Fahmeena Odetta Moore

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Fahmeena Odetta blog
Websites For Children

Websites For Children

The article for today:

Children's News Online. Website Analysis and Usability Study Results (the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands)
By De Cock, Rozane and Hautekiet, Eva

This article provides very good tips on designing websites for children. According to the article, designers of websites need to consider that children: (1) need instant gratification, (2) find more complex navigation options confusing, (3) avoid back buttons and scrolling down screens, (4) larger font would be
better for younger children, and so on. The researchers performed a usability study of the news websites to determine how children view/score the websites. The study is very interesting. For example, the researchers used locations that were familiar to the participants so that they felt at ease. Parents signed
consent forms to approve participation by their children.

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Design Criteria for Children’s Websites

As cited previous research shows, more children tend to prefer television news over the intemet. In this
study, we want to take a closer look at news sites that are specifically designed for children, in order to explore
possible obstacles that hinder the accessibility for children, both
cogaitive and design-strictural To understand and explain people's media use, i is important to look at

the specific features of these mterfaces and th


“interface components that mpact on performance and Frustration” (Lazar, Feng. & Hocheiser, 2010) A
major factor in preserving users from frustration 1s what Djonow called “fhadity™

A defiung charatenstic of webutes au hypermedia texts on the web os thes fusdity. the quality resulting from a

website's capacity for expandability and change and the ability of hyprehnis to obsare ts gructure nd tancend 1


(yon. 2007p 143)


cbvute fluidity grants users freedom of movement and therefore indispensable to the web's 2tractyy enews

Designing websites for children asks for
d Niclsen (2010) stated that “many of the basic rules for usable web design

1a attention from devel as far as the content. layout. and



navigation structure are co


re the same for children and adults, though often with differences in degree” Other researchers put it more


cas: one of them should be


shasply. “Children are not small adults and this obvious fact is recognized in many
interface design” (Large, Beheshti, & Rahman, 2002). Cognitive possibilities aad needs at different stadia
during the development of children deserve a central position in the study of media use. These needs of the user
are often ignored 1n website creation, according to Chen. Wu, and Hung (2004). Because of the unfinished
cogaitive development, children have to put more effort in filtering complex online information and have a

different clicking pattern. In Line wath this view, Nielsen (2010) pleaded in favour of an age-appropriate design

Among other elements. he powted at the want for stant gratification among children. whereas adults have




limuted but in general more patience. In addition, multiple or redundant navigation options are very confusing
ons and scrolling down the



Screen 1s mostly avoided by children, where adults often rely on back buttons and scroll down when looking for
information that might be hidden from immediate retrieval An extra point that increases the readability and
therefore the usability of a website is the font size of the text Nielsen (2010) recommended a font size of

14-point for young children and 12-point for older kids, a size of 12-point is suitable for online texts for adults,
Co N



2 Science and Technology

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