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Growing UI


University of Applied Sciences (HfG)

Summer semester 2013

Nicolas Esslinger

Denis Bloemer

Philipp Lange

Kevin Schulz

"Growing UI" was developed for children and teenagers aged six to twelve years. 

The operating system for mobile devices enables the user to gain experience with digital media in a protected environment.

The added value of the product is created for parents as a child-friendly path through the digital world. This enables children and young people to develop safely without exposing themselves to the dangers of the Internet.


An important component of "Growing UI" is the points system, which is intended to influence the usage behavior of nine to twelve-year-olds. Positive activities such as learning vocabulary reward the user with bonus points, which he can then exchange for new applications, games or music. 


Another important aspect of "Growing UI" is the division into smaller important modules, which can be gradually activated by the user. This avoids the strict restriction of a conventional child safety device by granting the user new rights through positive behavior. The activation of functions is thus based on the user's maturity. Thus a perfect adaptation of the restrictions to the respective user is guaranteed. 


In addition to the operating system, a control element in the form of a stylus pen was developed. This enables the user to digitize written analog data directly via the operating system. On the other hand the pen offers the possibility to fulfill different functions depending on the field of application by the built-in technology in the form of buttons and position sensors. 

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Moderation of the methodical procedure

Preparation of the timetable

Carrying out a market analysis

Creation of first wireframes

Preparation of the test set for user testing

Creation of questionnaires

Data analysis 

Creation of click prototypes in Balsamiq

Establishing contact with test persons


Convert hardware pen wirelessly

Set up a study on didactic added value

Guarantee a cheap implementation for everyone (equal opportunities)

Fulfilment of guidelines for collaborating with children is important

A child's way of thinking cannot be imitated

Methodical approach 
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Product research

Before creating your own operating system, it was first necessary to clarify which products were already on the market and how the manufacturers would respond to the requirements of the user group. This provided an overview of the current market situation. 


The use of personas helps with design decisions in the development phase. For this purpose, fictitious users of the target group were

developed that reflect the needs and goals. In the end, well-founded decisions could be made and a user-friendly product could be created.

One day in a life diagram

To create this diagram, two volunteers of different sexes but similar age were acquired to record their daily routines from getting up to going to bed. The interface of both schedules was evaluated as the ideal period for implementing the operating system.

Moderated user test

In order to develop an operating system perfect

in children's eyes, it also had to be tested by children. Therefor some of them were invited to solve certain tasks. During the tasks the children were asked pre-defined questions and the whole process was moderated. The user test was recorded both visually and acoustically.

In order to find a suitable design for the 

operating system, the most diverse influences

were combined in a collage. For this purpose,

images of aesthetically pleasing and user-appropriately designed products were collected.

In the end, the interface of the mood images

could be used to create a conceptually true

visual implementation.

Interface moodboards


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