(slides 22MB)


Layered Elaboration: A new technique for co-design with children

27 th Annual Human-Computer Interaction Lab Symposium Greg Walsh, Allison Druin, Mona Leigh Guha, Beth Foss, Evan Golub, Leshell Hatley, Beth Bonsignore, Quincy Brown, Sonia Franckel

What is co-design?

Co-Design Related Research

• • Cooperative Inquiry (Druin 1999) – Participatory Design methodology – Children are partners in the design of technologies for children Techniques utilized – Low tech prototyping with art supplies – Modeling the new technologies

Other Co-Design Techniques

• • • Storyboarding BrainDraw (Dray 1998) Comicboarding (Moraveji 2007) • Elaboration of prototypes results in the destruction of previous iterations.

Layered Elaboration

• • • Paper-based co-design technique Uses paper + washable markers + overhead transparencies + permanent markers Allows for iteration without the destruction of previous versions

Origins of Technique

• • • Designed storyboards for history game (Walsh 2009) Previous experience with hesitation to “destroy” another person’s work Added transparency overlay to allow for drawing without destroying

Layered Elaboration Design Process Break into groups Teams create paper-based prototypes Everyone comes together to explain their designs

Layered Elaboration Design Process Break into groups Teams create paper-based prototypes Teams elaborate on the designs transparent overlay is added Explain designs

Example of Use

• Design a technology to help children learn about the environment while visiting the White House, while at school or at home.


• • Use physical activity to power devices in the house Must keep jumping or devices stop working

Initial Conclusions

• • • • • Works best when non-destructive design annotation, limited space, and evolutionary artifacts are requirements Layered Elaboration can support asynchronous design work Layered Elaboration can be used with little space Does not require costly resources Works well with screen-based projects

Prototype: Birth of DisCo

• • • • Distributed Co-design How does LE need to be modified for geographically distributed co-design?

What does a computer-based tool need to facilitate LE?

What changes are needed to better achieve its goal?


• • Flash/HTML/PHP-based Supports – Asynchronous collaboration – Geographical distribution – Creative Freedom

Design Session Takeaways

• • • Undo Tool Better layer visualization More drawing tools

Prototype Conclusions

• • • Need to regulate who has control of the design – Software locks Limitations of tool and needs of audience should not prohibit design – New tools like voice recording Participants who know each other make good-fait efforts to elaborate – Social networking features

Future Work

• • • Current Projects using Layered Elaboration – Children’s Equitable Online Social Network (Club Penguin) – – Educational Concert Experience for Carnegie Hall Educational Social Network for Weil Music Institute Being adapted for designing mobile technologies Continuing online version


• • Children of Kidsteam Supported by: – University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (the iSchool) – Carnegie Hall’s Weil Music Institute – The U.S. National Park Service


Thank You!

Greg Walsh [email protected]


Twitter: gxwalsh

Previous Work

• • Online-Collaborative – PICTIVE->TelePICTIVE, PICTIOL – Only real-time Distributed Co-Design – Cooperative Inquiry -> Modified techniques – Only paper-based/relied on mail