How far is up? bringing the counterpointed triad technique to digital storybook apps

Betty Sargeant, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Interactive storybooks, such as those available on the iPad, offer multiple ways to convey a story, mostly through visual, textual and audio content. How to effectively deliver this combination of content so that it supports positive social and educational development in pre-literate children is relatively underexplored. In order to address this issue we introduce the "Counterpointed Triad Technique". Drawing from traditional literary theory we design visual, textual and audio content that each conveys different aspects of a story. We explore the use of this technique through a storybook we designed ourselves called "How Far Is Up?". A study involving 26 kindergarten children shows that "How Far Is Up?" can engage pre-literature children while they are reading alone and also when they are reading with an adult. Based on our craft knowledge and study findings, we present a set of design strategies that aim to provide designers with practical guidance on how to create engaging interactive digital storybooks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsAnna Cox, Mark Perry
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018
Conference number: 36th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2018
Abbreviated titleCHI 2018
Internet address


  • Apps
  • Children
  • Mobile
  • Storybook

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