How are Autistic People Involved in the Design of Extended Reality Technologies? A Systematic Literature Review


The primary aim of this systematic review is to investigate the inclusion of autistic individuals in the design process of immersive technologies. This study follows the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses standards for systematic literature reviews. To ensure the research questions and subsequent stages of the review incorporate pertinent parameters, the problem, interest, context framework has also been employed. Findings highlight that, while early proponents of immersive technology emphasized the importance of user involvement in design of new technology, immaturity of the technology often limited the implementation of direct user input to the design process. Nonetheless, analysis of the literature published between 2002–2022 identified 20 studies in which substantial influence of autistic individuals and stakeholders was found in the design process of immersive technologies. The roles of autistic individuals varied from active co-designers and co-creators to essential contributors in refining prototypes and providing critical feedback, ensuring the final products align with their needs and preferences. Results underscore the need to align research and design of immersive technologies more closely with the priorities and preferences of autistic individuals. Further is needed regarding actively involving autistic individuals in the design and implementation of immersive technology applications. On this basis, we maintain that more inclusive and effective deployment of immersive technologies is needed in order to ensure that resultant technologies are fit for purpose and address the actual needs of the autistic community.


Nigel Newbutt
University of Florida 

Noah Glaser
University of Missouri

Marc Sonley Francois
University of Florida 

Matthew Schmidt
University of Florida 

Sue Cobb
University of Florida