This master thesis explores usability in a system for children and the evaluation of their usability criteria. Many children experience that they cannot find the desired content or are not able to navigate from one section to another in software meant for children. One of the reasons for this could be that the software makes use of functionality that the children do not understand. To be able to design a system with good usability meant for children, they can be included into the design process.
The research done for this thesis have taken place at Senter For Pasientmedvirkning og Sykepleieforskning (SPS) at Rikshospitalet - Radiumhospitalet HF. SPS are in the process of making a symptom assessment tool for pediatric cancer patients, the PedsCHOICE project. Since the system is to obtain valid information from the children in the age of 7 to 12, it is important that this process goes as smoothly and intuitive as possible. To increase the possibility that the system will reflect the users understanding and needs, children were asked to participate in the project.
Children were included into the design process by conducting sessions. In these sessions, various participatory design tasks were given to the children for them to complete. The tasks included creation of paper prototypes, card sort and testing of various software. In the sessions the children were involved in various degrees. The participating children were never equal design partners to the adults in the PedsCHOICE project.
The research methods used for this thesis were a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods. To collect the data during the sessions observations and video recordings were used. Video analysis and categorization were used to analyses the data.
Many ideas were generated in the sessions that were conducted. The ideas from the videos were compared to usability criteria proposed by The Nielsen Norman Group and Hanna, classified into categorized and given a grade. This helped to evaluate whether an idea was usable or not. Depending on the grade, an idea was classified as consistent or inconsistent.