reply to q on do's and don'ts
Originally Posted by over_optimistic
I don't fall into the category of being interviewed by you. I do have an idea for you that I would be interested in reading. A blog post or any readable describing what mistakes developers make in regards to making apps for people with disabilities and or other issues. You can include things like what not to do (a disappointment sounding/looking "No you are wrong") and what can be done instead. I guess for the app to say "please try again" but I don't know if that's good enough for people with anxiety. I would definitely read such an article, and perhaps it would come in useful sometime in the future.
Up until your post here I didn't realize that saying "no you are wrong" may not be so good with people having anxiety. In the blog post it would be also very interesting and good to include how such statements effect/affect people of such conditions.
Just thought I would bring this idea up to you
Thanks for asking.
I think the key thing to remember is that every child with a disability is different, so what may frustrate one child may turn out to be an enjoyable challenge for another. Having said that, it can help to imagine your potential learner as someone who's spent most of their education repeatedly giving the wrong answer when called on, and as a result, they need LOTS and LOTS of positive encouragement and praise.
My comment above about "no you are wrong" is from an article I wrote a couple months ago (see below). I also provide examples of games that DO provide a positive learning environment and how they did it.
You did say that you weren't an educational apps developer, however. I think most video games are by design kid friendly, regardless of whether a child has a disability. Video games are about not having to read and memorize a bunch of rules, but instead are about playing around and trying different approaches. If you die in the game, you can hit replay and try again in five seconds or less. So the potential frustration from losing is short lived.
Where I could see a frustration is in games where if you die after completing several levels, you have to start over from the beginning. Make sure you have sufficient checkpoints so that players only have to restart from their last checkpoint. But again, this is a feature that will benefit children without disabilities as well.
Ugh! Looks like I can't give you a link to the article mentioned above, so I have moved it to my landing page: autism plus math dot blogspot dot com.
I also have a virtual filing cabinet of "How to" articles for app developers on my home page: click on the tab at the top marked "How to resources for app developers." Of particular interest, you may find useful the article on the game Re:mission, which increased the number of children with cancer who voluntarily took their meds.