Feb 17, 2013

Tips for Apps and the Web: Designing for Teens, Part I

Jakob Nielsen, of the Nielsen Norman Group, recently wrote an interesting post about designing website for teens. He provides good information for anyone considering this age group.  The study includes tips for designing for smaller screens such as laptops with track pads, touch-screen tablets, and smart phones.

Jakob Nielsen, Alertbox, 2/4/13

The research shared in Nielsen's post is important. The results of research conducted 8 years ago are compared with current findings.  Nielsen discusses some of the myths about teens and technology. As Nielsen points out, teens might appear to be tech-savvy in some ways, but they possess brains that are in the midst of cognitive development,  just one factor to consider when designing web experiences for this age group.

Nielsen Norman Group's related product, "Teenagers (Ages 13-17) on the Web" provides additional information on this topic. It includes 110 design guidelines informed by research conducted with teens.  Busy web developers might find the fee of $149.00 for this report appropriate.   

The information in this report would also be useful to design/development teams who aim to provide web-based educational content for this age group.

Pew Internet & American Life

Another good resource for designers/developers targeting applications or websites for teens is the Pew Research Center website.  The Pew Internet & American Life Project continues to investigate a wide range of topics related to the use of technology among people of all walks of life.  What I like about the Pew Research Center is that their reports are free, and include summaries as well as samples of interview questions.

Researchers from the Pew Internet and American Life Project share their knowledge in a variety of forms.  Data is available for download in SPSS and comma-delimited format, crosstab files and questionnaires.

The website also provides access to number of presentations, such as the one below:



RELATED/SOMEWHAT RELATED
Nielson-Norman Group Research Reports
College Students (Ages 18-24) on the Web

Pew Research Center Resources
Featured Research: Teens
Pew Research Center Trend Data (Teens)
In-store Mobile Commerce During the 2012 Holiday Shopping Season

Teens and Education Resources 
The following websites also provide resources for other age groups and related topics.
Edudemic
Edudemic Ed-Tech Tools 
Edutopia
Edutopia: 6-8 Grade Level Resources
Edutopia: 9-12 Grade Level Resources
Mind/Shift

Part II will focus on teens and considerations for educational technology.





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