The 15th Interaction Design and Children Conference will be held at Media City, UK between 21st and 24th June 2016.   The Child Computer Interaction (ChiCI) group at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), and the Research and Development group from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will jointly host the Conference.  The Conference will be held in the spectacular Lowry Centre, which is positioned right in the heart of Media City, and delegates will enjoy a full day in the BBC headquarters for the last day of the event.   The IDC conference series began in 2002 when a workshop was held in Endhoven, NL that brought together researchers and practitioners seeking to study how best to develop and design interactive technologies for children.  In 2003, the ChiCI group at UCLan hosted the first conference and so the 2016 event is something of a homecoming.

For 2016 there is an exciting technical programme planned with innovations in four key areas.  The first innovation is, for the first time, to allow submission of both long and short papers, as papers and notes, for the first submission date of the 22nd January.  These submissions, which will be subject to robust peer review, will define the academic content of the conference and they will be presented, at the conference, in panel format to facilitate discussion and promote audience interaction.   Secondly, the conference is offering ‘interactive child experiences’ where researchers and developers can book a slot within the conference to demonstrate or evaluate their research and design work with local children.  In this way children get to uniquely contribute to the conference experience.  Children’s voices will be a feature of the conference with a new research and design competition being initiated that will seek contributions form children, to define the challenges, and will then include children in the decisions as to the winning contributions.  Finally, the last day of the conference, within the BBC buildings will provide unique opportunities for delegates to engage in dialogues with a spectrum of BBC professionals, from researchers through developers to designers, meeting initiatives around children coding (the microbit), accessibility and children’s interactive content and media development.

IDC2016 aims to be playful and fun for delegates.  The location is highly suited to combining the conference with a family holiday.  Within two hours you can be in the lovely Lake District, the Welsh Hills, the Yorkshire Dales, or the Fylde Coast.  Direct flights into Manchester are easy but even London is only a couple of hours away by train.   The conference venue is minutes away from Manchester City Centre, Old Trafford Football Stadium, the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and the Trafford Centre complex with Ski slopes and shopping.  Helping you make the most of your experience is the IDC mascot – aka IDCBear who will bring his unique insights on local tourist destinations to the IDC conference site as well as commentary on all things relevant to the conference themes.  Follow the bear at @theidcbear,

Commit to join in in this exciting event.  IDC2016 is all about ‘research that makes a difference‘.  The theme is ‘Accessibility, Inclusivity and Creativity‘ for only with all these three elements can we build, for the children of the world, a digitally fair society where products and systems are available to all and of use to all.  Follow the conference at @idc_2016.

Janet C Read (ChiCI Group)  and Phil Stenton (BBC)

Programme Chairs