This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Interface Design Guidelines to Improve Usability of Websites for Teenagers




Bailey, Cathy

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Computer Science and Software Engineering


Although most teenagers (aged 13-17) use the Internet daily, very little human-computer interaction (HCI) research exists on design of websites for teens. Several authors have published web usability guidelines and “cool” engagement design guidelines for teenagers, but these guidelines were not validated through the implementation and testing of an interface. The research reported here investigated the guidelines through empirical studies. Eight teenagers evaluated the BAM! Meeting the Challenge interface to provide insights into designing for engagement, multimedia, interaction, and “cool” factor. Teen participants suggested the interface needed more color and pictures, sports, and fun facts about asthma, all of which were implemented into the newly redesigned Center for Teen Health and Prevention (CTHP) interface, along with other guideline based changes. A comparative evaluation of both interfaces was conducted with 14 teenagers who rated them on satisfaction, aesthetic appeal, ease of use, engagement, and cool usability factors. The findings from this study are consistent with the recommended usability and “cool” guidelines, at least on the usability factors measured.