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jonasbn (1153)

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Perl Programmer located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Active member of Copenhagen Perl Mongers.

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Journal of jonasbn (1153)

Tuesday August 26, 2008
05:55 AM

Note to self: Communicating with kids

[ #37275 ]

I reflected over a conversation I have ever so often with my oldest kid, since it resembled something I picked up when reading about GUI dialog design.

The conversation normally takes place at the dinner table.

Me: Do you want more dinner?

Villads: No

Me: Are you sure?

Villads: silence

Villads silence has many reasons, it can be that he has started to play LEGOs or watch TV.

If I continue inquiring he will most likely respond: No

Which is of course not what he means, but it is the easy response.

So I need to practice dialogue with him to I can give him a proper chance to respond correctly to my questions.

Same pattern is important for graphical GUIs where I sometimes find myself confused about a certain dialogue, where positive and negative answers are required to complete a certain action. You often click the wrong button because of this.

So I do not blame Villads for giving misleading answers - I blame myself for confusing him.

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  • The trendier thing to do would be not to ask at all and provide an "undo" option []. :)

    • Once in a while I put the plate in the kitchen in case of hunger, but eating habits is not really the issue, it is, but that is a different story. Anyway the dialogue is the problem and I need to be approach Villads differently in order to carry out proper conversations with him, instead of capturing him with weird adult non-sense, the situation simply reminded me of user experiences from GUIs.

      • A random book recommend, How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk. I have to say from personal experience that the advice really works.

  • like most uis, maybe he could benefit from less distractions (eg not allow legos or tv at the dinner table.)

    • That is one good solution. Focus on so many other activities around dinner, like the younger brother, cooking and setting the table - means that we often forget to turn off the TV and completely remove the LEGOs, which are then just simply moved to the end of the table.