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Usability: Designing Teen-Targeted Websites

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Since last month I’ve been working an interesting gig over here in London, England at a large non-profit that targets young people (18 years old & under) across the UK. It’s one of the  largest non-profits here in the UK, that’s local and not part of an international arm like Unicef,  Green Peace or Amnesty.

In the UK, much like in Australia and Canada, there are strict laws around advertising to kids and what you can and can’t do or say, especially since many aren’t old enough to agree to a terms of service or a contract. These laws come into play when designing a website and an online experience for young people. As it happens, we are currently looking at redoing our website that’s a 3 years old and giving it a massive facelift. With a strong look at mobile opportunities

I found this piece around Teenage Usability: Designing Teen-Targeted Websites, which debunks some myths about young people interesting. Towards the end it gives us a great look at how young people differ from 20-somethings or even those in their 40s and 50s. The study was done over 8 years split between 84 users in total. The article has a focus around:

  • Teen Motivations for Using Websites
  • Design for Smaller Screens and Poor Ergonomics
  • Avoid Boring Content — and Entertainment Overload
  • Write Well & Don’t Talk Down To Them

If young people are part of your target study. This is a great look into how they view websites, the internet and technology over the last 8 years.

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