Participatory Design: Transmodal translation

The transmodal translation, is an elicitation techniques that requires participants to translate the same idea across different modal resources (e.g. drawing, writing, enactment, etc.). Children are, therefore, provided with different tasks (e.g. make a drawing or a video report) to describe their experience with the interactive system.

Its application allows tapping into different shades of children understandings around the experience. Even if future research on this technique is still needed, we suggest that this approach can be particularly suitable to gather requirements when working with an early prototype of the system since it offers relevant contributions to delve into the different shades of children’s understanding of a phenomenon.

Participatory Design Strategies with Children with Special Needs

During the last year I worked in different participatory design processes to design video games for and with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Pico’s Adventure

In 2013, I designed and facilitated a 10 sessions workshop for children with ASD to co-design the game Pico’s Adventure. The game “Pico’s Adventure” was funded by the European project M4ALL and aimed at scaffolding social interaction in children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

During the project I have been in charge of organizing and carry on the participatory design with ASD children. Four children worked with us as “co-designers” to transform defined goals into an enjoyable playful experience and evaluate which aspects elicit higher level of motivation and interest in children.


The workshop took place in the “Hospital Sant Joan de Deu“ on a weekly basis. The participants selected by the UETD professionals were four children how joined a total of five sessions, during which they were designing, discussing, drawing and experimenting with us in order to create an interesting and enjoyable game. The experience has been incredibly enriching both from the point of view of the research and the game design. We are very thankful to the “co-designer” children for their contributions!

For more informations visit:

Land’s of Fog

During 2015, I designed and facilitated a 4 sessions workshop for children with ASD to co-design the game Land’s of Fog. The game “Land’s of fog” was funded by the RecerCaixa 2013 grant (Feb/2014 to Jan/2016). The research project investigates how a full-body interactive environment can foster social initiation behaviours in children with Autism while interacting with typically developed children.

During the project I have been in charge of organizing and carry on the participatory design with 4 ASD children. In the different sessions of the workshop we worked together to design the environment of the game, its characters and their behaviors.

For more informations visit:

Publications about the projects:

In case you want to know more information about the design process and methods you can read:

– Malinverni, L., Mora-Guiard, J., & Pares, N. (2016). Towards methods for evaluating and communicating participatory design: A multimodal approach.International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

– Malinverni, L., Mora-Guiard, J., Padillo, V., Valero, L., Hervás, A., & Pares, N. (2016). An inclusive design approach for developing video games for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Computers in Human Behavior.

– Mora-Guiard, J., Malinverni, L., Pares, N., (2014) Narrative-Based Elicitation: Orchestrating Contributions from Experts and Children, in CHI ’14 Extended Abstracts Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Toronto, Canada

– Malinverni, L., Mora-Guiard, J., Padillo, V., Mairena, M.A., Hervás, A., Pares, N., (2014) Participatory Design Strategies to Enhance the Creative Contribution of Children with Special Needs, in Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Interaction Design and Children, IDC2014, Aarhus, Denmark

Rethink Game Design through Feminist Methodologies

“Or what a feminist perspective can bring to the design of video games?”

During the seminar “Xoy1 Digital Industry and Gender” (Sevilla), with Manuela Acereda we carried out a 4 hours workshop aimed at collaboratively create a series of prototypes of mini-games capable of offering a critical perspective to the topics of gender, subjectivity and identity in the Internet . The workshop was based on the re- appropriation and remix of feminist and theatrical methodologies.The methodologies used were based on three key concepts: embodied experience, synesthetic thinking and intersubjectivity. Embodied experience was been addressed through the use of theatrical techniques oriented towards putting the body into action. The synesthetic thinking has been used to translate ideas proceeding from a logocentric field of knowledge (cultural studies) to visual, theatrical and plastic languages, in order to explore the semiotic values of the materials.To enact intersubjectivity we used the sharing of subjective experiences as the starting point for ideating games. Participants were invited to share their personal experiences related to “gender/subjetivity /identity and internet” and to use their reciprocal narrations as raw materials for game design. At the end of the workshop participants prototyped different games capable of implementing novel mechanics and proposing new imaginaries.

Here you can find a presentation summarizing the experience:

And here a short abstract of the talk we gave at ECER 2014 “The Past, the Present and Future of Educational Research in Europe”, Porto, Portugal:

Participatory Design: Sketching through the body

Or how to co-design for embodied interaction with children.

Involving users in the design of their own technologies is both an ethical standpoint as well as a fundamental research approach.However, what happen when we have to design for innovative interfaces such as embodied interaction?

Together with Marie-Monique Schaper we carried out several studies aimed at exploring techniques  to design specific gestures with children to improve the interaction design of a Full-Body Interaction Learning Environment.

For this purpose we explored techniques proceeding from theatre, performance and visual art. The results of our research indicate the potential of those Participatory Design methods which combine multi-modal resources as instruments to allow children to reflect upon their own knowledge and express it more precisely.sketch

If you want to know more on how research you can read:

  • Schaper, M. M., Malinverni, L., & Pares, N. (2015, June). Sketching through the body: child-generated gestures in full-body interaction design. InProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 255-258). ACM.