A very topical Alertbox from the usually interesting Jakob Nielsen. This short piece looks at findings from recent work they have done with teen web users, and notes some characteristics. I noted that "... the sites that our teen users rated the highest for subjective satisfaction were sites with a relatively modest, clean design. They typically marked down overly glitzy sites as too difficult to use. Teenagers like to do stuff on the Web, and dislike sites that are slow or that look fancy but behave clumsily."
Our study refuted these stereotypes. Teenagers are not in fact superior Web geniuses who can use anything a site throws at them. We measured a success rate of only 55 percent for the teenage users in this study, which is substantially lower than the 66 percent success rate we found for adult users in our latest broad test of a wide range of websites. (The success rate indicates the proportion of times users were able to complete a representative and perfectly feasible task on the target site. Thus, anything less than 100 percent represents a design failure and lost business for the site.) [Usability of Websites for Teenagers (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)]