The process of involving children with autism in the design of a museum-based app

Paper
Dimitra Magkafa, University of West of England, UK, Nigel Newbutt, University of the West of England, UK

Published paper: The process of involving children with autism in the design of a museum-based app

Museums are considered active institutions that facilitate the possibility of self- directed learning and exploration. Decades have passed since the implementation of the Disability Act (1995), and we have seen the incorporation of inclusive practices in museums for a diverse range of people including people with autism. In support of this endeavor, this paper seeks to present a process of designing a museum-based application tailored to autistic children’s needs. By adopting a Participatory Design approach, the paper attempts to capture the preferences of a case study group in co-designing an app for a Bristol-based museum. Initial findings emphasize the significance of adopting a participatory methodology in enabling users to provide feedback whilst collaborating among stakeholders. These were found to be key factors in the development of the platform. This paper will also consider the challenges that emerged from the participants’ involvement, and how these influenced the design process.