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Rouien Zarin
Interaction Design
Canada
+46 76 265 31 62

Description Inspiration Method Final Design

The Magic Forest is a communicative framework designed to enhance communication among people with cognitive disabilities. The forest is split up into interactive modules that provide a fun and engaging learning environment while helping improve on certain aspects of speech, reading/writing and symbol based languages.

How can we use interaction methods combined with technology to improve communication amongst children with special needs? Kids have a holistic approach to their everyday situation. Can we translate their way of thinking into a digital environment while giving them tools to focus on the things that are important for developing their communication skills? Can we author interaction that is as intuitive as possible, with a focus on self-empowerment in a playful environment?

In a user centered approach, I visited numerous locations and interviewed experts in various disciplines that are involved in cognitive technologies and care giving. My methods were to observe kids in their classroom environment and try and identify possible opportunities for a design solution that could help them improve their communication skills. After creating several prototypes I conducted user trials to test my theories and inform decisions on possible improvements.

My research led me to prototype a framework that uses a modular approach to the problem. By embedding communication modules in a familiar environment (in this case a forest setting), I coupled animation and sound with interactivity to let the user explore the interface and express themselves. Trollskogen is targeted at children with Down syndrome, autism, and similar diagnoses, in the age range of 5-8 with a lower cognitive level.

In collaboration with

The Magic Forest: A Communication Enhancing Framework

Tobii Technology, Myra Design And Interactive Institute Umeå
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