Image by Wakalani (Flickr), CC BY SA

What we learned from teenagers

This week we held the last of our consultation sessions with the group of 11-16 year olds at the Into University centre. As we move away from the conceptual and into the technical side of development, this seems like a good time to reflect on exactly how 14 rowdy young people have shaped our ideas.

The content we are collating is structured around questions. Most of these were voted for by the young people – they were rated highly as sparking their curiosity. Some of the questions we came up with and that we thought were interesting were given a resounding thumbs down from the group. We’re not pursuing them. Even more pleasing – questions that the group came up with together will feature on the site for launch. Their suggestions in this area were particularly insightful and challenging.

The notion of wanting to have a say came across loud and clear from all the sessions. At times the debate of the suggested content had to be curbed to get back to the task at hand! To harness this enthusiasm, forming and sharing opinions is key to our concept – so our users can feel a part of the debate. The notion of reward and gamification (through achievement badges and/or levels) proved a popular idea too so that will be a part of the user experience. And, while we didn’t end up going with one of the names they suggested, the name we’ve chosen was overwhelmingly their first choice name from our list of suggestions.

We obviously hope to stimulate and engage all of our users when the site launches. However,if we can meet the high expectations of our first consultative group and do justice to their ideas we are on to a winner.

Some of the Year 11 girls debating debating

About Alex Pryce

I manage Communications and Engagement for the digital outreach portal project. I am based in the Widening Access and Participation team at the University of Oxford.

One thought on “What we learned from teenagers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s