Eleanor Noonan
Creative Computing / Year 4

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Eleanor Noonan

Eleanor Noonan

Creative Computing

Year 4

  • Project Title Let's Be Safe Online
  • Course BSc [Hons] Creative Computing
  • Year 4
  • Contact Info ele.noonan@gmail.com

Let's Be Safe Online

The goal of this application is to enable young adults with special learning needs to engage in safe online activities by offering them an age appropriate UI/UX in the 3D Unity environment. The Let's Be Safe Online eLearning application has been developed in response to underlying research into whether current technology is sufficiently inclusive to meet the needs of young adults with special learning needs.

Project Description

Stemming from work currently being undertaken in IADT for the European Erasmus + Disabuse research initiative, this research study considers the question of whether current technology is sufficiently inclusive to meet the needs of young adults with special learning needs. The research led to the development of a 3D eLearning application in Unity with the goal of enabling young adults with special learning needs to engage in safe online activities. Three perspectives on the subject of online safety for these young adults are presented from the research of current literature under the headings of social, usability and development contexts. The conclusion drawn from the research is that young adults with special learning needs have an almost unique set of user requirements and are at increasing risk of being excluded from online participation. These individuals have a right to equal web access and society has a responsibility to ensure that future development takes an inclusive approach to designing for diversity. To this end, the application developed as part of this project takes an inclusive design approach to creating an online safety eLearning application which will meet the requirements of young adults with special learning needs. The application is developed in the 3D Unity environment and incorporates multi-media, animation and gamification elements to offer an age appropriate solution which maximises the UI/UX for the target audience. Ideally, in line with the research findings, this application should also have appeal to a wider audience. Testing results were positive and the concept of the UI/UX in the 3D environment was warmly received as being age appropriate and a novel initiative. Recommendations for future research and development in 3D and virtual reality (VR) environments would indicate that there are opportunities to use these technologies to contribute to the online safety of young adults with special learning needs and a wider audience.

Project Findings

Young adults with special learning needs have unique user requirements with limited online resources available to them and are at increasing risk of being excluded from online participation. The testing results with sixteen participants with special learning needs were positive and the concept of the UI/UX in the 3D environment was warmly received. Testing results reinforced the findings in literature with respect to the user requirements. Recommendations for future research and development in 3D and virtual reality (VR) environments indicate that there are opportunities to use these technologies to contribute to the online safety of young adults with special learning needs and a wider audience.

Eleanor Noonan
Creative Computing / Year 4