Rethinking children's programming with contextual signs

Ylva Fernaeus, Mikael Kindborg, Robert Scholz
2006 Proceeding of the 2006 conference on Interaction design and children - IDC '06  
We present an approach to children's programming inspired by the semiotics of comics. The idea is to build computer programs in a direct and concrete way by using a class of signs that we call contextual signs. There are two aspects that distinguish contextual signs from other sign systems used for programming. The first is that the signs are displayed in the immediate visual context of the object that they refer to. The second is that the signs are used to illustrate actions and properties in
more » ... and properties in a way that is directly perceivable by the user. We argue that these two properties make contextual signs a promising high-level approach for building systems that are rich in dynamic properties, such as the ones that children often like to build. Figure 1. Contextual signs in comics. The sound symbol "KRRRACK" in the first panel contributes to the impression of the rock cracking loose. In the second panel, the motion lines and the sound symbol "A A A A AAA", transforms a static picture of a falling person into a dynamic impression of falling. The voice balloon in the last panel creates the impression of a person speaking. (From
doi:10.1145/1139073.1139105 dblp:conf/acmidc/FernaeusKS06 fatcat:dmigmfhytvasroybumxgp2kney