[EAS] Internet Credulity redux

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Wed Feb 2 22:18:49 EST 2005

Subject:   Internet Credulity redux

(from NewsScan Daily, 2 February 2005)

      According to a new study by the Nielsen Norman Group,
teenagers aren't as adept at performing tasks on the Web as adults,
with teens completing the assigned tasks only 55% of the time,
compared with 66% for adults. Teens' biggest handicap was their
poor reading and research skills, and their tendency to give up
quickly when frustrated. "If things aren't immediately apparent,
they go away," says Jakob Nielsen. "Their distaste for reading was
a big surprise. It has to be very short, brief text and big 
pictures." The study, which involved a group of 38 teenagers between
the  ages of 13 and 17, found that they were drawn to sites that
provided opportunities for interaction, whether it be filling in an
online questionnaire or adding their two cents to a public forum.
The teens steered clear of sites that attempted to include children
in their focus -- putting the word "kid" on the Web site was the
kiss of death, the study found. And while teens paid close
attention to Web sites' appearance, they were put off by "glitzy
sites with heavy, blinking graphics," preferring clean, "cool"
designs such as Apple Computer's site. 
(San Jose Mercury News  1 Feb 2005)

At least in the wake of the dire findings I reported at
<http://jove.eng.yale.edu/pipermail/eas-info/2005/000734.html> it
still means something to be an adult with experience. From an
educator's viewpoint it doesn't bode well for your success in class
unless you use very brief text and big pictures. --PJK

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