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  • 作家相片Yuyu Liu

UX Evaluation and Play Testing with Osmo Coding Awbie


Overview: Conducted Heuristic Evaluation, Usability Testing, Semi-structured Interviews to find out usability problems, design solutions, and players' learning outcomes.



  • There's an influx of educational games for young children to learn computational thinking skills. Osmo Coding Awbie is one of the most important players in this market.

  • Given the Covid-19 pandemic, the chances of young children staying and learning at home have been dramatically increasing since 2020. Thus, how the target players interact with such products with parents at home is very important.

  • Educators and parents pay more attention to children's playful learning in the home settings.


Thus, from the theoretical perspectives of UX, child psychology, and affective learning, I aim to explore how children users interact with the tangible tablet-based educational coding game to trigger learning.

Research Questions:

1. How is this tangible coding game design considering perspectives of affective gaming and children's learning development?

2. How does the usability of the game influence children's play experience?

3. How do children interact with the game from learning and emotional aspects in their informal play practice?


To answer my first research question, 'how is this tangible coding game design considering child learning development perspectives', I firstly contextualize the game with the heuristic evaluation. I combine Jakob Nielsen’s (1994) Heuristics and Children’s E-learning Usability Heuristics developed by Alsumait and Al-Osaimi (2009). During the analysis, I revise these established heuristics and broadened them where necessary.

To answer the second and the third questions, I conducted user play testing and in-depth interviews at participants' homes to identify more nuanced user problems and capture how children's interaction with the game triggers the meticulousness of learning.

Crucial Findings:

  • Usability problems regarding tutorials, hints and sensibility of the input detector

  • Children’s learning scenarios and strategies, such as the adaptation of self-instruction based on parental assistance and demonstration of meta-cognitive skills

  • What computational thinking skills children can learn from the game

  • Identify what game characteristics can provoke children's positive gaming experiences

Impact and Recommendations:

The findings can contribute design ideas and solutions to communicate between children players and the game design. They also provoke further research directions.

  • Adding storytelling aspects in game narratives can refresh children's recognition of game design and enhance their learning.

  • The game tutorial should be automatically shown in users' first play.

  • The interplay between the game design and children illustrates 2-way causation of affective learning. The challenges and fun design provoke children's curiosity and motivation. Children can deal with challenges with their problem-solving strategies and CT skills, and feel a sense of progress through the interactive feedback and rewards of the game. Thus, the play motivation can intrinsically boosted.

Please contact if you are interested in knowing more.

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