When Kids Use the Web: A Naturalistic Comparison of Children's Navigation Behavior and Subjective Preferences on Two WWW Sites

"This paper reports the results of scavenger-hunt usability tests conducted with 16 adolescent children (8 males and 8 females) in two age groups (12 years old and 16 years old), using two general-interest topical Web sites. The tests yield comparison data regarding both search performance and self-reported subjective preferences. The sole independent variable affecting search performance was the age of the subject, from which the authors conclude that children's domain knowledge may be a key component of their ability to retrieve information successfully from Web-based systems. Subjective preferences of children are systematically compared to previously reported preference data for adults who tested the same topical Web sites. Based on these data, as well as on insights based on subjects' verbal protocols, conclusions regarding both commonalities and differences in Web usability requirements between adults and children are suggested." By Terry Sullivan, Cathleen Norris, and Martha Peet—of the University of North Texas—and Elliot Soloway of the University of Michigan. Read the study...

Posted by seralat at 10:12 PM on June 15, 2002
Filed in: IA - Academic Approaches, Usability