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Prof Helene Gelderblom

Helene Gelderblom

Prof Helene Gelderblom is an associate professor in the School of Computing at the University of South Africa. She is co-supervisor for two of our current students: Funmi Adebesin and Gavin Siller.

She specialises in the cognitive development of children and human-computer interaction. She completed a PhD under the supervision of Prof Paula Kotze titled: Designing technology for young children: guidelines grounded in a literature investigation on child development and children’s technology.


Joint publications with Members of the HuFEE Group:


Gelderblom, Helene; Kotzé Paula. Ten Design Lessons from the Literature on Child Development and Children’s Use of Technology, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, Como, Italy, ACM Press, p. 52-60. ISBN: I978-1-60558-395-2.

The existing knowledge base on child development offers a wealth of information that can be useful for the design of children’s technology. Furthermore, academic journals and conference proceedings provide us with a constant stream of new research papers on child-computer interaction and interaction design for children. It will require some effort from designers to gather and digest the scattered research results and theoretical knowledge applicable to their products. We conducted an extended research project whereby the existing knowledge relating to the design of technology for children aged five to eight have been gathered and presented in a way that makes it accessible and useful to designers in practice. This paper provides and extract from that research, focusing on ten useful lessons learnt from existing literature.


Gelderblom, H; Kotzé P. 2008. Designing Technology for Young Children:  What we can Learn from Theories of Cognitive Development. Proceedings of SAICSIT 2008. ACM Conference Proceedings Series, ISBN 978-1-60558-286-3, p. 66 - 75.

The majority of guidelines and principles for design of technology are aimed at products for adults. The limited guidelines available for design of young children’s technology do not focus sufficiently on age-related requirements or they offer high-level advice that is only useful in the planning stages of design. This paper reports on research aiming to develop a set of guidelines for the design of technology for children aged five to eight years. We believe that the existing knowledge base on child development provides an ample starting point for setting up a useful framework of such guidelines. This paper demonstrates how the knowledge contained in psychological theories of child development can be translated into guidelines for the design of technology. Another version of the paper is available here.

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