User-centered design and augmentative and alternative communication apps for children with autism spectrum disorders

Margaret Lubas, Jennifer Mitchell, Gianluca De Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Communication difficulties are among the most frequent characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Lack of communication can have a significant impact on the child’s life. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps are a common form of AAC interventions that involve a combination of affordable technology with software that can be utilized to assist with communication. While AAC apps have been found to have some impact on improving the communication skills of children with ASD, current research exploring this topic is still limited. Focusing on the design process of AAC apps may provide better insight into improving clinical outcomes and user success. The user-centered design process incorporates a continuous cycle of user feedback to help inform and improve the functions and the capabilities of the technology, and it is an essential component in AAC app development. This article outlines how the user-centered design process could be adopted for the development of AAC apps for children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • AAC apps
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • User-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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