Project

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HEBE: Highly Engaging eBook Experience

English title HEBE: Highly Engaging eBook Experience
Applicant Landoni Monica
Number 129868
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Istituto del Software (SI) Facoltà di scienze informatiche
Institution of higher education Università della Svizzera italiana - USI
Main discipline Information Technology
Start/End 01.09.2010 - 28.02.2014
Approved amount 204'604.00
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Keywords (8)

electronic books; design and evaluation; usability; children; collaborative design; user studies; interfaces; user study

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
This study explores how e-books can help and stimulate children in getting essential literacy skills, a very important if controversial topic internationally. The role of ICT in education is still open to debate even if countries like UK or Italy have embraced ICT as compulsory in their primary school curriculum. Still educators have different opinions on the effects technology can have on children's education. Our study looks at the positive side of engaging children with technology in a playful and sociable way, in order to get them to explore and read books.In fact, this project will explore ways technology can support creativity and fun when using e-books.Children will be actively involved in the design of innovative interfaces for e-books that would enable them to play and explore an e-book, content and container, and share such an experience with their peers. The aim is to explore the opportunities new technologies offer in term of interface design with tangible, ubiquitous, wearable devices that together with an environment supporting multimedia can make interacting with a book a really multi-sensory immersive experience. We will explore a number of platforms and devices and exploit their potential as book support.We will start from critically assessing existing tools and interfaces to present e-books to children, this will be done by running a series of user studies. Then, we will organise a collaborative design environment where children will work next to researchers (the role of parents and teachers as part of this environment will be explored for each age groups) in exploring novel interfaces and promising technology to support their interaction with e-books. Design indications emerging from this step will form the basis for models for e-books and feed into guidelines for the design of a series of prototype interfaces for e-books in an iterative formative process. Prototypes will be fully evaluated in terms of usability and satisfaction by children and relevant stakeholders.We believe that finding creative ways to use ICT to make reading more fun is a worth cause. Thus, we feel this project will not only have a positive impact on e-book usability, by enabling researchers involved in their design to acquire an even deeper and wider understanding of the users' point of view, but also promote the image of e-books to a wider community of readers, including children, parents and educators.E-book publishers, providers and designers will all benefits from the findings of this study, as much as educators and readers, and not only the young ones.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
An approach to the evaluation of eBooks from a User Experience perspective
Colombo Luca (2013), An approach to the evaluation of eBooks from a User Experience perspective, in First international worskshop on "Interactive e-Books for Children" - IDC'13.
Low-tech and high-tech prototyping for eBook co-design with children
Colombo Luca, Landoni Monica (2013), Low-tech and high-tech prototyping for eBook co-design with children, in Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children - IDC '13, ACM Press.
Evaluating children’s eReading experience through interactive and user-friendly experience sampling
Colombo Luca (2012), Evaluating children’s eReading experience through interactive and user-friendly experience sampling, in Adjunct Proceedings of CHI 2012. Workshop on Theories, methods and case studies of longitudinal HCI .
Understanding reading experience to inform the design of ebooks for children
Colombo Luca, Landoni Monica, Rubegni Elisa (2012), Understanding reading experience to inform the design of ebooks for children, in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children - IDC '12, ACM Press.
Designing Highly Engaging eBook Experiences for Kids
Colombo Luca (2011), Designing Highly Engaging eBook Experiences for Kids, in Meghini Carlo, Schuldt Heiko, Gradmann Stefan, Borri Francesca (ed.), Springer, Berlin; Heidelberg, 6966, 531-534.
Towards an engaging e-reading experience
Colombo Luca, Landoni Monica (2011), Towards an engaging e-reading experience, in Proceedings of the 4th ACM workshop on Online books, complementary social media and crowdsourcing, ACM.
A Diary Study of Children's User Experience with EBooks Using Flow Theory as Framework
Colombo Luca, Landoni Monica, A Diary Study of Children's User Experience with EBooks Using Flow Theory as Framework, in Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children - IDC '14.
Design Guidelines for More Engaging Electronic Books: Insights from a Cooperative Inquiry Study
Colombo Luca, Landoni Monica, Rubegni Elisa, Design Guidelines for More Engaging Electronic Books: Insights from a Cooperative Inquiry Study, in [Manuscript submitted for publication].
Serious Games or Playful Books? How Interactive eBooks can Better Support Leisure Reading
Colombo Luca, Serious Games or Playful Books? How Interactive eBooks can Better Support Leisure Reading, in [Manuscript submitted for publication].

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Maryland, Human-Computer Interaction Lab United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children - IDC '13 Poster Low-tech and high-tech prototyping for eBook co-design with children 25.06.2013 New York, NY, United States of America Colombo Luca;
First international worskshop on "Interactive e-Books for Children" - IDC'13 Individual talk An approach to the evaluation of eBooks from a User Experience perspective 24.06.2013 New York, NY, United States of America Colombo Luca;
11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children – IDC 2012 Poster Understanding reading experience to inform the design of ebooks for children 12.06.2012 Bremen, Germany Colombo Luca;
Workshop on Theories, methods and case studies of longitudinal HCI research (part of 2012 ACM SIGCHI) Individual talk Evaluating children's eReading experience through interactive and user-friendly experience sampling 05.05.2012 Austin, Texas, United States of America Colombo Luca;
4th ACM workshop on Online books, complementary social media and crowdsourcing - BooksOnline '11 Individual talk Towards an engaging e-reading experience 24.10.2011 Glasgow, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Colombo Luca;
International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries 2011 (Doctoral Consortium) Individual talk Designing Highly Engaging eBook Experiences for Kids 25.09.2011 Berlin, Germany Colombo Luca;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Ebook Lab Italia 04.03.2011 Rimini, Italy Colombo Luca; Landoni Monica;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media The evolution of e-books International Innovation - Disseminating science, research and technology International 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
120139 DEDUCE: Design of new tools to express Emotions During User Centred Evaluations 01.01.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This study aims at producing novel interfaces for playing, interacting and reading e-books for children. It starts from the findings of a series of users studies (e.g. Wilson et al, 2003; Landoni et al, 2001; Malama et al, 2005; Landoni and Hanlon, 2004) we conducted on how adults interact with e-books in different scenarios of use (including education and entertainment) and explores how children can be involved into the design and evaluation of novel, engaging, intuitive interfaces in order to make the reading experience more attractive to younger audience. In this context, children books are those written and designed specifically for children. This means that content, vocabulary, style, presentation and format are suitable for children’s physical, linguistic and emotional characteristics, with the caveat that each different age group has to be catered for separately. Children books, especially those for young children, offer a good example of creativity and variety in terms of both content and presentation. Often, the concept of books as container of information is expanded, stretched and imaginatively re-interpreted. Different types of material are used, from paper to cloth, from plastic to feathers. Colours and pictures have an important role not only to attract readers but also to convey specific message. Design and content complement one the other, and narrative style is specific for each age group.Children have limited ability when it comes to reading and writing according to age and development, personality and learning styles, they also have limited vocabulary and means to interpret metaphors and other rhetoric figures used by authors. The so-called digital native children are used to be continuously stimulated and their ability to focus on long uneventful sections is very low. Movies, television and peer pressure get a role in making a book a success for adolescents. It emerges from this very brief overviews that children literature is a very open area to explore per se, even without considering the impact ICT can have on it; this is why it is really important to define carefully the scope of this study. This project aims at studying how to design of e-book interfaces (or readers) for children as a way to support children exploring, interacting and reading children books in a creative environment. We propose in this study to involve children in exploring different type of technology, hardware and software, in order to produce more engaging, usable and fun e-book interfaces for them.Thus this study will focus on how children interact with e-books at home, school and library and taking into account children age and development stages, it will aim at answering the following questions:•Can e-books for children add extra value to the reading experience?•Are e-book models developed for adults still valid for children books or should these be expanded or even completely reconsidered to take into consideration specific children needs?•Are new design approaches needed in order to make children e-books fun and usable?•How children of different ages interact with e-books?•Do different ages need different e-book models?•What are the main activities related to reading, children would perform on e-books and how can these be better supported?•How can children be effectively involved in the design of children e-books?•How can children be effectively involved in the evaluation of children e-books?The main hypothesis of the study is that in order to make e-reading a fun experience for children new innovative interfaces are needed and children have to take an active role in their design.
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