a. Problem Statement
i. Many mainstream learning apps often overlook users who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, and as a result, fail to address their needs.
b. Autism Spectrum Disorder
i. Definition - Autism spectrum disorders are life-long neurodevelopmental disabilities with onset before 36 months
ii. Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder
1. Limited or complete lack of speech, Inability to identify common objects, Difficulty expressing needs and/or wants, Difficulty responding to questions, Poor response to verbal instructions, Limited attention to people and objects in their environment
II. Interfaces and Layouts
a. Mainstream vs. ASD Interfaces and Layouts
i. W3C Extended Guidelines for Mobile Web Best Practices
1. Web accessibility HTML Standards / CSS
i. Gobug was toy created by two students, who won a competition, that require the contestants to create an interactive toy for autism children. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/gobugautism-connects- design-ch-158351
ii. Kevin Sitek, founder of the Lillie’s Pad website and interactive designer. Lillie’s Pad, critiques mobile apps specifically built for
special needs children. http://www.lilliespad.com
iii. Belinda Radcliffe, an Australian clinical psychologist, author, founder, and director of Interactive Feelings, http://ipadkids.com/app-maker-interactive-feelings-targets- happiness-in-special-needs-children/
c. Obstacles and challenges of the ASD User
i. Limited or complete lack of speech ii. Inability to identify common objects
iii. Difficulty expressing needs and/or wants iv. Difficulty responding to questions
v. Poor response to verbal instructions
d. Proposed Solutions- It’s important that the app developer meet their users’ needs. In order for the app to be user friendly and functional, all user strengths and weaknesses must be considered.
III. Current Trends
a. Application Examples
i. Marble Math Junior by Artgig Studio (Artgig Apps)
ii. Alien Buddies by Artgig Studio (Artgig Apps)
b. Web Accessibility Standards i. www.W3c.org
i. Real Gamification Mechanics Require Simplicity And, Yes, Game Designers Can Do It. http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/08/real-vs- fake-gamification-mechanics/
IV. Project Description
a. Design Goals- The purpose of the research is to test and prove that gaming techniques and creative interfaces are effective learning tools for patients with Autism. I will do an exploration in interfaces that address
the behavioral development of those with Autism and related disorders, and their learning obstacles and challenges.
b. Possible Solutions
i. For the visual component, I will conduct research on interfaces that will address the learning obstacles and challenges of those with Autism. Through my research I will create a web based prototype that will be support my thesis by showing an interface that uses stimulus equivalence and fading to teach sight words to Autistic users. I will use Adobe Flash Professional and Action Script
3.0 to create the prototype.
c. Relevant Processes
i. Visual Component Action Plan
1. Schedule meeting times with Behavioral Specialist: Consistent meeting times will be used to, discuss and research appropriate learning methods; establish Sensory design obstacles such as sounds, bright colors, and flashing and blinking lights; create a list of visual prompts; conduct research on input devices that will enable self-stimulatory behaviors, repetition and the allowance for continuous manipulation of the interface; and develop overall concept and a
2. Hosting / Programming Research: Setup hosting service that will accommodate web application needs. Consider future advancements in app when choosing a hosting service. Research best HTML and Action Script 3.0 coding techniques to create web application.
3. Sketch and Story Board: Sketch and Story board example
of interfaces and meet with Behavioral Specialist to refine and test cognition. Create a site map to assist in defining interface mapping. Choose an appropriate interface.
4. Visualization Tools and Survey Testing: Create paper
prototype and survey. Conduct a survey to test Cognition,
V. Project Feedback
User Experience, and Navigation. Prototype will be tested by the behavioral
5. Evaluation Results / Refinements: Based on the results of teacher evaluations, make appropriate changes, and create a working online wireframe to test Interface and technical aspects of the system. Testing will be conducted by the behavioral specialist, his clients, and their teachers. An evaluation will capture the data.
6. Refinements: Based on captured data make the appropriate updates and changes, and meet with behavioral specialist for further recommendations.
7. Create Prototype: Once appropriate updates and changes
have been done, start the production of a
working prototype. Use appropriate research coding methods.
8. Prototype Testing / Refined: Prototype will be fully tested
by behavioral specialist and his clients. Testing will be video recorded to show proof of success
a. User Response
i. Teaching will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the user interface and layout.
b. Areas to be Improved
i. Will be determined after analysis of teacher evaluations
a. Best Practices
i. Will be determined after analysis of teacher evaluations b. Satisfaction of Thesis goals
i. Will be determined after analysis of teacher evaluations
Challenges for ASD
http://www.autism-community.com/communication/challenges-for-asd/ Retrieved: Feb 10, 2013
O’Neil, Faith. Ipad kids: App Maker “Interactive Feelings” Targets Happiness in Special Needs
Retrieved: January 19, 2013
Sitek, Kevin. Lilliespad http://www.lilliespad.com/about-us/ Retrieved: January 19, 2013
Core77. Autism Connects: Gobug
2.asp, Retrieved: January 19, 2013
Apartment Therapy. Gobug Autism Connects Design http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/gobugautism-connects-design-ch-158351, Retrieved: January 19, 2013
W3C.org (. Extended guidelines for mobile web best practices 1.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/NOTE-mwbp-guidelines-20091020/ Retrieved: Mar 3, 2013