Applying children’s rights to digital products: Exploring competing priorities in design

Kruakae Pothong, Sonia Livingstone, Angela Colvert, Larissa Pschetz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Despite efforts to promote children’s rights in digital environments, a gap remains between principles and practice. To understand this gap and identify possible solutions, we examine whether and how designers embed children’s rights when developing digital products and services. Using the child rights-informed ‘Playful by Design’ (PbD) principles and associated card pack as discussion probes in workshops with 30 designers from diverse companies, we identify designers’ understanding of children’s rights, their workplace requirements for implementing them, and the competing professional and commercial priorities they face in designing for children’s play. The findings reveal the challenges of embedding rights-based principles into product design. Notably, designers may believe that children’s rights are sufficiently realised by protecting children from risk, without balancing protection with rights to provision and participation. Further, designers also require a compelling rationale and practical means of addressing the challenges of implementing children’s rights in commercial design settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIDC '24
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd annual ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Mar 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • child rights
  • children
  • technology design
  • digital play
  • design tool


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