Q: children’s communication device

I’m doing a research degree in industrial design field, I was wondering if anyone had any interesting ideas for children’s communication device design?

see simpsons episode regarding baby translator…

Thanks for your contribution, JGray. baby translator–the following one, right? That’s really smart.

But my focus group is tweens (ages 8 to 12), the project aim to further research how tweens communicate with each other and their parents; discuss how the mobile company’s current line of products may or may not work for that audience…thus investigate possible developments of a mobile communication device for tweens over the next five to ten years.

I was wondering most existing tweens(8 to 12 yrs) communication devices (mainly mobile phones) treat tweens with less respect: to modify something already work for adults, for example making a mobile phone that is smaller and easier for children to operate. Most existing tweens mobile phones seem noisy colors, big buttons and typical rectangle phone shapes, are these important for children?

they are tweens, typified by quickly changing tastes and opinions followed by teens wiich is the same but with mood swings and pimples. They are such a moving target why tool up for something that may/may not hit and if so has a life span as long as a mayfly.

You are right, zippyflounder. Before I started this project, I thought it might be an interesting challenge. turned out, It’s actually a tough challenge.

goin to be a pisscutter steph, you might look into a core unit with “skins” or over sleaves that can be run up fast and cheap. If the full graphic system like the i phone wasnt so dang expensive it would be your logical answer in that its apperance is all software. You might look into electonic ink, a black and white flex display thats comming on strong but then again kids are about colors and noise. If you want off the wall, how about a kit of “puddy” that they can apply to the case and bake (low temp) to decorage the beasty, re heat to strip it off…and people say i have no imagination :slight_smile:

I recommend talking to a few kids of various ages and engaging in participatory design exercises. And don’t forget the parents!

When I first saw (proprietary) research on kids & mobiles, I was surprised and inspired by the possibilities. Style is only a small part of the equation.

much appreciated! Thank you for all advices.

zippyflounder I am not sure i am totally understand what you mean about “puddy” idea. do you talking about phone stickers? http://www.strapya.com/index.html

I was thinking my outcomes might be wearable mobile device or high-tech jewellery, maybe. Boring again!

cg, I totally agree with your approach, and I also agree with “Style is only a small part of the equation”, but there is always one question around me: for hign-tech product, how much can industrial designer contribute?

Any advice is appreciated.

Not sickers, putty as in clay or other hand moldable materials. the analog would be 3d stickers though. With the rapid change in this markets deisres and its reagionalty (not to mention its now viral nature) the core tech must be as felxiable as possiable and the style is mutateable by the “customer”.

This is a timely question. Market forces are demanding maturation in product design. If Industrial Design was the answer to the Industrial Revolution, what then is ID the answer to now?

Dan Formosa from SmartDesign says "Design is at the crossroads. Design is going to be owned by the profession that understands people. Designers need to redirect their focus, from products to people, or forfeit their right to control design."


Look at how and why IDEO has evolved beyond ID.
Look at how “Design 2.0” will change us all.
Look at the rise of the “D School” and how what they’re teaching varies from the traditional ID education.
Look at how Magazines like BusinessWeek and FastCompany write about Design and Innovation interchangeably. Or what Tom Peters writes about Design from a business perspective.
Look at Apple: When people talk about their design, what are they really talking about?

So in answer to your question, I would say, don’t look at the world through the “definition of ID lens” and recognize what you as a designer can really offer. Designers should step up and “own the user experience” because if they don’t, who will?

all true, and given that i hae been doing the inperson “santa clause” style of design for over 25 years…guess what…i am considerd passe’ :laughing:

G’day! It’s so nice to see such brilliant answers in the fresh morning. I learned a lot from you guys, Thanks! :smiley: