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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2008, Article ID 639435, 8 pages
Research Article

The Puzzling Life of Autistic Toddlers: Design Guidelines from the LINKX Project

ID-StudioLab, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE Delft, The Netherlands

Received 30 September 2007; Revised 17 April 2008; Accepted 24 July 2008

Academic Editor: Adrian Cheok

Copyright © 2008 Helma van Rijn and Pieter Jan Stappers. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents guidelines for designers to help them consider what children with autism value in interactions with their environment. The guidelines were developed during the LINKX project in order to design a language learning toy for these children and are based on literature study, expert interviews, generative techniques, and prototype testing with users. We present both the theoretical or practical background of each guideline together with a discussion how the guideline was evident in the prototype of LINKX. Testing the prototype in the real world helped us to shape the prototype and the guidelines. This paper aims to share our guidelines with the design research community, so that others can use them as steppingstones in their work.