more seldom. Compared to design with typically developing children, adults are involved more intensively in the design, either as users, proxies, experts and/or facilitators. Specific guidelines for how to prepare and perform design sessions with developmentally diverse children often emphasize the need for a coherence of activities, a clear structure in the sessions, verbal as well as textual explanations, and the active participation of caregivers, teachers and therapists. Based on these findings we give several suggestions for further research.

Developmentally Diverse

Special Needs

User-centered Design


Participatory Design


Peter Börjesson

University of Gothenburg

Wolmet Barendregt

University of Gothenburg

Eva Eriksson

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers), Interaction design

Olof Torgersson

University of Gothenburg

IDC '15 Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children

978-1-4503-3590-4 (ISBN)

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Subject Categories

Human Computer Interaction





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