Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why Johnny can't surf the web

A flotilla of heh-heh stories appeared this week in reponse to a study that showed teenagers are less likely than adults to be able to successfully complete a series of commonplace web-surfing tasks.

Excuse me, but this is no laughing matter.

A study by the Nielsen Norman Group, an internationally recognized group of web-usability consultants, found that teens assigned some basic web tasks got them right 55% of the time, while grown-ups succeeded 66% of the time. Participants in the study were dispatched to search for data on sites ranging from MTV to the California DMV.

"The teens' poor performance is caused by three factors," says Jakob Nielsen, the author of the study. "Insufficient reading skills, less sophisticated research strategies and a dramatically lower patience level."

What's funny about an illiterate, unsophisticated generation of twitching kids?


Blogger Tom said...

Plus, they're distracted by a lot of the pr0n links in their search results.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it.

Teenagers are younger than adults (duh!) so they don't have strategies for sorting information, yet. Or the life experience-generated contextual knowledge. They'll get there, about the time they become adults...

Not all of them will get there as adults; 66% for adults was the more alarming figure, to me.

11:17 AM  
Blogger brw said...

The other interesting part of this study was that they concluded that teens enjoyed more simple websites v. flashy graphic websites. This is an important lesson for those trying to draw in this demographic.

5:17 PM  

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