Being Playful - learning from children          


Alan Dix
Lancaster University and vfridge

Keynote at Interaction Design and Children 2003 (IDC2003),
Preston, UK, 1st-3rd July 2003

Full reference:
A. Dix (2003). Being Playful - learning from children (keynote) in Small Users - Big Ideas: Proceedings of Interaction Design and Children 2003 (IDC2003, Preston, UK, 1st-3rd July 2003). S. MacFarlane, T. Nicol, J. Read and L. Snape (eds.). ACM Press. pp. 3-9.
download draft paper (PDF, 266K)
see working essay on imagination and rationality
Deconstructing Experience - pulling crackers apart - chapter from Funology book
short paper about crackers at Computers and Fun 2001
my pages on research techniques

send a cracker


This paper explores children's understanding as a resource and inspiration for interface design and beyond. From children we can understand innate intelligences and skills, including a sense of number and the nature of play. Play is possibly one of the origins of imagination, which in turn is essential for our own creative thought. Surprisingly few adults engage in creative play, but it is when adult-like rationality and child-like imagination meet that we can best produce effective and innovative solutions. Even writing a paper has aspects of playfulness, such as the puzzle of phrasing an abstract in exactly one hundred words... or so


play, imagination, creativity, virtual crackers

Alan Dix 15/6/2003