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- Understanding the role of context, content and child in apps for children
- Award date
- 14 March 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The digital revolution has brought forth smartphones and touch screen tablets, which has fundamentally changed our experience with media. In particular among the youngest of our society, the popularity of these devices and accompanying software (i.e., apps) has risen explosively. Although apps for children are received with both optimistic and pessimistic expectations, research is shifting towards a more positive perspective with researchers asking about the possibilities that apps can offer. The lack of empirical attention to the preschool audience and an inferior understanding of apps themselves served as a core motivator of the work presented in this dissertation. Guided by the three C’s (content, context, and child), which are argued to be key aspects to consider when understanding children’s relationship with technology, this dissertation aimed to: (1) provide insight into how parents select apps for their children and how different styles of parenting influence their considerations [context], (2) investigate how the child’s characteristics influence parents’ selection of apps [child], and (3) evaluate how design features in apps influence children’s experiences with apps [content]. This dissertation reveals that parents, children, and design all shape the understanding of children’s relationship with apps – both independently and conjointly. Thus, when studying children’s apps, it is not only vital to consider the content of the app but it is equally imperative to investigate differences in the child user and the context of the use. There is no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to apps for children.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 14 March 2020)
Chapter three: App features that fulfill parents’ needs in apps for children (Embargo up to and including 14 March 2020)
Chapter four: Effects of haptic movement and hotspot salience on the usability and educational effectiveness of children’s educational apps (Embargo up to and including 14 March 2020)
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