From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Teenage Usability: Designing Teen-Targeted Websites
Date: February 4, 2013 9:35:11 AM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
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Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox: February 1, 2013
Teenage Usability: Designing Teen-Targeted Websites

Summary: Teens are (over)confident in their web abilities, but they perform worse than adults. Lower reading levels, impatience, and undeveloped research skills reduce teens' task success and require simple, relatable sites.

Teens are wired. Technology is so integrated with teenagers' lives that creating useful and usable websites for them is more critical than ever. To succeed in a world where the next best thing is a click away and text message interruptions are the rule, not the exception, website creators must clearly understand what teens want and how to keep them on a site.

To understand the expectations of a generation that grew up with technology and the Internet, we conducted empirical usability studies with real teens to identify specific guidelines for how websites can be improved to match teenagers' abilities and preferences.

Our research refutes many stereotypes, including that teens:
- just want to be entertained online with graphics and multimedia,
- are supremely tech savvy,
- use smartphones for everything, and
- want everything to be social.

Teens are not technowizards who surf the web with abandon. And they don't like sites laden with glitzy, blinking graphics. 

Teens are often stereotyped as only wanting things that are bold and different. They're also often viewed as being fearless about technology and constantly connected to some form of media. Although this might be partially true, it's an oversimplification and letting this steer your design can lead to disastrous outcomes.

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