Designing Experiences for for People with ADHD (and anyone else): 5 Goals

UXDiversity Blog

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 4.36.18 PM Imagine if we could see or hear what distracts people… Squirrel!

Everyone is intrinsically motivated to do things that give them a sense of competency, a sense of autonomy or agency, and a sense of social relatedness to others (Ryan, Deci, 1985). This is the general recipe for keeping anyone engaged, but even more so with people who have ADHD.

The behaviors associated with the cognitive impairments of ADHD can dramatically affect a person’s ability to learn or engage. Some of these behaviors include inattentiveness, being disorganized, impulsivity, difficulty forecasting consequences, poor multitasking, poor recall, becoming easily bored, recklessness, and becoming quickly frustrated (NIH, 2016), i.e., in gamer language, rage-quitting.

People with ADHD usually have had a lifetime of flustered authority figures trying to teach them, telling them to pay attention, to sit still, or constantly redirecting them to do something that is likely BORING. Rarely are they given agency to engage…

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