Many people think teens are technowizards who surf the Web with abandon. It’s also commonly assumed that the best way to appeal to teens is to load up on heavy, glitzy, blinking graphics.
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. —Jakob Nielsen —Usability of Websites for Teenagers (Alertbox)
I haven’t checked Nielsen’s website in a while.
I wonder if parents of teenagers are less likely to be web literate than younger people (who grew up with computers) or older people (such as retirees, who have the time to learn about those parts of the web that interest them)… thus, the parents of teenagers feel that their teens are web geniuses, because teens can do certain things that they are motivated to do. Teens may not have social needs and interests that drive them to learn the professional web skills that are the kinds of things that Jakob Nielsen and other web design professionals are interested in studying.
Just a thought.