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Doctor Madeline Balaam

Interaction Design for healthcare, education and wellbeing

Digital play

Over the last year myself and Judy Robertson have been providing consultation for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Sick Children on how digital technologies can be incorporated into the hospital to support different kinds of play. We've been focussing mostly on how digital tools can support teenagers' play as younger children tended to be much better catered for. This project has raised some really interesting questions around user-centred design methods and particuarly how they should be applied in settings such as a hospital, where children are often unwell and have little energy or time to concentrate. One of our most successful methods was a design workbook, which we distributed across the hospital with a range of activities reflecting different levels of engagement and concentration for children to complete while staying in the hospital.