April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Sessions: Abstract

From Boring and Non-Offensive to Dancing Unicorns and Glitter Text: How a Create a Teen Web Site with Teenagers   go to paper

Witt Siasoco, Walker Art Center, USA
Justin Heideman, Walker Art Center, USA

The Walker Art Center is one of the leading contemporary art centers in the world and is known as a laboratory for developing new ways to engage visitors and their communities. For more than 15 years, the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) has been a successful model for engaging teenagers through contemporary art and artists. Upon examining their on-line presence,, WACTAC became increasingly dissatisfied with the content, dated interface, and stagnant nature of the site. In March 2007, WACTAC and the Walker’s New Media and Education departments collaborated to design and implement a Web site that allows teenagers to create their own content using readily available social networking applications. In this paper we will examine the process of developing a site that balances the needs of an institution and the desires of its teenage users.

Session: Designing with Teens [Education]

Keywords: teens, teenagers, social networking, blogging, web 2.0