Designing Interactive Technologies with Teenagers in a Hospital Setting

  • Maja van der VeldenEmail author
  • Margaret Machniak Sommervold
  • Alma Culén
  • Britt Nakstad
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


This chapter describes a design process with teenagers with chronic health challenges. The design activities were related to two main themes, the transition from paediatrics to adult healthcare and patient-oriented social networking, and were implemented with a group of young patients who were members of the Youth Council, an advisory body to the hospital. We describe two design strategies, Design Stations and Continuous Participation Platform. Design Stations facilitate a design process that uses the time with the teens effectively and caters also to the teens’ creativity and attention span. The Continuous Participation Platform contributes to maintaining consistency and continuity between the Design Station meetings. The process consisted of four design workshops, which took place in a hospital, and online activities in between these workshops. Nine small research projects were implemented, using a range of diverse participatory methods and tools. In the chapter we analyse and discuss the results using the SHARM framework, our Participatory Design methodology for designing with and for teenagers with chronic health challenges. SHARM focuses on situation-based action, having a say, adaptability, respect, and mutual learning. We found that our participants switch between their identity as a patient and as a teenager. Building and strengthening a third identity, namely that of a co-designer, may further improve the design efforts when designing with this particular group of participants.


Design Station Design Activity Design Project Participatory Design Master Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge the important contribution of the young participants in our research and design projects to our understanding of the design of cool technology with and for teenagers with chronic health challenges. We would like to thank in particular the Youth Council (Ungdomsrådet) of Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) and the teenage patients at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). We also would like to thank the staff of Ahus, CHEO, and the Electronic Health Information Laboratory (EHIL) at the CHEO Research Centre, for their support for our research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maja van der Velden
    • 1
    Email author
  • Margaret Machniak Sommervold
    • 1
  • Alma Culén
    • 1
  • Britt Nakstad
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineAkershus University HospitalLørenskogNorway
  3. 3.Institute for Clinical MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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