Children are the stars of World Usability Day

11th November 2010 saw World Usability Day being celebrated around the world. We took part by hosting a design competition on World Usability Day’s theme of “Communication”. We had an amazing morning with the kids from Royal Mile and Niddrie Mill primary schools. In the last month they have built their prototypes following user centred design principles, and after a round of testing at the Bunnyfoot offices they have made all their changes and were ready to put their ideas to a panel of judges.

Prizes up for grabs were:
Best Presentation, Most Usable Device, Most Innovative Device and Most Realistic Prototype.
Children having fun

Best Presentation

School: Royal Mile Primary
Device: Smart Touch
The Smart Touch looked similar to an ipod and docking system. It has an internet function to allow pupils to research, communicate with the teacher or submit work. It comes with a charger, scanner, printer and speakers.

Reasons for the award:

  • The presenters introduced themselves to the panel, making an instant connection with the judges
  • The team all took turns to present, showing a good solid team effort
  • Lots of thought had gone into the brand and logo for the device.

Most Usable Device

School: Niddrie Mill
Device: Voice Activated Headset
This has a headset and handheld device which allows kids to give feedback on whether or not they liked their lunch through voice or touch activation. The handheld device was created for pupils with speech or hearing difficulties, so accessibility has been considered here!

Reasons for the award:

  • The group had clearly identified the problem of communicating with busy dinner ladies
  • Bonus points for the accessibility considerations.

Most Innovative Device

School: Royal Mile Primary
Device: Aye idesk
The Aye idesk is like an electronic jotter. The teacher has overall control, and the kids can access the internet, listen to music, complete homework, talk to teachers and each other, and even has a snack tray built in.

Reasons for the award:

  • The idea is cutting edge in future technology
  • It’s a great name, very Scottish!

Most realistic prototype

School: Niddrie Mill
Device: Touch table
This food ordering system is a large touch screen. Pupils can order their food, cancel their order if they’ve made the wrong choice, and also to provide feedback to the canteen if they liked the food or not.

Reasons for the award:

  • It’s creative and clean
  • They added technology into their prototype (it lights up!)

Many thanks to our judges:

Sarah Ronald: Sarah is Managing Director at Bunnyfoot in Edinburgh. She has been a judge for Student Marketer of the year, and various other School Challenges across Edinburgh.

Rufus Stiller: Rufus is creative director at Line Digital, designing websites for Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Standard Life, IKEA, and Top Gear.

Amjid Rasool: Amjid heads up the digital team at Standard Life.  He is responsible for making sure the company’s websites are easy and engaging to use.  And that they help people.

Not forgetting our contestants and everyone involved in this project:

The kids: You’ve been amazing! Your ideas have been an inspiration to us and we really appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication to usability in your designs.The organisers and judges

The teachers: You have done a great job of guiding the children through their designs and getting them all to and from the Bunnyfoot Studios!

Craigmillar Arts & Environment Project: You have supported us to coordinate this with the schools and will go on to inspire children.

Kevin and Amanda: Fantastic as ever, the Bunnyfoot crew have done a great job of oganising the visits and helping the kids perfect their designs.

BBC Radio Scotland: For broadcasting the event and spreading the word about the importance of usability.

The kids involved
children having fun

Want to do this yourself?

We would strongly advise you get involved in working with local schools on design. If we can instil usability in design as a standard in children’s minds, they will grow up building better systems in our future. And quite simply, they really enjoy it! The innovations they came up with makes us feel like future technology certainly is in great hands.

Of course, if you’re looking to make your designs more usable yourself, talk to us at Bunnyfoot about user centred design or user testing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

About Bunnyfoot

We are psychologists, interaction and design experts, researchers, usability specialists. We cover Web, software, mobile, print, service design and more.
More about us