User Personas – Age Group Differences

Age Group Differences

The following table summarises the main similarities and differences in web design approaches for young children, teenagers, college students, and adults. (The findings about children are from our studies with 3–12-year-old users; the findings about college students are from our study with 18–24-year-old users.)

Hunting for things to click Tabbed browsing Scrolling Search Patience Animation
sound effects
yes no no no maybe yes
maybe maybe maybe no no maybe
College students
no yes yes yes no no
no maybe yes yes yes no
yes Enjoyable, interesting, and appealing, or users can easily adjust to it.
maybe Users might appreciate it to some extent, but overuse can be problematic.
no Users dislike it, don’t do it, or find it difficult to operate.

Clearly, there are many differences between age groups. The highest usability level for teens comes from designs that are targeted specifically at their needs and behaviours, which differ from those of adults and young children. As the table shows, this is true both for interaction design and for more obvious factors, such as topics and content style.