Working with children

Just started a new role helping design products with heavy usage by the 7-12 age bracket on quite short notice.

I feel all my prior training and research focused on designing for/ understanding adult behavior! Would anyone be able to throw some advice or articles for how to approach UX in this area? I’ve never worked with children!


hi @joshua_shuv

sorry but I don’t have any valuable tips to give you. I’m very jealous about your project. It has to be very exciting to design and to develop a product for children.

Please keep me posted on it!
Good luck :slight_smile:

You’re right to be apprehensive about this. Most of what we know about the psychology of HCI (human-computer interaction, one of the cornerstones of UX for anyone new to that term) and human learning principles is based around studies conducted on college students. This is one of the primary complaints about the study of psychology in general: while we have mountains of data pertaining to 18-25-year olds, much of what’s been studied has varying applications to either the psychology of older adults or children.

As such, there is an opportunity for emerging specialists in the fields of either adult or childhood learning UX. The Nielsen-Norman group completed a couple of interesting studies into children’s usability, and came up with 170 recommendations for childhood usability. Additionally, they were able to make some general statements about how childhood usability differs from adult usability:

Taken from’s website

If you’re interested in reading the full report, you can purchase a license to the report for $188.

A few additional resources for you:


A co-worker of mine, Matt Morrison, wrote about this on the InVision blog:

He includes some pretty useful findings. For example, in his research, children were fine with pinching to zoom, scrolling, and other common mobile design patterns.

Hope this helps!


Kids are smert! :wink:


My 2 year old has scrolling and pinching figured out but I think she just likes the effect it has.


I recently listened to this episode of the UXPod and found it fascinating:
They reference her book, Design for Kids, frequently. Good luck!


Seriously great suggestions guys! I’m going to be using this as a reading list for my team now! Thanks!