Check out 3 tricks app developers use to keep kids glued to screens!

Recent US statistics indicate that more than half of young children and three quarters of children in preschoolers regularly use mobile applications. So it’s no surprise there’s an explosion of options within the app market for engaging kids, according to a report released by The Conversation.

Of course, the applications online they offer some interesting interactive experiences, not to mention in many cases of good educational content. They are also very good at getting children’s attention, but are they good for them and can a child do without them?

masked design

Although there are recommendations in much of the world to help guide parents in security through what can be described as a time “minefield” in front of the children’s screen, there is a piece of the puzzle in largely unknown: the way in which the technology itself was designed for. .

The design persuasive refers to the strategies that grab our attention. It is something that children and adults experience (usually unconsciously) as they scroll through social media or fight the urge to play another round of video games.

If the design persuasive were to influence screen use behaviors in adults – who presumably have developed organizational skills and self-control – toddlers and children would have no chance, as this aspect of on-screen debate is rarely examined with the seriousness it deserves.

To see how compelling apps for kids are, an established model of design persuasive has been applied to 132 of the most popular early childhood apps downloaded by Australian families via apps store Android and iOS. Three main ways or tricks have been discovered by which features of design eye-catching can entice children to reuse them:

1. Motivation

A key concept in the design persuasive is to tap into children’s emotions to make sure they stay motivated to interact with the app. This is done by:
• Providing Pleasure Through Rewards: Children are still developing the ability to delay gratification. They are more likely to seek an immediate reward of a lower value than to wait for a reward of a higher value. In the context of the questions, they are likely to be motivated by immediate rewards that bring happiness or excitement. The apps tested offered far more instant rewards, such as sparkles, cheers, fireworks, virtual games, and stickers, compared to delayed rewards.
• Arouse empathy: Just as adults look for positive feedback through “likes” on social mediachildren like to get feedback on social by the characters they admire. Children often attribute human feelings and intentions to fictional characters and can form emotional bonds with them. While this can help promote a positive learning experience, it can also be used for commercial purposes. Sympathy for the character emerges, for example, when Hello Kitty sadly looks at a closed, gleaming food box that can only be opened in the paid version of the app.

2. Capacity

Nobody wants to play a hard-to-win game. Skill characteristics provide children with continuous education to reduce the possibility of disengagement.

Repetition is a way to increase a child’s sense of mastery. Many early childhood applications involve rote learning, how to make the same cookie over and over. By including activities that are easy to learn and repeat, app designers will likely try to take advantage of children’s growing sense of independence by helping them “win” themselves.

The problem here is that while repetition is great for learning (especially brain development), eliminating the need for a parent asking for help can encourage individual use of apps. It can also make it difficult for parents to participate in social play with their children.

3. Orientation and commercial purposes

Commercial claims were the most common motivation we found in early childhood apps, in particularly in free apps, as they were primarily aimed at monetizing revenue.

Complaints include pop ads-upoffers to double or triple the rewards for viewing an ad or require the user to make purchases in-app. While adults can be in able to see stimuli for what they are, children are less likely to understand the underlying business goal.

Important tips

There is no doubt that there are some benefits in supervision that help maintain a basic level of child interaction with the app. Never test have shown that many interesting design features are simply available to serve business and objectives of business.

Communities need to have more discussions and conversations about ethical design that doesn’t exploit children’s developmental vulnerabilities, including examining the potential for app developers to be held accountable.

The market for early childhood apps is vast. Parents often don’t have enough information on how to navigate the app, nor enough time to evaluate each app before downloading it for their children. But there are several ways in which parents can gain the upper hand through the following:

• Talk to the child about the applications he uses and ask questions about what was learned and what was the most interesting or interesting element while playing with the application.
• Share the game in-app with the child in so that she can decide if it’s worth keeping or are there too many distracting stimuli? And is it too repetitive to be truly educational?
• Look for the teacher’s approval indicator (in the Play Store) when considering an app or check reviews from trusted sources like Common Sense Media before downloading it.

Ideally, the child should lead the scenario, effectively solve problems and should be in able to finish his time on the application in relatively simple way.

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