Using participatory design in the development of a language learning tool

Panayiotis Zaphiris (Centre for HCI Design, City University, London, UK, Email:
Penelope Constantinou (Centre for HCI Design, City University, London, UK)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 25 September 2007



This paper aims to demonstrate how participatory design methodologies can be used for the design of interactive learning tools for children.


This paper presents the methodology employed for the design of a multimedia tool for teaching Greek to young children aged 6 to 12. The preliminary data collection included interviews, questionnaires and observations, whereas the actual design of the tool was carried out using a Participatory Design methodology which advocates a design approach that focuses on the intended user of the service or product, emphasising the active involvement of users throughout the design process.


The paper provides detailed information from each of the data collection techniques used. It also highlights the successes and difficulties in implementing participatory design in an e‐learning context.


Although participatory design has been used in the design of other systems, it is rarely used as the design framework of learning applications. So the paper expands one's knowledge of implementing participatory design methodologies in learning.



Zaphiris, P. and Constantinou, P. (2007), "Using participatory design in the development of a language learning tool", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 79-90.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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