ISSN der Zeitschrift
MMI Interaktiv - IT & Kids: Vol. 1, No. 08
In the last years many new virtual environments for children have been developed. All of them have the intention to be a safe and funny place for kids on the web. But how does a virtual environment have to look like in order to achieve a high acceptance from children? This study was conducted to demonstrate the important role of the structure of an interface and its relation to usability and acceptance by children. For this reason we tested two virtual web applications: 4kidz and KinderCampus. KinderCampus realizes a consequent space metaphor in which navigation is supported by stimuli features (i.e. moving objects) whereas 4kidz uses a game-boy strategy in which symbols as navigation tools play a more important role. Thirty children from 4 to 12 years (mean: 8.9) participated in this study. The testing was conducted in our lab in one-on-one interviews and was task-based. In a between-subject-design the two virtual environments were balanced. The study showed that the virtual environment of KinderCampus was clearly superior regarding preference and usability.