Personal and Ubiquitous Computing vol:16 issue:4 pages:451-465
In this paper, we suggest Laddering as a promising empirical method to evaluate the impact of tangibility on young children’s user experiences. In the first part of this paper, we explain what Laddering is. We explicate the conceptual foundations of Laddering, discuss the typical Laddering interviewing technique and focus on the Laddering data treatment. Then, we argue why Laddering might be especially valuable in a context of UX evaluations of tangible and embedded interfaces with children. In the second part of this paper, we present a case study, comparing three cuddly toy interfaces, and we demonstrate how Laddering can be used with preschoolers to explain preferences between these tangible interfaces. The case study confirms that Laddering can contribute to verifying the assumed benefits of tangibility. Laddering revealed how specific cuddly toy attributes as opposed to non-cuddly toy attributes led to specific benefits for the young participants. However, contrary to research findings from developmental literature, only children aged 5 years and older proved to be capable of performing as full Laddering respondents.