Design and Redesign of the IACTA App, an Interactive Communication Tool Intended to Facilitate Young Children's Participation in Healthcare Situations


      • Knowledge deficit in children as for hospital visits might cause fear and anxiety.
      • Information provided by interactive solutions is usable and likeable by children.
      • The child's perspective is needed when developing tools for children.



      To develop the storyboard of IACTA further, based on the child’'s perspective, by testing and evaluating both re-designed and newly designed scenes.

      Design and method

      A participatory design was used involving preschool children (n = 18) aged three to five who tested and evaluated evolving prototypes of the IACTA application. Think aloud and Active intervention were used to elicit verbal responses from the children. Additionally, observational protocols were used to capture, in a structured way, the children's interaction with the app.


      By testing evolving prototypes, the children confirmed previous developments and challenged the newly added scenes of the app. By their interaction, important information regarding the children's ways of navigating the storyboard was obtained. Ways of becoming immersed in the storyboard and the eagerness of dealing with each scene provided information regarding likeability.


      Overall, this article presents a participatory design process in which preschool aged children were involved in testing and evaluating prototypes of the re-designed IACTA app. In the process, the children provided their perspective on the design and content and eventually, based on their feedback, IACTA was proven to be an age-appropriate tool.

      Practical implications

      Children are frequent visitors to healthcare services. Lack of knowledge might trigger fear and anxiety, whereas information provides understanding. Interactive, mobile solutions enable children to receive information within paediatric healthcare contexts. The IACTA application intends to provide children a situated understanding that facilitates their participation in healthcare situations.


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