jakob nielsen on teenagers’ internet skills

Below is a little info about young folks’, er, I mean, the Google Generation’s internet habits. So we don’t have to worry that teenagers are the massively multitasking clickaholic freaks that we feared we have to keep up with? Now that’s a relief. 🙂 Taken verbatim from Jakob Nielsen’s AlertBox email:

"GOOGLE GENERATION" STUDY CONFIRMS TEEN USABILITY FINDINGS

The British Library has released a report on what they call "The Google Generation" (i.e., teenagers - ironically, snappy report titles are bad for SEO performance).

Report (warning PDF file):

> http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf

BL did log file analysis of the behavior of young users vs. grownups, and also did a longitudinal analysis of a variety of academic studies of information-seeking behaviors.

Their main conclusion is that teenagers are not as skilled users of the Web as many people think. In particular, teens have poor online research skills and a limited "vocabulary" of features they understand and use.

Broadly, these findings are identical to those of our own user research into how teenage users use websites. It's always nice when supplementary research confirms our findings, particularly when they use other methodologies that serve to triangulate the primary observational studies. The main difference is that we also provide actionable design guidelines for making your website suitable for young users.

Summary of the usability research:

> http://www.useit.com/alertbox/teens.html

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