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A value sensitive design approach to parental software for young children


Children parental software digital media child-computer interaction Value Sensitive Design parenting values families

Publication details

Year: 2015
DOI: 10.1145/2771839.2771917
Issued: 2015
Language: English
Start Page: 363
End Page: 366
Authors: Nouwen M.; Van Mechelen M.; Zaman B.
Type: Other
Journal: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children
Publisher: ACM
Topics: Social mediation; Risks and harms; Online safety and policy regulation; Digital and socio-cultural environment
Sample: The empirical investigation was subdivided in two studies, with all Flemish participants. Firstly, an expert workshop with six corporate stakeholders (e.g. game designer, expert in education sciences and ICT). Secondly, Laddering interviews with four fathers and 10 mothers. Each parent had at least one 4 to 10-year old; five had more than one child. There were two reconstituted families, three single parents, and six married parents; of which eight low and three high middle class families.
Implications For Stakeholders About: Industry
Other Stakeholder Implication: Mediacorporations


Parental control software enables parents to support risk management of their children’s digital media use. However, tools to support online opportunities are left unexplored. This paper presents an explorative inquiry into stakeholder values related to parental software for young children, using a Value Sensitive Design approach. By studying values, we aim to illuminate design of parental software solutions that are responsive to the issues families find most important. We engaged in value exploration of corporate and parental values, and conducted a workshop with the corporate stakeholders to align stakeholder values. The results highlight the importance of values such as ‘control for safety’ and ‘involvement’ in the development of parental software for young children. The contribution of this paper lies in the understanding of stakeholder needs and values concerning software tools that balance online risks and opportunities for young children.


"Most parents that participated in this study feel they currently lack the appropriate tools to control their young children’s online behavior that instill the same sense of safety they have offline. Control for safety is at the core of the online entertainment platform. Next to the first key value, parents expressed issues related to involvement. Most parents discussed the importance of knowing what their children do, and showing the children that they care. In contrast to the value of ‘safety’, the media company had not yet anticipated on this value of ‘involvement’. By making these stakeholder values explicit we found that the media company involved in the project adequately designed for some parental values, such as safety, but did not yet consider other values of ‘involvement’ was not yet accounted for by the media company in their parental mediation application under development." (Nouwen et al., 2015, pp. 365-366)

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