Babies playing with apps: considerations for their design and use

Autores UPV
CONGRESO Babies playing with apps: considerations for their design and use


In the last few years there has been a big development of digital games to be used on mobile devices for children as young as babies. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children shouldn¿t use screens until they are at least 2 years old, the reality is that many parents do not follow this recommendation. We are proving that fact in a survey we are carrying out with Spanish parents. Half of them are using digital games on their mobile devices with their babies. And the use of apps seems to be growing at a fast rate. So it is relevant to carry out studies that help provide a better understanding of how apps influence children¿s ways of playing and learning. With this goal in mind, we are conducting research focused on how parents are using games on mobile devices with their babies, and also analyzing the characteristics of the digital games available in the market and being used by this target. Crossing both analyses, and considering the information related to the latest scientific studies on the use of screens and children, the research will present relevant data about the best way to design and use digital games for very young children. This knowledge will be useful for different groups: - Developers, designers and the industry. We are developing guidelines and recommendations for creating digital games for babies, taking into account specific needs of the target and the demands of parents, so the newest generation of Apps for babies exploit its potential benefits and lower its risks. - Universities and trainers in designing applications. The revolution that is occurring in the development of digital applications is so important that we speak of the birth of a new design discipline. To move forward successfully, this discipline needs specific training. It is necessary for designers to focus, not only on learning about software but also on acquiring knowledge about the specific requirements to design games-apps for children. - Parents and early childhood educators. The design recommendations will be very useful for them as well, as the information provided will be able to assist them in choosing better Apps for little children. In the present paper we will develop the part of the research focused on understanding how parents are using Apps with their babies and the characteristics of these Apps. The results of the final investigation will provide information that at this moment is not available to different user profiles, on how to create and use baby games and digital applications. Our main goal is to improve the change for children to play in the safest and most appropriate way possible.