NB: This is the nineteenth in a series of posts for the course I am taking while studying abroad at NUS called “NM3221: Mobile Interaction Design”, which focuses on mobile learning technologies for children. These 5 posts detail an ethnographic observation my class carried out at Toys “R” Us.
Observation 4 at Toys “R” Us
Frustration was a common theme I observed during my time at Toys “R” Us. One of the most common scenarios I encountered was when a child couldn’t find his/her parent immediately. The child would look up, not see an adult figure within two seconds, and then become incredibly flustered. The parent usually found the child within a few more seconds, but for those few moments, the child would be very worried. I think that this notion highlights how important it is to create user experiences that are as frictionless and frustration-free as possible.
Another common scenario which resulted in frustration was when a child wanted to get a toy, but his/her parent said “no”. This would often result in the child being upset, arguing, or even crying. Sometimes the parent would “bargain” with the child, offering a less expensive toy as a replacement for the one the child wanted.
Another source of frustration was discussed in my post #17 about feedback: when children touched a toy and no immediate physical response was given by the toy, children would often get upset. They would try other ways of touching the toy to get some feedback, but if the toy provided none, they would give up, frustrated.