Using Character Designs to Represent Emotional Needs

Catherine Grundy, Lyn Pemberton, Richard Morris

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Cognitive Psychologists have shown that children find it difficult to conceptualize ideas that are abstract in nature (Gelderblom, 2009). Design problems at the beginning of a development process require ‘blue skies’ thinking about new artefacts whose form cannot be pre-defined and therefore may appear intangible to a child. Here we explore an approach that draws on the qualities of character designs created by children to help the young user articulate their opinion more easily and rapidly without the complexities of working with the design concept. The attributes of the creations, alongside a discussion of these properties with the children have been shown through this work to help identify key issues with fewer constraints. The designed artefacts are analysed alongside a framework of Emotional Needs for the age group. Experimentation with industrial partners Candy Labs Games development (Knowles-Lee, 2012) shows that these methods can provide a way to break the ice with children and get their view for commercial use. Children have been noted to express themselves emotionally using the Characters as agents for their experiences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013
    Event3rd Participatory Innovation Conference (PIN-C), : Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti (LUT LSI) and University of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg Participatory Innovation Research Centre (SPIRE) - Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT LSI) , Lahti, United Kingdom
    Duration: 18 Jun 201320 Jun 2013
    Conference number: 3


    Conference3rd Participatory Innovation Conference (PIN-C),
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Character Design
    • Emotional Needs

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